Prepositions used to introduce objects

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.