Unit 47 Adjective + preposition

Main points

* Some adjectives used after link verbs can be used alone or followed by a prepositional phrase.

* Some adjectives must be followed by particular prepositions.

* Some adjectives can be followed by different prepositions to introduce different types of information.

1 When you use an adjective after a link verb, you can often use the adjective on its own or followed by a prepositional phrase.
See Unit 33 for other patterns.

He was afraid.
He was afraid of his enemies.

2 Some adjectives cannot be used alone after a link verb. If they are followed by a prepositional phrase, it must have a particular preposition:

aware of, accustomed to, unaware of, unaccustomed to, fond of, used to

I’ve always been terribly fond of you.
He is unaccustomed to the heat.

3 Some adjectives can be used alone, or followed by a particular preposition:

* used alone, or with `of’ to specify the cause of a feeling

afraid, ashamed, convinced, critical, envious, frightened, jealous, proud, scared, suspicious, terrified, tired

They may feel jealous of your success.
I was terrified of her.

* used alone, or with `of’ to specify the person who has a quality

brave, careless, clever, generous, good, intelligent, kind, nice, polite, sensible, silly, stupid, thoughtful, unkind, unreasonable, wrong

That was clever of you!
I turned the job down, which was stupid of me.

* used alone or used with `to’, usually referring to:

similarity:close equal identical related similar
marriage:married engaged
loyalty:dedicated devoted loyal
rank:junior senior

My problems are very similar to yours.
He was dedicated to his job.

* used alone, or followed by `with’ to specify the cause of a feeling

bored, content, displeased, dissatisfied, impatient, impressed, pleased, satisfied

I could never be bored with football.
He was pleased with her.

* used alone, or with `at’, usually referring to:

strong reactions:alarmed amazed astonished shocked surprised
ability:bad excellent good hopeless useless

He was shocked at the hatred they had known.
She had always been good at languages.

* used alone, or with `for’ to specify the person or thing that a quality relates to

common, difficult, easy, essential, important, necessary, possible, unnecessary, unusual, usual

It’s difficult for young people on their own.
It was unusual for them to go away at the weekend.

4 Some adjectives can be used alone, or used with different prepositions.

* used alone, with an impersonal subject and `of’ and the subject of the action, or with a personal subject and `to’ and the object of the action.

cruel, friendly, generous, good, kind, mean, nasty, nice, polite, rude, unfriendly, unkind

It was rude of him to leave so suddenly.
She was rude to him for no reason.

* used alone, with `about’ to specify a thing or `with’ to specify a person

angry, annoyed, delighted, disappointed, fed up, furious, happy, upset

She was still angry about the result.
They’re getting pretty fed up with him.