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Unit 49 Verb + preposition

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Main points

* Some verbs do not take an object and are normally followed by a preposition.

* Some verbs take an object followed by a particular preposition.

* Some verbs can take either an object or a preposition.

1 Many verbs that are used without an object are normally followed by a prepositional phrase. Some verbs take a particular preposition:

belong to, consist of, hint at, hope for, insist on, lead to, listen to, pay for, qualify for, refer to, relate to, sympathize with

The land belongs to a rich family.
She then referred to the Minister’s report.

2 With other verbs that are used without an object, the choice of a different preposition may alter the meaning of the clause.

agree on/withapologize for/toresult from/in
appeal for/toconform to/withsuffer from/with

They agreed on a plan of action.
You agreed with me that we should buy a car.
His failure resulted from lack of attention to details.
The match resulted in a draw.

3 With verbs that are used without an object, different prepositions are used to introduce different types of information.

* `about’ indicates the subject matter

caredreamhearspeakthink
complainexplainknowtalkwrite

We will always care about freedom.
Tonight I’m going to talk about engines.

* `at’ indicates direction

glancegrinlooksmile
glarelaughshoutstare

I don’t know why he was laughing at that joke.
`Hey!’ she shouted at him.

* `for’ indicates purpose or reason

apologizeapplyasklookwait

He wanted to apologize for being late.
I’m going to wait for the next bus.

* `into’ indicates the object involved in a collision

bumpcrashdriverun

His car crashed into the wall.
She drove into the back of a lorry.

* `of’ indicates facts or information

hearknowspeaktalkthink

I’ve heard of him but I don’t know who he is.
Do you know of the new plans for the sports centre?

* `on’ indicates confidence or certainty

countdependplanrely

You can count on me.
You can rely on him to be polite.

* `to’ indicates the listener or reader

complainlistenspeakwrite
explainsaytalk

They complained to me about the noise.
Mary turned her head to speak to him.

* `with’ indicates someone whose opinion is the same or different

agreearguedisagreeside

Do you agree with me about this?
The daughters sided with their mothers.

4 Some verbs have an object, but are also followed by a preposition.
The police accused him of murder.
They borrowed some money from the bank.

Some verbs can take either an object or a prepositional phrase with no change in meaning.
He had to fight them .
He was fighting against history.

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