Prepositions are sometimes used to introduce objects. A few English verbs are normally followed by a direct object without a preposition. Common examples are: discuss, enter, reach, marry, resemble etc. However, many English verbs take a preposition before the object.
Common verbs that are followed by at + object are: glance, look, laugh, smile, stare, rejoice etc.
- She smiled at me. (NOT She smiled me.)
- Don’t laugh at the beggars. (NOT Don’t laugh the beggars.)
- The pretty girl glanced at her reflection.
- Why are you staring at me?
- Look at that.
When look is not followed by a direct object, it does not take the preposition at.
- Look. (NOT Look at.)
- Look at that car. (NOT Look that car.)
With mirror, we use the preposition in, not at.
- She looked in the mirror.
Verbs that take the preposition of
The verbs approve, consist, die and smell are usually followed by the preposition of.
- He didn’t approve of the plan.
- His dad became really angry when he came home smelling of alcohol.
- Lunch consisted of chicken soup and salad.
- Several people died of flu.
The verb remind is followed by indirect object + of + direct object.
- She reminds me of her mother.
The verbs dream and think can be followed by of or about.
- I am thinking of my holidays in the Swiss Alps.
- I am thinking of inviting her to my party.
Note that when we put a verb form after think or dream, it should be in the –ing form.
- I often dreamed of being rich when I was younger.
Verb + for + object
The following verbs take the preposition for: call, hope, look, wait, watch, wish etc.
- I hope for a raise this year.
- I am looking for the keys.
- I waited for her for several hours.
To watch for something is to pay attention so that you will see it when it arrives or becomes visible.
- Watch for the birds. They will eat the grains.
- If you wish for a promotion, you have to impress the manager.