English Grammar Guide

Verb and Preposition Collocations

Many verbs and verbal expressions colocate with specific prepositions before their object. Here are some of the more common collocations.


  • to wait for           (He is waiting for the bus.)

  • to look for           (I am looking for my telephone.)

  • to look at           (She is looking at a photo.)

  • to listen to           (They are listening to the radio.)

  • to pay for           (Your shoes are nice. How much did you pay for them?)

  • to ask for           (Remember to ask for a discount!)

  • to be happy with something           (She is very happy with the present you gave her.)

  • to be mad at (or with) someone           (You shouldn't have said she was stupid. She is mad with you!)

  • to depend on           (We might go to the beach tomorrow, but it depends on the weather.)

  • to be interested in           (He is very interested in biology.)

  • to thank (somebody) for           (Remember to thank your mother for cooking dinner!)

  • to be busy with           (I'm sorry, Paul is busy with a customer.)

  • to be responsible for         (The secretary is responsible for answering the telephones and speaking to visitors.)

  • to rely on              (I rely on my alarm clock to wake me up in the morning! Without it, I would never get out of bed.)