Idiomatic expressions with of

April 4, 2014pdf

ESL students spend a lot of time memorizing prepositions and the words they go with. These expressions are purely idiomatic. That means there is no way we can explain why a particular word takes a particular preposition.

For example, we use the preposition ‘on’ with ‘dependent’ and ‘of’ with ‘independent’.

  • He is dependent on his parents. (NOT He is dependent of his parents.)

It is not easy to decide which preposition to use with which adjective. In addition, American usage sometimes differs from British usage.

Here is a list of adjectives that take the preposition of.

Accuse of

  • She accused me of stealing her purse.

Acquitted of

  • The man was acquitted of the charge.

Capable of

  • She is quite capable of handling the situation on her own.

Censorship of

  • The censorship of books and newspapers must be condemned.

Consist of

  • A complex sentence consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses.

Convince somebody of

  • They convinced him of the need to move into a bigger family.

Critical of

  • He is critical of everything that I do.

Deprive of

  • She was deprived of her rights; still, she didn’t complain.

Details of

  • Write now for details of our special offer.

Jealous of

  • He was jealous of the success of his wife and that was the main reason they parted ways.

Kind of

  • What kind of films do you prefer to watch?

Regardless of

  • The workers were asked to leave, regardless of their wishes.

Short of

  • I was short of cash so I didn’t go out.

Unmindful of

  • He was unmindful of the dangers he faced.
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