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Eight English Verbs that You Get Confused About

You probably get confused about what verbs have a preposition in English and which ones don’t. So here's a quick look at five verbs that have prepositions and three that don't.



You probably get confused about what verbs have a preposition in English and which ones don’t. So here's a quick look at five verbs that have prepositions and three that don't.



1. Think about


Example: Let’s think about that for a few minutes before we act.


You can also add the preposition of after think. For example, I think of the days I lived in California. In this case, there is no difference between think about and think of.


2. Listen to


Example: Have you listened to the latest true-crime podcast yet?


We always add the preposition to after listen.


3. Count on


Example: You can count on the Finance department to make the change to the contract.


We always add the preposition on after count. Count on is phrasal verb; it means to rely on (another phrasal verb).


To count (something) does not have a preposition after it. For instance: She counts the money to deposit at the bank.


4. Worry about


Example: I worry about whether or not we have enough money.


We add the preposition about to the verb worry when we are talking about things that preoccupy us. You can also worry about someone.


For instance: He worries about his teenage son commuting to school because he drives too fast.


5. Look for


Example: Be sure to look for pasta at the store.


In this case, the phrasal verb look for is a synonym for search. However, in American English, we use look for more than we use search.



Now let's look at the verbs that do not have any prepositions after them.



6. Remember


Example: Do you remember that guy in Accounting who we used to work with?


Remember is a different verb from remind.


Remind is to let someone know for the second time, or more, to do something. For instance, I have reminded you three times already to take the trash out.


Remember is when you have a memory that you think of. So in the example above, they are thinking of a memory of a former coworker of theirs.


7. Help


Example: Let’s help her get an Uber.


The pronoun her, in this case, is the direct object, so there is no preposition, like to, after help.


8. Trust


Example: Trust me, I know what I’m doing.


When a person is the direct object after trust, you do not need a preposition after trust.


However, if you are talking about a thing or trait and not an actual person, then you need to add the preposition in.


For instance: Trust in her abilities to lead the workshop; she knows what to do.




Join my private Facebook group Business English All-Stars to practice with fellow English learners and native English speakers.

 

Jackie Donaldson is the founder and director of Amidon Studios Language Studies. She started Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru for six years. She's taught students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, baking, and exploring the globe.


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