Unit 48 Noun + preposition

Main points

* `Of’ can be used to add many different types of information, `with’ is used to specify a quality or possession.

* Some nouns are always followed by particular prepositions.

1 You can give more information about a noun by adding a prepositional phrase after it.
Four men on holiday were in the car.
A sound behind him made him turn.

2 You often use the preposition `of’ after a noun to add various kinds of information. For example, you can use `of’ to indicate:

* what something is made of or consists of
…a wall of stone.
A feeling of panic was rising in him.

* what the subject matter of speech, writing, or a picture is
She gave a brief account of her interview.
There was a picture of them both in the paper.

* what a person or thing belongs to or is connected with
She was the daughter of the village priest.
The boys sat on the floor of the living room.

* what qualities a person or thing has
She was a woman of energy and ambition.
They faced problems of great complexity.

3 After nouns referring to actions, you use `of’ to indicate the subject or object of the action.
…the arrival of the police.
…the destruction of their city.

After nouns referring to people who perform an action, you use `of’ to say what the action involves or is aimed at.
…supporters of the hunger strike.
…a student of English.

Note that you often use two nouns, rather than a noun and a prepositional phrase. For example, you say `bank robbers’, not `robbers of the bank’.

4 After nouns referring to measurement, you use `of’ to give the exact figure.
…an average annual temperature of 20 degrees.
…a speed of 25 kilometres an hour.

You can use `of’ after a noun to give someone’s age.
Jonathan was a child of seven when it happened.

5 You use `with’ after a noun to say that a person or thing has a particular quality, feature, or possession.
…a girl with red hair.
…the man with the gun.

Note that you use `in’ after a noun to say what someone is wearing.
…a grey-haired man in a raincoat.
…the man in dark glasses.

6 Some nouns are usually followed by a particular preposition. Here are some examples of:

* nouns followed by `to’

alternative, answer, approach, attitude, introduction, invitation, reaction, reference, resistance, return

This was my first real introduction to Africa.

* nouns followed by `for’

admiration, desire, dislike, need, reason, respect, responsibility, search, substitute, taste, thirst

Their need for money is growing fast.

* nouns followed by `on’


She had a dreadful effect on me.

* nouns followed by `with’ or `between’


His illness had some connection with his diet.

* nouns followed by `in’


They demanded a large increase in wages.