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Lesson 5. Verbs and prepositions (Basic, A1 Level):
benefit, borrow, choose, decide, elaborate, lend, depend, worry

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• benefit, benefit from

When something helps you or has good effects on you, you benefit from it.

Examples: benefit
  • The new textbook will benefit students who are having difficulties.
  • These changes will benefit you.
  • The Snap Language website benefits English students around the world.

Examples: benefit from
  • Students who are having difficulties will benefit from the new textbook.
  • You will benefit from these changes.
  • Your speaking skills would benefit from a lot more practice.

• borrow, borrow from

If you do not have something you can borrow it. This means you will use it and give it back to someone.

You borrow things from people. You can also borrow money from a bank. In each case, the idea is that you must give it back.

Examples: borrow
  • May I borrow your pen for a second?
  • I hate that my brother borrows my clothes all the time.
  • I need to borrow some money to buy a new car.
Examples: borrow from
  • I need to borrow money from the bank to buy a new car.
  • I borrow clothes from my brother all the time.
  • In TV shows, people borrow sugar from their neighbors.

• choose, choose from, choose among

Sometimes you can decide if you want one particular person or thing. That means you must choose one.

In a restaurant, you choose from the menu. At a store, you may need to choose from different colors.

When you have option A and option B, you must choose between A and B.

When you have many options (A, B, C, D…), you must choose among them.

Examples: choose
  • This shirt comes in three colors. I don’t know which color to choose.
  • This exercise gives you three alternatives: a, b, and c. Choose the correct one.
  • All the dishes in this restaurant are delicious. It’s difficult to choose one.

Examples: choose from
  • At a restaurant, you must choose a dish from the menu.
  • In this exercise, choose the correct answer from alternatives a, b, and c.
  • You will work with one other student. Please choose a name from this list.
Examples: choose from, choose among
  • (On the airplane) You can choose between chicken and fish.
  • I can’t choose between the blue shirt and the white shirt.
  • You need to choose among these three courses. Which one would you like to take?
 Important! Compare these sentences:

You choose AorB.

You choose A, or you choose B. You do not need a preposition after “choose.”

You choose between A and B.

Together, A and B are the options. You choose from the group. You need the preposition “between” after “choose.” If you have more than two options, use “among” (You choose among A, B, C, and D).

It is also correct to say, “You can choose from among A, B, C, and D.

• decide, decide on

When you must choose from different options, but you must decide which option you want.

After thinking about your options, you decide on one option.

Examples: decide
  • The teacher will decide when the test will be.
  • John is trying to decide where he wants to go to college.
  • I need to decide which shirt I want.
Examples: decide on
  • The teacher will decide on the date for the test.
  • John is trying to decide on a college.
  • I like both the white and the blue shirt, but I think I’ll decide on the blue.

• depend, depend on

When you answer a question saying, “It depends,” it means that your answer will be different in different situations.

When you cannot decide because there are different answers in different situations, your decision depends on those situations.

You can also depend on someone or something. That means you need help and support from that someone or something.

Examples: depend on
different answers, different situation
  • I’ll buy the black or the brown shoes, but it depends on the price.
  • Sarah: Are we going to the beach?
    Peter: Well, it depends
    Sarah: It depends on what?
    Peter: It depends on the weather.
needing help and support
  • I don’t have a car, so I depend on public transportation.
  • Children depend on their parents. for everything.

• elaborate, elaborate on

If you say, “John is angry,” people may think you need to give them more information or more details. This means they want you to elaborate.

You can elaborate on a story, an answer, a plan, and so on.

Examples: elaborate
  • You say John is angry. Can you elaborate?
  • You don’t like this lesson. Please elaborate.
Examples: elaborate on
  • You say John is angry. Can you elaborate on that?
    Can you elaborate on what is happening?
  • You think this course is not very good. Please elaborate on your opinion.
  • Your answer is correct, but you need to elaborate on it.

• lend to

If people ask you if they can use your pen, you can lend them your pen or you can lend the pen to them.

Compare these sentences:

Lend John your pen.

Lend your pen to John.

Lend it to John.

Lend it to him.

Examples: lend to
  • I don’t like lending money to family or friends.
  • Could you lend your pen to me?
  • If you don’t have a laptop, I can lend one to you.

• worry, worry about

You worry when you think about problems. You think something bad may happen. You cannot stop thinking about it.

You worry about something specific.

You often say “to be worried about something,” too.

Examples: worry, worry about
  • Sarah: I need to go to the doctor, but I don’t have my car right now.
    Jack: Don’t worry. I can drive you there. (Don’t worry about it…)
  • Parents sometimes worry about their children.
  • People often worry about money.
  • You worry too much. What are you worried about now?

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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