Preposition collocations with nouns and verbs

Prepositions cause a great deal of confusion. Most ESL students find it difficult to use them correctly.

One way of learning the correct use of prepositions is to look at several examples illustrating usage. In English, there are a large number of collocations. These are words which are often used together with other words.

Examples of collocation are given below.


The word comment takes the preposition ‘on’.

He commented on her lovely hair. (NOT He commented about her lovely hair.)


What is the reason for her unhappiness? (NOT What is the reason of her unhappiness?)

The word reason collocates with the preposition for.


The verb discuss does not take a preposition.

Let us discuss your problem. (NOT Let us discuss about your problem.)


The verb consider does not take any preposition.

You should consider every aspect of the situation. (NOT You should consider about every aspect of the situation.)


Incorrect: They were asked to participate the group discussion.

Correct: They were asked to participate in the group discussion.

The word participate collocates with the preposition ‘in’.


Incorrect: One must be able to adapt changing circumstances.

Correct: One must be able to adapt to changing circumstances.

The verb adapt takes the preposition ‘to’.


Incorrect: These protests show their dissatisfaction of the new rules.

Correct: These protests show their dissatisfaction with the new rules.

Dissatisfaction takes the preposition ‘over’.