Dependent prepositions (a.k.a.bound prepositions) are dependent upon certain words (or the words require a particular preposition). These prepositions have no independent meaning as the meaning is understood by the word/s to which they are bound. They are difficult to learn and are best learned as collocations (as set phrases).Some general rules exist:
Prepositions can follow verbs nouns or adjectives (ex. rely on, success in, keen on etc)
- - These prepositions always take an object
- (ex. rely on somebody, success in his exams, keen on riding horses)
- - Where the object is a verb – it is often in the …-ing form (gerund or verbial noun)
- (ex. They accused him of lying.)
- - With adjectives describing emotion then -ing form or infinitive with to is possible.
- (ex. They were angry at seeing animals mistreated / They were angry to see animals mistreated).
- - verb + preposition
- - noun + preposition
- - adjective + preposition
Similarly to phrasal verbs, dependent prepositions are complicated to learn. In
fact, phrasal verbs are actually a type of dependent preposition. In some future
newsletter issues, we will explore and breakdown the subject more as well as,
learn strategies to help you commit them to memory.