Hi, everyone! Thank you for staying with the Confused by Prepositions blog post series! After the first two blog posts (Part 1A and Part 1B), do you find prepositions less confusing and easy to learn? For the finale of this series, I will be discussing dependent prepositions!
You might ask what dependent prepositions are. Well, a dependent preposition is a preposition that comes immediately after a verb, noun or adjective. It depicts a specific meaning with the verb, noun or adjective that come before it and the pairing is fixed. For example, when we say ‘worry about’ someone, ‘about’ cannot be replaced by another preposition, such as ‘worry on’ which will be incorrect. Some common examples are cited below in the table:
ARE DEPENDENT PREPOSITIONS COMMONLY TESTED?
Yes, they are! Now, let’s take a look at a set of commonly tested verbs and their dependent prepositions during the examinations. For the dependent prepositions ‘comply with’, ‘ adhere to’, ‘abide by’ and ‘conform to’, can you spot one similarity and one difference amongst them?
The difference amongst them, however, lies in the different ‘verb and preposition’ combinations used to convey the same meaning. Therefore, it is important to take note that different fixed pairings of dependent prepositions can have the same meaning.
You might be curious and ask if there is a pattern in the pairing of such ‘verb and preposition’ combinations. While most of the pairings occurred randomly, there are some simple patterns that I will like to share with you today. Let’s get started!
COMMON PATTERNS IN
DEPENDENT PREPOSITION PAIRINGS
Patterns in Verb Dependent Preposition
1. Praise, Censure and Forgiveness
Verbs that convey the meanings of praise, censure and forgiveness are often paired with ‘for’.
2. Opinion and Interference
Verbs that convey the meanings of opinion and interference are often paired with ‘with’.
Patterns in Adjective Dependent Preposition
1. Feelings that are Reactions
Adjectives that depict feelings that are reactions, are often paired with ‘of’.
2. Happiness or Displeasure
Adjectives that express emotions of happiness or displeasure are often paired with ‘with’.
Adjectives that express an attitude are often paired with ‘about’.
Patterns in Noun Dependent Preposition
Nouns that express meanings of information are often paired with ‘on’.
2. Change in Numbers and Quantifiable Concepts/Things
Nouns that convey change are always paired with ‘in’.
Dependent prepositions are often used to set questions in the Vocabulary MCQ, Grammar Cloze, Editing and Comprehension Cloze sections of tests and examinations. As such, it is good to revise them often and where possible, learn them by hand.
Although it is impossible to categorise all the different types of dependent prepositions, I hope the patterns identified in today’s blog post will make the learning of how to use dependent prepositions less daunting for you! Do let us know in the comments.
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