Of - English Preposition

Prepositions - Lesson #3

We can use the preposition "of" in a few different ways. In this lesson, we will cover all of the different ways that we use the preposition "of". Plus, we will study the most common adjectives and verbs that are often used with "of".

First, let's study the different ways that we use "of".

1. Use "of" to show belonging or relating to somebody.
  • Kathy is a friend of mine.
  • They are coworkers of her.
  • What is the job of the product manager?
2. Use "of" to show that something is related or is a part of something else.
  • She is a valuable member of our company.
  • This is the cover of the book.
  • What is the name of the restaurant?
3. Use "of" to show that something is showing, including, or connected to something.
  • This is a photo of my family.
  • This is a book of poems.
  • This is a map of the world.
3. We can use "of" to show a background or residence.
  • He is a man of English descent.
  • The people of Russia are strong.
  • The citizens of this city demand change.
4. Use "of" with measurements and expressions with numbers (age, time, numbers, etc.)
  • There was an increase of 20% in sales last year.
  • She was a woman of 40 when she passed away.
  • We bought 2 kilos of carrots.
  • It happened at the time of the last Ice Age.
5. Use "of" to show that something belongs to a particular group.
  • Some of the boys went to the party.
  • She gave presents to some of her friends.
  • We were able to solve a few of the problems.
6. Use "of" to show location. We usually this after a direction word.
  • My home is north of the river.
  • America is located south of Canada.
  • The bank is to the right of the pharmacy.
7. We can use "of" to give an opinion of another person's behavior.
  • That was nice of him to help us.
  • It was sweet of her to call.
  • It was rude of him to do that.
7. We can use "of" after certain adjectives, verbs, and nouns.
  • It was nice of you to come.
  • I can't think of a solution.
  • She has a big fear of spiders.
Now, let's look at the most common adjectives and verbs that are often used with "of".

Verb + of

take care ofdream ofwouldn't dream of
hear ofthink ofremind (somebody) of
complain ofwarn (somebody) ofaccuse (somebody) of
suspect (somebody) ofapprove ofdisapprove of
die ofconsist of

Note: Remember that different prepositions change the meaning. For example, "think about" and "think of" have different meanings. "Think of" is used when a thought or memory comes to your head. "Think about" is when you consider an idea for a period of time.
  • My sister took care of me when I was sick.
  • I dream of quitting my job.
  • He wouldn't dream of telling his boss how he really feels.
  • I have never heard of him.
  • I can't think of his name.
  • She reminds me of my sister.
  • He complained of back pain.
  • They warned us of the approaching storm.
  • He was accused of stealing a car, but he denied it.
  • She is suspected of murder, but right now the police cannot prove it.
  • My mother doesn't approve of my job.
  • The citizens disapprove of the government's performance.
  • My dog died of old age.
  • The band consists of 3 men and 2 women.
Adjective + of

nice of (somebody) tokind of (somebody) topolite of (somebody) to
rude of (somebody) togenerous of (somebody) togood of (somebody) to
afraid of frightened ofterrified of
scared ofproud offond of
ashamed ofjealous ofsuspicious of
critical oftolerant ofaware of
conscious offull ofshort of
capable ofincapable oftypical of
tired ofsick ofsick and tired of
certain ofsure of
  • That was nice of her to come.
  • It was kind of him to help us. He didn't have to do that.
  • It was polite of her offer to help.
  • It was rude of him to hang up the phone without saying goodbye.
  • It was generous of her to donate to the charity.
  • It was good of you to volunteer.
  • I am afraid of heights.
  • She is frightened of clowns.
  • They are terrified of failure.
  • He is scared of dogs.
  • My parents are proud of me.
  • I am fond of you.
  • My family is ashamed of me.
  • I am jealous of him.
  • They don't know me, so they are suspicious of me.
  • He is too critical of his coworkers.
  • She is not tolerant of other people.
  • I was not aware of that.
  • I don't think she was conscious of what she did.
  • It is full of holes.
  • We are short of time.
  • I am capable of fixing the car.
  • They are incapable of getting along.
  • That is typical of him. It is nothing unusual.
  • I am tired of my job.
  • She is sick of doing everything for her family.
  • He is sick and tired of getting up early every day.
  • I am certain of it.
  • She is sure of her answer.
Prepositions are one of the hardest things for people who are learning English to master. But you should not worry about prepositions too much. Most times, if you make a mistake with a preposition, the other person can still understand what you are saying. However, if you want to be an excellent or fluent English speaker, then you must know how to use prepositions correctly. It will take time to master English prepositions, but if you study these lessons and come back to review them often, then you will gain a better understanding of how and when to use each English preposition.