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The following notes come from a student practice session on writing improvement. Includes samples of student writing and teacher comments (in italics).

Idiomatic Adjective and Preposition Combinations


Teacher Samples


Note: The adjective needs to take a specific preposition. Learn the combinations as they are always used.

I am aware of the big dog.

I am aware of being hurt.

I am aware of her character.

This is often used when the speaker or writer believes that another person does not think that you are aware of something.

fond of

I am fond of walking my dog because it gives me lots of exercise.

Walking my dog is something I do every day.

The phrase “walking my dog” acts as a noun.

I am fond of blue because it’s my favourite colour.

I am fond of playing golf on weekdays, for it is much too busy on the weekends.

FANBOYS is an acronym For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. These are all coordinating conjunctions. They will join sentences together.

I am fond of swimming because it is a good exercise

Remember that we can make a noun (a gerund) from most verbs we use. This noun can then be used as a subject or object in a sentence.

accustomed (used to or familiar)

I was accustomed to wearing a uniform because I was a soldier in 1965.

We are looking at adjectives that must take a certain preposition and that is why it can confuse us about the infinitive form.

He accustoms himself to going to school every day.

You may use “accustom” as a verb, but it is not so commonly used as the adjective form. Learn the adjective form and you have something useful for writing.

I was accustomed to visiting my neighbours without an appointment, but, here in Canada, it is not the custom.

I am not accustomed to men and women shaking hands.

My father was accustomed to reading his newspaper after dinner and having my mother clean the kitchen. Now, there is a new custom in my parent’s house: my father helps clean the kitchen, too.

lacking in

Vancouver is lacking in manufacturing industries.

Vancouver is lacking in ________ OR Vancouver has a lack of

There is a lack of manufacturing industries in Vancouver.

He has a lack of courage.

He is lacking in courage.

Vancouver is lacking in warm relationships because people are so rushed.

delighted by/with

I am delighted by my new baby nephew.

I am delighted with my new iPod.

expert in

He is an expert in grammar.

He is an expert in mathematics.

grateful to

I am grateful to him for all his compliments.

I am grateful to Canada for allowing me to immigrate.

I am grateful to my father for all his advice.

I am grateful to Brad for his teaching today.

More Tutorials

Idiomatic Adjective and Preposition Combinations

Idiomatic Verb and Preposition Combinations

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Making Sentences Longer 2


Writing about the Rain

Writing about a Person

Writing about Lunch

Writing about Snow

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Food Words

Weather Words