Monday, February 3, 2014

Verb-Preposition Combinations for Beginners

Prepositions are always super tricky for students learning English because most often they don't translate from other language into English literally as we can see here:

(English) I dreamt about/of surfing in Hawaii.
(Portuguese)  I dreamt with surfing in Hawaii.
(French) I dreamt of surfing in Hawaii.

(English) I was thinking about/of you yesterday.
(Portuguese) I was thinking in you yesterday.
(French)  I was thinking to you yesterday.

(English)  When I look at you, I smile.
(Portuguese)  When I look for you, I smile.
(French)  When I look you, I smile.

As you can see here, translating literally from English to Portuguese or French doesn't work.  That's why we just have to get busy memorizing prepositions.  There's no other way, but don't worry, after you hear and see the correct preposition over and over, you will begin to remember it easily.

Here's a quick intro list of 10 must-know verb-preposition combinations for beginners.  

  1. I'm sorry. but I just don't agree with you.
  2. I'm afraid of heights, so I will not hike with you to the top of the mountain. 
  3. We always argue with each other, and we always argue about the same thing!
  4. I'm excited about skiing in Andorra!
  5. We go to the beach every weekend.
  6. I always listen carefully to my Mom.
  7. My Mom says t's polite to look at people in the eye when they are talking to you.
  8. I've lost my keys again!  I have already been looking for them for twenty minutes.
  9. Yesterday, we talked about planning our vacation.  We talked to/with our travel agent.
  10. We waited for our food for over an hour.
Now let's rewrite sentences 3 and 9:

  • We always argue with each other about the same thing.
  • Yesterday, we talked about planning our vacation with our travel agent. 

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