Unit 57. Verb + preposition + -ing

Many verbs have the structure verb (V) + preposition (P) + object. For example, talk about:

  • We talked about the problem, (the problem is the object) If the object is another verb, it ends in -ing:

  • We talked about going to Japan. (V + P + -ing)

    Here are some more verbs that have the structure V + P + -ing:
    succeed in Has Tom succeeded in finding a job yet?
    feel like* I don’t feel like going out tonight.
    think about/of Are you thinking of/about buying a house?
    dream of I’ve always dreamed of being rich.
    approve/disapprove of She doesn’t approve of smoking.
    look forward to I’m looking forward to meeting her.
    insist on She insisted on buying me a cup of coffee.
    decide against We decided against moving to California.
    apologize for He apologized for keeping me waiting.

    *I feel like doing = I’d like to do, I’m in the mood to do.

    We say “apologize to someone for something”:

  • He apologized to me for keeping me waiting, (not he apologized me)

    With some of these verbs you can also use the structure verb + preposition + someone + -ing. For example:

  • We are all looking forward to Peter (or Peter’s) coming home.

  • She doesn’t approve of her son (or son’s) staying out late at night.

  • They insisted on me (or my) staying with them. (See also Unit 33.)

    These verbs have the structure verb + object + preposition + -ing:

    accuse They accused me of telling lies.
    suspect Did they suspect the man of being a spy?
    congratulate I congratulated Ann on passing the exam.
    prevent What prevented him from coming to the wedding?
    stop We stopped everyone from leaving the building.
    thank I thanked her for being so helpful.
    forgive Please forgive me for not writing to you.
    warn They warned us against buying the car.

    Some of these verbs are often used in the passive:

  • I was accused of telling lies.

  • Was the man suspected of being a spy?

  • We were warned against buying it.
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