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Getting Smarter through Language

Lesson 8. Verbs and prepositions (Basic, A1 Level):
apologize, apply, comment, communicate, joke, laugh

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

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• apologize

To apologize is to say you are sorry. You can apologize to someone for making a mistake or for doing something bad.

Examples: apologize / apologize to someone
  • I embarrassed everyone. I need to apologize.
  • Don’t apologize to me. You must apologize to everyone else.
  • John is apologizing to Mary because he forgot about her birthday.
Examples: apologize to someone for something
  • I’d like to apologize to you for forgetting your birthday.
  • Are you going to apologize to your mother for being late?
  • John is taking Mary to a nice restaurant to apologize to her for forgetting about her birthday last week.

• apply

To apply means to use something for a certain purpose or reason. For example, you can apply a math rule to solve a problem or apply political pressure to get something done.

When a company has a job you would like to have, you can apply for the job. You do it in writing. You give them your name, tell them about your experience, answer questions, and so on.

You can also apply for documents. You apply for a passport, a visa, or permission to do something.

To apply yourself is an expression. When you apply yourself, you work hard and do what you need to do. For example, you can apply yourself to in a course or at work.

Examples: apply
  • You cut yourself! Apply pressure to the wound.
  • Sarah applies this cream to her face every night.
  • After the paint dries, we’ll apply another coat.

  • If you want to do well in this course, you will need to apply yourself.
  • John is applying himself to his French course so much because he wants to work in France next year.
Examples: apply for
  • Carla applied for a US visa. She is traveling to New York next month.
  • I’m going to apply for my dream job. I hope I get it.
  • John applied for a permit to add a garage to his house.

• comment

To comment means to express your opinion or ideas about something. You can comment on the news, on someone’s idea, on someone’s clothes, and so on.

You can also comment about something to someone.

Examples: comment / comment on, about
  • — What do you think?
    — I don’t want to comment.
  • I don’t want to comment on their decision. It’s their lives.
  • We were just commenting about your promotion. Congratulations!

• communicate

You communicate a message. You communicate a message to someone.

You communicate with someone about something.

Examples: communicate / communicate to, with, about
  • John and I communicate by email all the time.
  • How can I communicate this information to you? Should I call or email you?
  • The students are having a difficult time communicating with Professor Ecks. They want to communicate their problems to him.

• joke

To joke about people or things is to say something funny about them. It means you are not serious about it.

Sometimes you joke to make people laugh. Other times, you joke about people to make fun of them, which is not a very nice thing to do.

Examples: joke about
  • I’m not joking! That really happened.
  • When that happened, it was not funny at all. Now, I can joke about it.
  • — What are you laughing about?
    — We were just joking about how Jack can’t pronounce a word correctly.

• laugh

When you hear something funny, you laugh. You laugh about it.

You can laugh at something or someone. Laughing at someone can hurt their feelings or make them angry.

If that person is also laughing, you say you are laughing with them — not at them.

Examples: laugh about
  • — What are you laughing about?
    — I’m laughing about a story John is telling us.
  • Don’t laugh about that. It’s a serious situation.
Examples: laugh at
  • Young children do not like when you laugh at them.
  • The woman was upset because her husband was laughing at her when she made a mistake.
Examples: laugh with
  • I enjoy going out and laughing with my friends.
  • — I’m sorry for laughing, but I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing with you.
    — I know. It was embarrassing, but it really was funny.

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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