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Getting Smarter through Language

Lesson 6. Verbs and prepositions (Basic, A1 Level):
aim, adjust, count, insist, introduce, protect, stand, succeed

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• aim

When you aim, you want to hit something. You point it in a specific direction.

You aim at something to hit it. You can aim an arrow at something. (See the picture.)


Examples: aim
  • You need to aim the camera carefully to take good photos.
  • Aim the telescope in that direction.
  • To be successful, you need to aim high.
Examples: aim at
  • Aim the camera at us and take a nice picture.
  • A good student always aims at being successful..
  • Don’t aim that at me. You’re going to hit me with it.
• adjust

To adjust something means that you make small changes to it so that things work better. For example, you can adjust your computer, adjust your hat on your head, or adjust the volume on your TV.

Sometimes things change or become different in your life. You need to adjust to those changes.

Examples: adjust
  • The children are going to a new school. I’m sure they will adjust soon.
  • The radio is too loud! Can you adjust the volume, please.
  • When I drive my brother’s car, I always need to adjust the seat so I can drive better.

Examples: adjust to
  • The children are trying to adjust to their new school.
  • When you move to a new country, you must adjust to many big and small differences.
  • When you walk outside during the day, your eyes must adjust to the bright sunlight.

• count

To count means to say the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.

Something also counts when you can accept it. For example, when you play soccer and score a goal with your hands, the goal does not count.

To count on someone or something means you can depend on that person or thing. For example, if you are having a difficult time and your friends and family are there to help you, you say you can count on them.

Examples: count on
  • Children count on their mothers and fathers for everything.
  • I count on my teacher to help me improve my English.
  • If John says he will help you with something, you can count on him. He’s a really good friend.
  • You can’t count on public transportation in this city. It’s terrible.

• insist

To insist means to say something is a certain way and you do not want other people to disagree with you.

When you want something because you believe it is the best way, you insist on it. For example, if you want to do things on your own, you can say you insist on doing things on your own; you insist on being independent.

Examples: insist / insist on
  • I really want you to come to the party. I insist.
  • The little girl insists on getting dressed on her own.
  • The students insisted on having no test on Friday. The teacher insisted on the test.

• introduce

To introduce someone means to let someone know that person by name. For example, when you meet someone you do not know, you introduce yourself.

You can introduce yourself to someone. You can also introduce someone to another person.

You also introduce something when you start using it for the first time. For example, little babies only drink milk, but later their parents introduce solid foods to them. Also, teachers can introduce a new idea to their students.

Examples: introduce / introduce to
  • Sometimes a solution introduces a new problem.
  • I want to introduce a new business idea to my boss.
  • Jack, I’d like to introduce you to Sonia.

• protect

Adults protect children. That means adults make sure that nothing bad happens to the children.

You protect someone from something bad.

Examples: protect / protect from
  • Vaccines protect you from getting sick.
  • Our houses protect us from the weather.
  • The police should protect the community from criminals.

• stand

To stand by someone means you defend that person.

You can also stand by something you said or promised. You stand by your word.

That means you say something and do not go back on your word later.


You also stand by your friends; that means you are there for them when they need you.

When you say, for example, the sign @ stands for “at,” you are saying what it means. For example, "USA" stands for “United States of America.”

Examples: stand by
Stand by: Being supportive
  • Karla always stands by her friends when they need help.
  • My family always stands by me during difficult times.
Stand by: Keeping your word
  • When James says he’s going to do something, you can count on him. He always stands by his word.
  • My boss always stands by his decisions.
Examples: stand for
  • A red rose stands for love.
  • This senator stands for love of country.
  • What do the initials J.F. K stand for?
    — They stand for “John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

• succeed

When you do what you want to do successfully, you succeed.

You can succeed in your studies. You can succeed in doing something important.

Examples: succeed / succeed in
  • John is happy because he is succeeding in his online business.
  • I am very happy today because I succeeded in my math course!
  • Students, please pay attention. You are succeeding in making me angry right 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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