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Getting Smarter through Language

Lesson 9. Verbs and prepositions (Basic, A1 Level):
accuse, base, complain, compliment, concentrate, shout

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

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• accuse

To accuse is to say that someone did something wrong. For example, you can accuse someone of a crime, ofincompetence, or of lying.

Examples: accuse of
  • — What are you accusing me of?
    — I’m not accusing you of doing anything. I just think your story doesn’t make sense.
  • They accused the cashier of stealing the money.
  • I told you what happened. Why are you accusing me of lying?

• base

You can use an idea, fact, or situation as the starting point to create a new idea or to make a decision. Then you say you base your idea or decision on that initial idea, fact, or situation.

This verb is used frequently as “based on.” You use that to explain the starting point of something else. For example, you often read something like this, “This movie is based on a true story” or “Based on the newspaper article, what happened to the senator?”

Examples: base on
  • You must base your decision on the facts.
  • This country’s economy is mostly based on agriculture.
  • The writer based this book on his own life.
Examples: based on
  • Based on what he told me, I believe he’s going to leave his job.
  • Based on the evidence that the police found, the man was arrested for theft.

• complain

You complain when you say you are not happy, frustrated, or not satisfied about someone or something.

You complain to someone about something or someone, expressing your dissatisfaction or frustration directly to that person.

You can also complain that someone is doing something you are not happy about, expressing your dissatisfaction or frustration indirectly.

Examples: complain, complain to / about
  • I’m going to complain to the restaurant manager about this terrible waiter.
  • My neighbor complained to my wife about our dog.
  • He complained that the dog is barking all night.

• compliment

You can tell someone that you like or admire someone or something for what they did, for their service, for how they look, and so on

You compliment people or things on their actions, service, appearance, and so on. You let them know that you admire their qualities.

Examples: compliment on
  • I want to compliment you on such a great job.
  • The teacher complimented his student on his hard work.
  • Many people on the internet are complimenting the restaurant on its great food and service.

• concentrate

To concentrate means you pay attention to something very carefully. When you concentrate, you do not let anything else distract you.

You concentrate on something or someone.

You can also concentrate something (like energy or effort) on something or someone by directing and focusing that energy or effort towards a specific target or goal.

Examples: concentrate, concentrate on
  • Be quiet please. I’m trying to concentrate.
  • I have no time for fun. I need to concentrate on my studies.
  • In the last few days, John is concentrating all his energy on his job.

• shout

To shout is to say something very loudly. Sometimes people shout because they are angry or excited.

When you shout at people, you are probably angry or excited. Usually, people do not like it when others shout at them.

You can shout to get someone’s attention because you want something from them. For example, you can shout for help.

When you shout to people, you want to get their attention. You shout in their direction. Maybe they are far from you, so you shout to them because you want them to hear you.

Examples: shout at
  • The mother was shouting at her children because they were not doing their homework.
  • The man was shouting at us because we were making too much noise.
  • He shouted at us to stop making so much noise.

Examples: shout for
  • When Mary heard some noise outside, she shouted for her husband.
  • The old man shouted for help when he fell in the park.
  • I needed help getting the box out of the car, so I shouted for the children.
Examples: shout to
  • The man shouted to his neighbor to tell him the garbage truck was coming.
  • The teacher shouted to the students that class was about to start.
  • The passenger shouted to the bus driver to stop so he would not miss the bus.

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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