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061 Common adjective with preposition

Common adjectives with prepositions


Hi everyone and welcome back to another episode of the Art of Business English. I trust you are all having a great start to the year. 

In this week’s episode I want to focus on a bit of structure in English, mainly by looking at some prepositions that follow adjectives. If you are someone who finds it difficult to know which preposition follows an adjective, then today I am going to share some common ones with you so that you can learn them by heart. 

So, in today’s episode we will be looking at the following: 

  1. A quick explanation of the theory behind adding a preposition to an adjective
  2. A list of some common adjective and preposition vocabulary
  3. Some practice exercises to work on together 

Let’s go then. 

What are adjectives + prepositions?


Let’s start by looking at what is an adjective. As I am sure most of you already know, adjectives are words used to describe people and objects. For example, we could say, She is a very hard working employee. Or for an object, we could say, This is a very complex problem.  

Now, when we add prepositions to adjectives, we are making the structure more complex and we are also creating a more complex relationship between the adjective and the person. What do I mean by this? Well, with the preposition, we are actually making statements about a person’s attitude towards something. So, as you can see it suddenly become a bit more complex, while at the same time descriptive. As such, adjectives plus prepositions are a powerful tool for describing the relationships, feelings and attitudes between things. Let me demonstrate with an example. John is not very sure about the chances of success. So, clearly you can see that this is expressive of John’s attitude towards something. He is not sure + about the success of something. We get an idea about his attitude. 

In fact, the proposition about is very commonly used with adjectives to express opinion or attitude towards things. Let’s take a look at some common adjectives that are followed with about. 

  1. Angry about – John is angry about the delays from our main supplier
  2. Annoyed about – Mary is annoyed about having been given unpaid extra work.

In this example you will notice that any verbs that follow about must be in the gerund or ING form. This is because with English, verbs that follow prepositions are in gerund. With the above example this is even true for the auxiliary verb, have or haber.

  1. Furious about – Mark was furious about being looked over for the promotion.
  2. Excited about – I am really excited about the party next week.
  3. Worried about – Jenny is worried about her cough, it keeps getting worse.
  4. Sorry about – Henry was sorry about accidently breaking the glass. 

So, to sum up, we use adjectives to better describe things, people, situations etc, and we can add prepositions to them to form a more complex relationship between a person and the thing or situation they are describing.

Now that we understand the theory behind adjectives and prepositions better, let’s take a look at some common and useful adjective and preposition forms.

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Common adjective and preposition vocabulary


The reason why I want to share with you a list of common adjectives + preposition is because these are commonly confused or completely left out by non-native English speakers. One of the secrets to sounding more native and more fluent is to be accurate when you speak. This means using the correct preposition. The most common mistake I find is that students guess the preposition based on their native language. Let me demonstrate with an example. In Spanish we say depende de, so most students assume that in English we say, depends of, this is in fact incorrect as the correct preposition is depends on. As such, if we want to sound more native we need to work on these little things.


Let’s take a look at some common adjective + preposition structures. I will also give you the translation and an example sentence to help.


Adjective + prepositionTranslationExample sentence
Afraid of Miedo deJim is afraid of snakes.
Scared of Miedo doMary is scared of heights.
Responsible forResponsable deMark is responsible for bringing the cake.
Similar toParecerse aThis book is similar to one I read last year.
Capable of Capaz deArthur is capable of doing almost any sport well.
Different fromDiferente deCarl is really different from his brother.
Interested inInteresado enI am interested in personal development.
Proud of Orgullos deBill is very proud of his team’s work this quarter.
Sure ofSeguro deChris said he would come, but I am not sure of that.
Keen onAficionado aDon is very keen on golf.
To be good/bad atSer bueno/mal enTristan is good/bad at tennis.
Famous forFamoso porOur company is famous for its excellent customer service.
Married toCasado conRobyn got married to Dick in 2009.
Ashamed ofAvergonzadoBrian was ashamed of his behaviour at the company Christmas party.
Fond ofAfectuosoBetty is very fond of her pet dog.


OK, so there you have 15 common adjective preposition structures that you can put into practice straight away.


Now we are going to wrap things up with some practice exercises.



Adjectives + prepositions practice exercises.


In the last part of this episode I am going to work with you on some exercises that we will do together.


If you head over to the AOBE website, you can also watch a video of this episode which will make doing the questions much easier.


Right, let’s get started.



Complete the sentences using these adjectives + the correct preposition.




  1. I think she’s arriving this evening, but I’m not sure of
  2. Your camera is _______________ mine, but it isn’t exactly the same.
  3. Don’t worry. I’ll look after you. There’s nothing to be ____________.
  4. I never watch the news on TV. I’m not ____________ the news.
  5. The editor is the persona who is ____________ what appears in a newspaper.
  6. Sarah is a keen gardener. She’s very _____________ her garden and loves showing it to visitors.
  7. I was surprised when I met Lisa for the first time. She was __________ what I expected.
  8. He could become world champion one day. He’s ___________ it.


Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first.

  1. There were lots of tourists in the streets.

The streets were crowded with tourists.

  1. There was a lot of furniture in the room.

The room was full ...

  1. I don’t like sport very much.

I’m not very keen...

  1. We don’t have enough time.

We’re short...

  1. I’m not a very good tennis player.

I’m not very good...

  1. Catherine’s husband is Russian.

Catherine is married...

  1. I don’t trust Robert.

I’m suspicious...

  1. My problem is not the same as yours.

My problem is different...


Put in the correct preposition.

  1. Amy is always full _______ energy.
  2. My home town is not a very interesting place. It’s not famous _______ anything.
  3. Kate is very fond _______ her younger brother.
  4. I don’t like going up ladders. I’m scared _______ heights.
  5. You look bored. You don’t seem interested _______ what I’m saying.
  6. ‘Our flight departs at 10.35.’ ‘Are you sure _______ that?’
  7. I’m not ashamed _______ what I did. In fact I’m quite proud _______ it.
  8. I wanted to go out for a meal, but nobody else was keen ________ the idea.
  9. These days everybody is aware ________ the dangers of smoking.
  10. The station platform was crowded _______ people waiting for the train.
  11. Sue is much more successful than I am. Sometimes I feel a bit jealous ______ her.
  12. Do you know anyone who might be interested _______ buying an old car?
  13. We’ve got plenty to eat. The fridge is full _______ food.
  14. She’s very honest. I don’t think she is capable ______ telling a lie.
  15. Helen works hard and she’s extremely good ______ her job.
  16. It’s typical ______ him to change his mind at the last minute.
  17. Mark has no money of his own. He’s totally dependent ______ his parents.
  18. We’re short ______ staff in our office at the moment. We need more people to do the work.


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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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