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Verb + preposition 1 to and at

C чего начать изучение английского?
√ Verb + preposition 1 to and at.
√ Verb + at.
√ Verb + at






Talk / speak TO somebody (with is also possible but less usual)
— Who was that man you were talking to?

Listen TO ...
— We spent the evening listening to music, (not listening music) apologise TO somebody (for...)
— They apologised to me for what happened. (not They apologised me)

 
Explain something TO somebody.
— Can you explain this word to me? (not explain me this word) explain / describe (to somebody) what/how/why ...
— I explained to them why I was worried. (not I explained them)
— Let me describe to you what I saw. (not Let me describe you)

We do not use to with these verbs: phone / call / email / text somebody
— I called the airline to cancel my flight. (not called to the airline) but write (a letter) to somebody answer somebody/something
— He refused to answer my question. (not answer to my question) but

Reply to an email / a letter etc.

Ask somebody

— Can I ask you a question? (not ask to you)

 Thank somebody (for something)
 — He thanked me for helping him. (not He thanked to me)

Verb + at
Look / stare / glance AT ... , have a look / take a look AT ...
— Why are you looking at me like that?

Laugh AT ...
— I look stupid with this haircut. Everybody will laugh at me.

Aim / point (something) AT ..., shoot / fire (a gun) AT ...
— Don't point that knife at me. It's dangerous.
— We saw someone with a gun shooting at birds, but he didn't hit any.

Some verbs can be followed by at or to, with a difference in meaning. For example:
Shout AT somebody (when you are angry)
— He got very angry and started shouting at me.

Shout TO somebody (so that they can hear you)
— He shouted to me from the other side of the street,

 

Throw something AT somebody/something (in order to hit them)
— Somebody threw an egg at the minister.

Throw something TO somebody (for somebody to catch)
— Lisa shouted ‘Catch!' and threw the keys to me from the window.




 
Exercises


Which is correct?
1 a Can you explain this word to me?
  b Can you explain me this word?

2 a I got angry with Mark. Afterwards, I apologised to him.
  b I got angry with Mark. Afterwards I apologised him.

3 a Amy won't be able to help you. There's no point in asking to her
  b Amy won’t be able to help you. There’s no point in asking her

4 a I need somebody to explain me what I have to do.
  b I need somebody to explain to me what I have to do.

5 a They didn’t understand the system, so I explained it to them.
  b They didn’t understand the system, so I explained it them

6 a I like to sit on the beach and listen to the sound of the sea
  b I like to sit on the beach and listen the sound of the sea

7 a I asked them to describe me exactly what happened.
  b I asked them to describe to me exactly what happened.

8 a We’d better phone the restaurant to reserve a table.
  b We’d better phone to the restaurant to reserve a table.

9 a It was a difficult question. I couldn’t answer to it
  b It was a difficult question. I couldn’t answer it.

1O a I explained everybody the reasons for my decision.
  b I explained to everybody the reasons for my decision

11 a I thanked everybody for all the help they had given me.
  b I thanked to everybody for all the help they had given me. 

12 a My friend texted to me to let me know she was going to be late 
    b My friend texted me to let me know she was going to be late


Complete the sentences. Use these verbs + the correct preposition: 
explain laugh listen look point reply speak throw throw
1 I look stupid with this haircut. Everybody will laugh at me.

2 I don't understand this. Can you explain it to me?

3 Sue and Kevin had an argument and now they're refusing to _____each other.

4 Be careful with those scissors! Don't_____ them_____ me!

5 I'm not sure where we are. I'll have to_____ the map.

6 Please _____ me! I’ve got something important to tell you.

7 Don’t_____ stones_____ the birds! It's cruel.

8 If you don't want that sandwich,_____ it _____the birds. They'll eat it.

9 I tried to contact Tina, but she didn't _____ my emails.

Put in to or at.
1 They apologised ____to__me for what happened.

2 I glanced _____ my watch to see what time it was.

3 Please don't shout _____ me! Try to calm down.

4 I saw Sue as I was cycling along the road. I shouted _____ her, but she didn't hear me.

5 Don't listen _____ what he says. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

6 What's so funny? What are you laughing _____ ?

7 Could I have a look _____ your magazine, please?

8 I'm lonely. I need somebody to talk _____

9 She was so angry she threw a book _____ the wall.

10 The woman sitting opposite me on the train kept staring _____ me.

11 Can I speak _____ you a moment? There’s something I want to ask you.

Keys:
1
2 a
3 b
4 b
5 a
6 a
7 b
8 a
9 b
10 b
11 a
12 b

2
3 speak to
4 point (them) at
5 look at
6 listen to
7 throw (stones) at
8 throw (it) to
9 reply to

3
2 at
3 at
4 to
5 to
6 at
7 at
8 to
9 at
10 at
11 to