Explanations » B2 Grammar Explanations » 50 common Noun + Preposition collocations
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  • 50 common Noun + Preposition collocations

    Some nouns often need a preposition, and we always use the same dependent prepositions for the same nouns. For example, when we use the word interest before a preposition, this preposition is always in. In the same way, we use the term contact with the preposition with, or we say room for:

    • I have no interest in what you are saying. 
    • I will be in contact with you soon.
    • We don’t have room for the sofa.

    These word combinations are called noun-preposition collocations, and knowing which preposition to use can be challenging. One thing that we can do is check if we know an adjective or verb that is related to a noun. If we know the preposition for that adjective or verb, then we know the preposition for the noun because it’s the same one:

    • Adjective: Joe had a successful career in the army.
    • Verb: He succeeded in fixing the tap.
    • Noun: I wished him success in his new job.

    However, this is certainly not always the case, and the best way to remember these combinations of words is to practice and regularly read and listen to English. When you read or hear something repeatedly, you’ll soon start to recognise what sounds right.

    In the grammar chart below, you can see some common noun + preposition collocations.

    Noun + Preposition Collocations chart for B2 level English grammar lesson. The chart includes common collocations for the prepositions with, for, in, on, to, of, about, and between.

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    *Some nouns that can be followed by more than one preposition depending on the context, therefore having different meanings. For example, when the noun argument is followed by the preposition with, it usually refers to a person. However, when it is followed by the preposition about, it refers to the topic of the argument.

    • John had an argument with Tom.
    • We had an argument about my study habits.

    *Some nouns can also be used with more than one similar preposition to have the same meaning.

    • I read an article about the war.
    • I read an article on climate change.

    Example sentences

    Noun + WITH

    • APPOINTMENT: I have an appointment with the doctor.
    • ARGUMENT: Sam had an argument with his sister.
    • CONTACT: They don’t have much contact with their father.
    • DIFFICULTY: Joe is having difficulty with his homework.
    • MATTER: What is the matter with Tom?
    • RELATIONSHIP: We have a good relationship with our father.
    • TROUBLE: Gary is in trouble with the teacher.

    Noun + FOR

    • CURE: Sadly, there is no cure for this disease.
    • DEMAND: The demand for oil has increased significantly.
    • NEED: There really is no need for these precautions.
    • RECIPE: You really must give me the recipe for this cake.
    • RESPECT: I have little respect for our new manager.
    • ROOM: We have room for one more person in the car.
    • USE: I have no use for a bicycle.

    Noun + IN

    • BELIEF: His belief in the kindness of others is admirable.
    • CHANGE: They’re concerned by the change in his behaviour.
    • DECREASE: There was a decrease in the number of students.
    • INCREASE: There has been a sharp increase in house prices.
    • INTEREST: He has always shown an interest in sailing.
    • RISE: There has been a rise in house prices.
    • SUCCESS: We’re happy about Tom’s success in his exams.

    Noun + ON

    • AGREEMENT: We came to an agreement on the subject.
    • ARTICLE: I read an interesting article on evolution.
    • BAN: There has been a ban on cars in the city centre.
    • DEBATE: I listened to a fascinating debate on gun control.
    • DECISION: We finally reached a decision on the project.
    • INFORMATION: We need some information on the client.
    • REPORT: Peter is writing a report on gun crime.

    Noun + TO

    • ADDICTION: His addiction to these pills is concerning.
    • ATTENTION: You must pay attention to the teacher.
    • INVITATION: He sent us an invitation to his wedding.
    • PROMISE: He made a promise to his parents.
    • REACTION: The patient had a severe reaction to the drugs.
    • SOLUTION: We hope to find a solution to this problem.
    • THREAT: Increasing temperatures pose a threat to wildlife.

    Noun + OF

    • ADVANTAGE: You must take advantage of this opportunity.
    • CAUSE: The cause of the explosion is not yet known.
    • CHANCE: He has little chance of passing the exam.
    • COST: The cost of living has risen in the past year.
    • LACK: The lack of rain has affected many farmers.
    • POSSIBILITY: There is a strong possibility of rain this afternoon.
    • PHOTO: He keeps a photo of his family in his wallet.

    Noun + ABOUT

    • ARGUMENT: Mum and I had an argument about homework.
    • ARTICLE: I recently read an article about Spanish history.
    • CONCERN: There was a lot of concern about the matter.
    • CONFUSION: There was confusion about the new regulations.
    • CONVERSATION: I overheard their conversation about the party.
    • DISCUSSION: We had an interesting discussion about the issue.
    • STORY: He told me a story about a prince and a frog.

    Noun + BETWEEN

    • BOND: The bond between Jeremy and his son is special.
    • CONNECTION: I missed my connection between the two flights.
    • DIFFERENCE: What’s the difference between the two models?
    • DISTANCE: What’s the distance between the two cities?
    • GAP: There were wide gaps between the floorboards.
    • LINK: The link between the two suspects is obvious.
    • RELATIONSHIP: The relationship between the two boys changed.