English Prepositional Verbs: Meaning and Example

Prepositional Verbs

When learning English, one of the building blocks to master is the use of prepositional verbs. These are special verbs that always come with a specific preposition, forming a unique meaning together. Think of them as a team, where both the verb and the preposition are needed to complete the action. In this article, we’ll explore what prepositional verbs are and provide a list of common ones to help you on your language journey.

What Are Prepositional Verbs?

‚ÄúPrepositional verbs” are made up of two parts: a verb (an action word like ‘run’, ‘jump’, or ‘think’) and a preposition (a small word like ‘at’, ‘for’, or ‘with’ that shows a relationship between things in a sentence).

When you put a verb and a preposition together, they create a special meaning. It’s like a team-up in a superhero movie, where the hero and sidekick join forces to do something amazing!

Common English Prepositional Verbs

Here’s a list of widely used prepositional verbs with examples to help you understand how they are used in sentences:

Listen to – to pay attention to sounds.

  • Example: Listen to your teacher’s instructions.

Speak to – to talk to someone.

  • Example: Could I speak to the manager, please?

Think about – to consider

  • Example: Have you thought about what you want for your birthday?

Care for – to like or to look after

  • Example: She cares for her plants like they’re her children.

Search for – to look for something.

  • Example: He’s searching for a new job.

Run into – to meet someone unexpectedly.

  • Example: I ran into an old friend at the mall.

Work for – to be employed by.

  • Example: She works for a non-profit organization.

Laugh at – to make fun of or ridicule.

  • Example: It’s not nice to laugh at others’ mistakes.

Insist on – to demand something forcefully.

  • Example: He insists on paying for dinner.

Refer to – to mention or talk about someone or something.

  • Example: She referred to the manual for instructions.

Work on – to be engaged in physical or mental activity to achieve a purpose.

  • Example: She’s working on a new project.

Apologize for – to say sorry for something.

  • Example: He apologized for being late.

Believe in – to have faith or trust in something or someone

  • Example: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Pay for – to give money in exchange for something

  • Example: I paid for the groceries.

Apply for – to formally request something, usually in writing

  • Example: I need to apply for a new passport.

Stand for – to represent or mean.

  • Example: What does this acronym stand for?

Decide on – to choose something after thinking.

  • Example: Have you decided on a venue for the party?

Look for – to search for.

  • Example: I’m looking for my keys.

Concentrate on – to focus on something.

  • Example: You need to concentrate on your studies.

Depend on – to rely on; similar to “rely on.”

  • Example: Success depends on hard work.

Agree with – to have the same opinion as someone else.

  • Example: I agree with you on that matter.

Look into – to investigate or examine.

  • Example: The police will look into the matter.

Object to – to express disagreement.

  • Example: I object to this decision.

Think about – to consider something.

  • Example: I need to think about your proposal.

Complain about – to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.

  • Example: She complained about the noise.

Dream about – to imagine or hope for something

  • Example: He dreams about traveling around the world.

Refer to – to mention or allude to.

  • Example: The teacher referred to the textbook for examples.

Respond to – to reply or react to something.

  • Example: Please respond to my email as soon as possible.

Subscribe to – to agree to receive something, typically a publication.

  • Example: I subscribe to several online newsletters.

Think of – to consider or have an opinion about something.

  • Example: What do you think of this idea?

Talk about – to discuss.

  • Example: We need to talk about your grades.

Worry about – to be anxious or concerned.

  • Example: Don’t worry about the small details.

Wait on – to serve or assist.

  • Example: The waiter waited on us immediately.

Ask for – to request something

  • Example: He asked for a glass of water.

Wait for – to stay until someone or something arrives

  • Example: I’ll wait for you at the entrance.

Yearn for – to have a strong desire for something.

  • Example: She yearns for a holiday in the mountains.

Rely on – to depend on

  • Example: You can rely on me for support.

Belong to – to be owned by.

  • Example: This book belongs to me.

Look after – to take care of

  • Example: Can you look after my dog while I’m on vacation?

Vouch for – to confirm that someone is who they say they are or that they are of good character.

  • Example: I can vouch for his reliability.

Tips to Remember Them

  • Listen and read: Pay attention when listening to English songs or watching movies. You’ll hear them a lot!
  • Use them in sentences: The best way to remember prepositional verbs is to use them. Try making sentences with them.
  • Practice makes perfect: The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Don’t worry about making mistakes.

Must Try:

Transportation Prepositions: In, On, By
Prepositional Phrases of Time and Place

Prepositional Verbs

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