Prepositional Verbs


Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Prepositional Verbs”, in order for you to:

  • see prepositional verbs examples
  • differentiate prepositional verbs vs phrasal verbs
  • practise through prepositional verbs exercises
  • download the prepositional verbs pdf to learn more examples


Video Script:

Hello and welcome to this video entitled: Prepositional verbs.

Prepositional verbs are also known as verbs + preposition.

They are very different to phrasal verbs.

Why are they different?

Well a prepositional verb has a grammatical preposition.

This means that the preposition is there to introduce the direct object and is not there to alter the meaning of the main verb.

In addition, prepositional verbs are inseparable.

You can not say:

What do you excel?

You need the preposition to understand the sentence.

What do you excel at?


What did you apologise for?

and so on.

So they are inseparable.

Finally, it is essential to learn the combinations.

The combinations stem from common usage.

There aren’t any clear rules that govern the use of prepositional verbs.

In some cases, a verb can work with several prepositions, one, two or three different prepositions and have the same meaning.

For example,

You can talk/speak about something


You can talk/speak of something

The meaning is the similar.

the meaning is really identical in fact and others like FIGHT can be followed by different prepositions and give a completely different meaning to the sentence.

For example,

They fight against abuse.

We are therefore in a negative context

They fight against something


They fight for freedom.

This is a positive context

Then we have this verb here: “arrive” which is also quite peculiar: “arrive at” or “arrive in”

Never “arrives TO”*

I travel to…

I walk to…

However, ARRIVE can not be followed by TO when we’re talking about location or changing location, you say: to arrive at the airport.

to arrive in London

If you hesitate between AT or IN,

I recommend you watch the video on prepositions.

Otherwise, I highlighted some tricky words here mainly because of their spelling. This is commonly misspelled word.

to separate

it’s not an -E, it’s an -A

and otherwise…


I’ve underlined that also.

Because we can say:

“You trust someone ∅”

But “trust someone with”

When you introduce an object you must use a preposition


to object

Here I’ve circled “OBJECT”

because it is said “to Object” (accented on the last syllable)

and not “To OBject”* (accented on the first syllable)

“OBject” (accented on the first syllable) is a name

and “To ObJECT” (accented on the last syllable) is a verb.

If you do not understand why

you are invited to watch the video on stress patterns

it is quite revealing

These are also common mistakes

“TO DEPEND” works only “ON”

“It depends ON the weather”


“What are you listening TO?”

“I Listened TO a radio program”

or “show TV”


Do not forget that they are inseparable and that they need prepositions.

Otherwise, I think it’s about just learning everything off by heart and getting plenty of practice.

Thank you for watching!

And good luck with the interactive exercises.


Grammar Quiz:


Keywords listed in English:

  • prepositional verb
  • grammatical preposition
  • direct object
  • main verb
  • inseparable
  • phrasal verbs

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