Following is a list of idiomatic prepositional phrases and examples. Always use these prepositional phrases as units; don’t substitute other prepositions.
Accuse somebody of something
- She accused me of stealing her purse.
- Peter is acquainted with my cousin John.
- I am afraid of cockroaches.
Agree on (a plan)
- They finally agreed on a plan.
Agree to (someone else’s proposal)
- Did Betty agree to their demands?
Angry with (sometimes at) a person for doing something
- She was angry with him for lying to her.
Angry at/about (a thing)
- The commuters are angry about the fare hike.
Anxious about (=worried about)
- I am getting anxious about money.
Anxious for (=eager to have)
We are all anxious for an end to this misunderstanding.
- Did she approve of the vacation plan?
- What time do we arrive at Tokyo?
- She is very bad at cooking.
Belong on/in (= go, fit, have its place in/on)
- Those glasses belong on the top shelf.
Belong to (= be a member of)
- I belong to a local athletics club.
Congratulate/congratulations on something
- I must congratulate you on your exam results.
- The red shirt contrasts with the pink pants.
- Is Monday convenient for you?
- How do you deal with that awful child?
Depend on/ dependent on
- He doesn’t want to be dependent on his parents.
Die of /from
- A week after the accident he died of/from his injuries.
Differ from (something)
- The airplane differs from the train.
Differ with (a person)
- I differ with your argument.
Disappointed with somebody
- She never showed whether she was disappointed with him.
Disappointed with/at/about something
- You must be pretty disappointed with/at/about your exam results.
Explain something to somebody
- Could you explain this rule to me?
Get on (to) and off a train, plane, bus, ship, motor bike or horse
- We will be getting off the train in ten minutes.
- He has been ill with flu this week.
- I am very impressed with/by your work.
- She got a job so that she could be independent of her parents.
- She insisted on coming with us.
- Not many people are interested in grammar.
- Homework can interfere with your social life.
- Be kind to others.
Be lacking in
- She is lacking in tact.
- I hate being laughed at.
- If you don’t listen to people they won’t listen to you.
Look after (=take care of)
- Thanks for looking after me when I was ill.
Look for (=try to find)
- Can you help me look for my keys?
Operate on a patient
- They operated on her last night.
Pay for something that is bought
- I will pay for the drink.
- I want proof of your love. Lend me some money.
- Nobody knows the reason for the accident.
- You can’t reason with a two-year-old.
- Who is responsible for the shopping this week?
- He is rude to everybody.
- We are shocked at your hair color!
Sorry for/about something one has done
- I am sorry for/about breaking your window.
Sorry for a person
- I feel sorry for her.
Speak to; speak with
- Could I speak to/with John for a moment?
- The hairdresser must specialize in humour.
- He tripped over the cat and fell downstairs.
- The wine is typical of the region.
- What is wrong with you?