There’s no easy way to know which preposition follows a verb. The best way to learn this grammar is to learn the verb and preposition together. If there’s a verb after the preposition, it must of course be in the gerund form. Here is a list of the most common verb + preposition combinations:
account for: How do you account for the missing $500
accuse (someone) of: The police accused him of murder.
adjust to: It will take him a while to adjust to the the new culture.
agree with / to / on: I don’t agree with you.
She won’t agree to separate bank accounts.
We don’t agree on many things, but we agree on this.
apologize for: He apologized for forgetting to pick her up.
apply to: She’s going to apply to at least three universities.
approve of: I don’t approve of your new boyfriend.
argue with: He argues with his brother all the time.
arrive at: They arrived at school at 8:30.
ask for: Go to the teacher and ask for help.
attach (something) to: They want you to attach a photo to your application form.
begin with: Why don’t we begin with your personal information
believe in: The children still believe in Santa Claus.
belong to: Those glasses don’t belong to me.
blame (someone) for: She blames me for everything that goes wrong.
care about / for: I don’t care about winning.
She cares for her sick mother.
compare (something/someone) with: Compare Coke with Pepsi and you’ll find that Pepsi is sweeter.
compete with: The shelves come in a box complete with instructions on how to assemble.
complain about: It’s upsetting to be around people who complain about things all the time.
concentrate on: I’ll make dinner, and you concentrate on finishing your homework.
consist of: This recipe consists of flour, milk, eggs, honey and vanilla.
contribute to: Cars that use gasoline contribute to global warming.
cooperate with: We only want team members who can cooperate with each other.
count on: You can count on me to support you for class president. (=depend on)
cover (something/someone) with: He covered her with a blanket after she fell asleep on the sofa.
deal with: How do you deal with a child who won’t obey you?
decide on: It’s time to decide on a wall color for this room.
depend on: We know we can depend on our babysitter.
devote to: Everyone knows she’s devoted to her family.
dream of / about: Last night I dreamed of (about) hiking across a desert.
engage in: The children are not allowed to engage in online chat rooms.
escape from: Three men escaped from prison over the weekend.
excel in: His son excels in math and science.
fight for: The rebels are fighting for independence.
forgive (someone) for: She’ll never forgive him for missing her birthday party.
hide (something) from (someone): The parents hid the presents from their children.
hope for: This is the best outcome I could ever hope for.
insist on: I insist on seeing the manager.
interfere with: It’s a bad idea to interfere with a police investigation.
look forward to: We look forward to your arrival in our beautiful city.
object to: She objects to anyone calling her by her first name.
participate in: If you don’t want to participate in the game, you can leave now.
pay for: He paid for his purchase with a credit card.
plan on: I didn’t plan on anyone getting hurt.
pray for: Let’s pray for sunshine on the day of the picnic.
prevent (someone) from: We need to prevent him from hurting himself.
protect (someone) from: There are many vaccines to protect you from disease.
provide (someone) with: The school provided each student with a laptop computer.
recover from: It took her ten days to recover from her surgery.
refer to: He referred to a dictionary to check the spelling
rely on: She relies on her father for financial support.
rescue (someone) from: We rescued our cat from the SPCA.
respond to: She wouldn’t respond to our questions.
result in: The information we gave the police resulted in his arrest.
search for: They searched for the perfect pizza.
shout at: Don’t shout at the children.
stare at: Would you please stop staring at me?
stop (someone) from: My friend stopped me from making a big mistake.
subscribe to: How many years have you subscribed to this magazine?
substitute for: Sometimes there’s no substitute for hard work.
succeed in: He succeeded in opening the locked door.
take advantage of: We should take advantage of the 2-for-1 sale.
take care of: She has to take care of her younger sister this weekend.
thank (someone) for: Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful party.
vote for: Who are you going to vote for?
wait for: Wait for me in front of the library.
© 2013 Ambien Malecot