Prepositions after particular words and expressions

Certain words and expressions are followed by particular prepositions. Here is a list of the most common combinations.

Insist on

She insisted on paying for the drinks.

Interested in

He was always interested in politics.

Kind to

People have always been kind to me.

Lacking in

She is lacking in tact.

Laugh at

The little girl laughed at the poor beggar.

Laugh about

We will all laugh about this one day.

Listen to

Why don’t you listen to me?

Look at

What are you looking at?

Look for (= try to find)

I am looking for my keys.

Marriage to

Her marriage to James didn’t last very long.

Nice to

She is nice to everybody.

Operate on (a patient)

They operated on her yesterday evening.

Pay for (something that is bought)

Will you pay for the drinks?

Polite to

You weren’t polite to me last night.

Prevent somebody from doing something

She prevented me from entering her room.

Reason for

Nobody knows the reason for the accident.

Rude to

She was pretty rude to me last night.

Run into (= meet)

I ran into James at the library this morning.

Shocked at / by

I was shocked at / by the news of her death.


Sorry about something that has happened

I am sorry about your accident.

Sorry for / about something that one has done

I am sorry for / about interrupting you.

Sorry for a person

I really feel sorry for her.