Adjective + Preposition

Young People exchanging ideas during meeting
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Adjectives are used in simple sentences to describe people and objects. For example, She is an interesting speaker. More complex sentences use adjectives + prepositions to make statements about a person's attitude towards something. For example, She is excited about the concert tonight. Here is a list of the most common adjective + preposition combinations to express people's feelings.

About

Use the following adjectives followed by 'about'.

Each group of adjectives have the same or related meanings. Use the verb 'to be' with these expressions.

angry / annoyed / furious about something

I'm really angry about our losses on the stock market!
He's annoyed with TIm because he told his secret.
The boss was furious about the past quarter's losses.

excited about something

He's excited about his birthday party next week.
Shelly's excited about her new job.

worried / upset about something

He's worried about his upcoming examinations.
I'm upset about the increasing amount of violence in this world. 

sorry about something

I'm very sorry about losing your book.
She's sorry about missing class last week. 

At

Use the following adjectives followed by 'at'. Each group of adjectives have the same or related meanings. Use the verb 'to be' with these expressions.

good / excellent / brilliant at something OR at doing something
They are excellent at planning fun parties.


Tom is pretty good at getting on your nerves.
Jack is brilliant at telling jokes.

bad / hopeless at something OR at doing something
Unfortunately, I'm hopeless at being on time.
Jack is really bad at keeping his promises. 

At / By

Use the following adjectives followed by 'at' or 'by'. Each group of adjectives have the same or related meanings.

Use the verb 'to be' with these expressions.

amazed / astonished / shocked / surprised at OR by something
I was amazed at  his stamina.
He's astonished at her good humor. 
The teacher was surprised by / at the student's question. 

For

Use the following adjectives followed by 'for'. Each group of adjectives have the same or related meanings. Use the verb 'to be' with these expressions.

angry with someone for something

I'm really angry with John for his total lack of responsibility.
He's angry at his friend for cheating on the test.

famous for something

She's famous for her watercolor paintings.
Would you really like to be famous for that?

responsible for something

You'll have to speak to John, he's responsible for customer complaints.
Tim is responsible for new client accounts. 

sorry for doing something

He says he's sorry for shouting at you.
Jason is sorry for making a mistake. 

(to feel or be) sorry for someone

I really feel sorry for Pam.
He is sorry for her troubles. 

From

Use the following adjective followed by 'from'.

different from someone / something

That's  different story from what I heard. 
His photographs are very different from his paintings.

Test Your Understanding

Now that you have studied these adjective preposition formulas, try the follow-up quiz to test your understanding.

Provide a preposition to fill in the gaps.

  1. Tom is really angry _____ having lost in football yesterday.
  2. Peter is famous _____ country pies at Tom's Deli and Grill.
  3. I'm afraid she's hopeless _____ typing. It takes her forever to finish a letter.
  4. Do you think your different _______ other people? 
  5. My friend told me he was responsible ______ the purchasing decisions at work.
  6. I'm really excited _____ the trip to Japan next week.
  7. Were you surprised ______ the storm last week?
  8. They're amazed _____ his ability to tell funny stories. 
  9. Jennifer said she was furious _____ her son's poor behavior. 
  10. Are you upset ______ anything? You don't look happy.

Answers

  1. at
  2. for
  3. at
  4. from
  5. for
  6. about
  7. at / by
  8. at
  9. about
  10. about

Continue testing your skills with this adjective + preposition quiz to learn more combinations in English. 

Study other prepositions: