Skip navigation

Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Lesson 11. Verbs and Prepositions (Basic, A Level):
smile, stare, prefer, recover, translate, turn, waste

  Email this page

Note. This lesson has examples using the present and past tenses.

Back to the list

• smile, smile at

When people are happy or friendly, they smile.

People smile at someone or something.

Examples: smile / smile on

  • Jeremy is always very serious. He almost never smiles.
  • The child was smiling at his parents.
  • Let’s take a photo. Smile at the camera.

• stare, stare at

When you look at people or things for a long time, paying attention to them, you are staring.

In many cultures, you make people uncomfortable if you stare at them.

Examples: stare / stare at

  • Stop staring. It’s making me uncomfortable.
  • Why are you staring at me? Did I say something wrong?
  • While I was talking, he was staring at his computer screen.

• prefer, prefer to

When you like some people or things more than other people or things, you prefer them.

You prefer one person or thing to another person or thing.

Examples: prefer / prefer to

  • Which do you prefer: a small town or a big city?
  • I prefer reading a book to doing textbook exercises.
  • I prefer big cities to small towns.
  • Anna prefers oranges to apples.

• recover, recover from

When you are sick but getting better, you are recovering.

After a successful surgery, your doctor can tell you to recover at home.

You recover from being sick. You can also recover from difficult situations.

Examples: recover

  • John was in the hospital, but he is recovering at home now.
  • Ann was hurt in the accident, but she is expected to recover.
  • The economy is finally recovering.

Examples: recover from

  • John is recovering from his operation.
  • Ann was in a car accident. She won’t go to work until she recovers from her injuries.
  • It can be difficult to recover from the loss of a family member.

• translate, translate as, from, into

Pronunciation note. The verb ”translate” has different pronunciations: . It can have a stress on the second syllable or on the first syllable. “Trans” can be pronounced with an S or a Z sound (”trance" or “trans").

To translate is to change words or sentences from one language to another. For example, you can translate from English into your native language.

The German word “bitte” translates as “please” in English.

To translate can also mean that something has a particular result, or something results into something else (for example, a decision translates into a success).

Examples: translate / translate as

  • Some expressions are difficult to translate.
  • I don’t understand this word. Can you translate it for me?
  • The Italian ”ciao” translates as both “hello” and “goodbye.”
  • Does “bonjour” translate as “hello” in English?

Examples: translate into

  • Some expressions are difficult to translate into English.
  • I don’t understand this word. Can you translate it into English for me?
  • Unfortunately, his hard work is not translating into good results.

Examples: translate from

  • They translated that book from French.
  • His job is to translate articles from English into Greek.
  • How do you translate this from English into Indonesian?

• turn, turn into, turn to

“To turn” has many meanings. It can simply mean to move around or to make something change to a different position. For example, you can turn the pages in a book; you turn vegetables into a delicious soup.

It can also mean to change from one state or position to another. For example, water turns into ice when it is cold.

To turn to someone for help means you go to that person to ask for help.

Examples: turn into

  • The discussion was friendly at first, but it soon turned into an angry argument.
  • You can turn this couch into a bed when you have guests.
  • They are going to turn this book into a movie.

Examples: turn to (someone)

  • Children want to be independent, but they always turn to adults for help.
  • Many students turn to the internet when they are doing their homework.
  • During difficult times, it is good to be able to turn to friends for emotional support.

• waste, waste on

You waste something when you use it in a way that you lose part of it. For example, if you cannot eat all the food you get and you throw it out, you are wasting food.

You can waste time or money on something that will not give you good results. You should be using your time or money on something more productive.

Examples: waste
  • Why do you keep asking him for help? You're wasting your time.
  • I think I wasted $9.99 on this junk. It doesn’t work!
  • Turn the faucet off. You are just wasting water.

Examples: waste on

  • She regretted wasting time on a movie she did not like at all.
  • I wasted my money on these books that I’ve never read.
  • They wasted a lot of energy on an argument that no one could win.

Assess Your Learning

Practice 1. Fill in the blanks using the correct prepositions after the verbs in this lesson.

Practice 2. Complete sentences using the verbs and prepositions in this lesson.

Congratulations on completing this lesson!

Card image cap

Thanks to our supporters!

This material has been made possible by supporters like you. Learn how you can support us.

Card image cap

“What should I learn next?”

Check other lessons about prepositions after verbs or use the navigation buttons to choose another skill or another lesson in this skill.

 Thank you for Supporting Snap Language

Snap Language supporters make the creation of these materials possible.

Learn how you can support our work, get perks, and help us continue creating high-quality materials.

You can support us by simply white-listing this site.