Adjectives are words used to describe a person, place, or thing, for example:
- The tall man in the red shirt is a friend of mine.
- We drove along a quiet road until reaching a small town.
- I’m reading an interesting book.
Prepositions are words used to connect two ideas, or to demonstrate the relationship between two concepts. Examples of prepositions in English include at, in, on, for, to, with, and from.
Adjective + Preposition Combinations
There are many cases in which adjectives are combined with prepositions – but there is no rule stating when to use which combination. As you read and listen to more English, you will become more and more familiar with how these adjective-prepositions combinations are used.
Here are a few of the most common combinations of adjectives and prepositions in English:
at – surprised at, angry at, good at, terrible at
- I’m surprised at how fast my students are learning.
- My mother is angry at me because I forgot her birthday.
- Jamila is good at songwriting and painting.
- He’s terrible at math – he failed the class twice!
of – proud of, afraid of, fond of, full of
- You practiced a lot and gave a great performance – I’m proud of you!
- Jewell is afraid of swimming in the ocean.
- The kids are very fond of the puppy.
- The mall is always full of teenagers on the weekend.
with – satisfied with, busy with, fed up with, associated with
- I wasn’t satisfied with the customer service at the bank.
- We’ve been working overtime lately because we’ve been busy with a new project.
- I was fed up with my boyfriend’s lies, so I ended the relationship.
- There are many health risks associated with smoking.
in – disappointed in, skilled in, interested in, involved in
- The teacher was disappointed in the behavior of the class.
- She was highly skilled in physics and chemistry.
- Giovanni is interested in classic English literature.
- Marlene is very involved in volunteer work.
*Notice that in can have a similar function to at. Ex) She’s skilled at soccer. She’s skilled in playing soccer.
for – known for, good for, terrible for, excellent for
- Brazil is known for its wonderful music and friendly people.
- Chocolate and red wine are actually good for your heart!
- Looking at screens all day is bad for your eyesight.
- Playing memory games is excellent for improving your brain function.
to – married to, friendly to, similar to, rude to
- He’s married to an Australian woman.
- Everyone I met on the trip was friendly to me.
- The movie is very similar to the book.
- The little boy was punished after being rude to his grandfather.