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Getting Smarter through Language

Lesson 3. Verbs and Prepositions (Basic, A1 Level):
add, agree, explain, focus, hope, spend, thank, wait

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add, add to

You add something “to” something else. That means you put something extra or something more into something else (usually to make it different, better, more, or different).

Examples: add to
  • I like to add milk to my coffee.
  • Let’s add more vegetables to the soup to make it nutritious.
  • I’d like to go to the meeting. Can you add my name to the guest list?

agree on, agree with, agree to do (something)

In general, you agree with someone or something on a topic.

If you and other people have the same idea or opinion, you agree with them.

If you and other people come to a decision or conclusion after a discussion or negotiation, you agree on the decision or conclusion. You have a consensus.

These examples mean people have come to a decision or conclusion. They have a consensus.

Examples: agree on
  • We must agree on the time for the meeting.
  • John and I can’t agree on the restaurant we want to go to.
  • The business men can’t agree on a final price for the product.
Examples: agree with

These examples mean that people share or don’t share the same idea or opinion about something.

  • She agrees with my decision to go to college.
  • I don’t agree with my teacher when he says that learning pronunciation is not important.
  • My parents want me to go to college. I agree with them, but I’m not ready to go.
Examples: agree to do something
  • Everyone agrees to follow the new schedule.
  • Do you agree to help me move this weekend?
  • The teacher does not agree to postpone the test until next week.

• explain (something) to (someone)

To explain something means to tell someone about something in a way that helps them understand it better. For example, you can explain the meaning of a word or how something works.

When you explain something, you can explain it to someone.

Examples: explain
  • I cannot explain how this works.
  • The teacher explains the lessons very well.
  • Please, explain yourself. (Explain your actions or behavior.)
Examples: explain to (someone)
  • Can you explain this math problem to me?
  • Please, explain to me why this preposition is wrong in this sentence.
  • A good teacher explains the lessons to all the students.

• focus on

To “focus” means to put all your attention on one thing without getting distracted by other things. For example, when you focus on a lesson, you only think about the lesson. All your attention is on the lesson.

  • Turn off the music please. I need to focus.
  • Stop playing with your smartphone. You need to focus.
  • Let’s stop talking. I can’t focus.
Examples: focus on
  • Turn off the music please. I need to focus on my homework.
  • Stop playing with your smartphone. You need to focus on the lesson.
  • Let’s stop talking. I can’t focus on my work.

hope, hope for

”To hope” means to want something good to happen in the future. You do not know what is going to happen, but you want or wish that it will be something good.

You can hope for something (usually something good).

You can hope that something happens.

You can hope to do something in the future.

Examples: hope for (something)
  • I hope for a good result.
  • I hope for good weather on my birthday.
  • He hopes for a good grade on his examination.
Examples: hope (to do)
  • She hopes to learn a lot in her English class.
  • We hope to travel to Paris one day.
  • I hope to finish my homework before the game starts.
Examples: hope (that) someone does something

In the examples below, you can use or omit “that.”

  • The students hope (that) there isn’t a lot of homework.
  • We hope (that) the rain stops soon.
  • I hope (that) my friends are there tomorrow.

spend, spend on

"To spend" means you use money or time on something.

When you spend something doing something, you use it in that activity. For example, you can spend your weekend cleaning your room.

Examples: spend on
  • I spend $300 a week on food.
  • Don’t spend all your money on new clothes. You need money for other things.
  • I need to spend a lot of time on a project this weekend.
Examples: spend (time) doing something
  • I spend my evenings watching TV.
  • We are going to spend a lot of time studying for the exam.
  • They will spend three days working on the project.

thank for

”To thank” someone means you express gratitude to someone for doing someone good for you.

When you thank someone, you can thank them for something. For example, you can thank them for their help.

Examples: thank for
  • I thank my mother for dinner every evening.
  • I can’t forget to thank Pedro for all his help last week.
  • Thank you for the beautiful flowers!

wait, wait for, wait on

"To wait" means to stay in the same place until something else happens or someone arrives.

You can wait for someone or for something.

You can also wait for something to happen.

Examples: wait for
  • The astronaut is waiting for the bus. (He’s waiting for the bus to arrive.)
  • She is waiting for her friend. (She’s waiting for her friend to arrive.)
  • The child is waiting for his turn (to play the game).

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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