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Getting Smarter through Language

Lesson 14. Verbs and Prepositions (Basic, A Level):
answer, provide, end, interest, point, steal

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

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• answer, answer for, answer to

You answer a question or you answer someone. You can also answer the phone when it rings and answer the door when someone knocks.

You answer for something you did. That means you take responsibility for what you did.

You also answer to someone when you must explain your actions. At work, you usually answer to your boss.

Examples: answer

  • Excuse me. My phone is ringing. I need to answer it.
  • I don’t know how to answer this question. Can you help me?
  • Your mother asked you a question. Aren’t you going to answer her.

Examples: answer for

  • You hurt a lot of people. Now you must answer for your bad decisions.
  • Politicians have to answer for its
  • He stole money from many people. Now he has to answer for his crime.

Examples: answer to

  • Politicians must answer to voters for their actions.
  • Mary answers to a very difficult boss.
  • Why should I explain myself to him? I don’t answer to him.

• end, end in, end with


Put an end to something. The word “end” is a noun here, but this expression is similar to just using “end” as a verb.

Examples: end

  • My class starts at 7:00 and ends at 9:30.
  • People thought the world would end in 2012 but, of course, that never happened.

Examples: end in

  • The movie ended in a big surprise.
  • The project ended in disaster!
  • If they do not fix their marriage, it may end in divorce.

Examples: end with

  • The course ends with a final examination.
  • A birthday party usually ends with cake.
  • He always ends his presentations with a funny story.

• interest, interest in

People and things interest you. That means you want to learn and know about them.

You can also interest people in someone or something. That means you make people want to do or have something.

Examples: interest

  • Politics doesn’t interest me.
  • I’m sure this movie will interest you. It’s about football, your favorite sport.

Examples: interest (someone) in (something)

  • May I interest you in a cup of coffee?
  • The teacher tried to interest his students in learning more.
  • The salesman showed us the new computer hoping to interest me in buying it.

• point, point at, point to

When you point, you use your finger or an object to show someone where to look.

You point at people or things.

You can also point to people or things. That means you show the direction.

To point to something can also mean that you have information that makes you think in a certain way. For example, you say that the information you have points to a certain conclusion.

Examples: point at

  • The child pointed at the toy he wanted.
  • Don’t point at me! I didn’t do it!
  • In some cultures, it is rude to point your finger at people.

Examples: point to

  • All the evidence points to John’s crimes.
  • He pointed the car to the north and started driving.
  • She pointed to a picture on the web page.

• provide, provide with

When you provide something, you make it available so other people can have it or use it.

You can also provide someone with what they want or need. You give it to them.

Examples: provide

  • This website provides all the information you need.
  • This school provides courses in many languages.
  • This bank provides good services.

Examples: provide with

  • This school does not provide you with textbooks. You must buy your own textbooks.
  • This store provides its customers with excellent service.
  • This hotel provides guests with complimentary breakfast.

• steal, steal from

When you steal something, you take it without permission in an illegal way.

You steal things from people or institutions.

Examples: steal / steal from

  • He stole a lot of money.
    He stole a lot of money from his company.
  • The thief stole a smartphone.
    The thief stole a smartphone from the woman.
  • The little boy stole his brother’s candy.
    The little boy stole candy from his brother.

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!

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