“About” and “For” with Adjectives

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The recent post on “excited for” got me thinking that a list of adjectives that take about and for might be useful.

eager for
happy for (as in I’m happy for you because you have succeeded.)
therapeutic for
unsuitable for

adamant about
enthusiastic about
exuberant about
exultant about
excited about
elated about
flippant about
guarded about
gullible about
happy about (as in I’m happy about my promotion.)
irate about
knowledgeable about
nosy about
overjoyed about
phobic about
relieved about
snobbish about
vague about

Here are some quotations from newspapers:

Sharks’ Evander Kane eager for 1st playoffs in 9th season

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone happy for Bills, but won’t delve into his odd exit from Buffalo.

Such an announcement is inappropriate. If the Captain determined the airplane was unsuitable for the flight, it is his or her responsibility and …

Quarry neighbors irate about dumping, water quality. Benton Township residents near the Rocky Ridge Development quarry are upset about …

Detroit Lions veteran players are excited about first-round draft pick Frank Ragnow. He took snaps at both center and left guard at rookie …

Kristin Higgins was adamant about not pushing “girly” stereotypes on her daughter, and painted her room in shades of green. Higgins later …

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10 thoughts on ““About” and “For” with Adjectives”

  1. Hi,

    Could you please include a post on verb, acting as Gerund/Participle.


  2. I was wondering if you could help clear up the meaning of the word factoid in everyday use? I was interrupted in a meeting after supposedly using the word incorrectly. So after a debate, we looked it up and were both correct. My interpretation followed the 2nd meaning of the definition according to Merriam-Webster and my colleague’s interpretation followed the 1st. But to me, they couldn’t seem to be more polar opposites?
    Main Entry: fac•toid
    Pronunciation: \ˈfak-ˌtȯid\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1973
    1 : an invented fact believed to be true because of its appearance in print
    2 : a briefly stated and usually trivial fact

  3. Hm…I never thought about it. Always did it by sound. What is the rule that is followed in knowing which to choose. Reckon I might as well know why I’m right.

  4. I’m with Lawrence Miller–I just know (from years of reading middling-to-good writers) which prepositions can be used with which adjectives. I think. . .

    Ranjeet Singh, while you are waiting for Maeve to do that, you might take a look at The English Club: . Although it is designed for those to whom English is a foreign language, I actually find it quite a useful place to go ferrret out the explanation behind usages I employ instinctively. They seem to have a fair bit to say about gerunds and participles, and the differences between them. . .

  5. Lawrence–glad you liked it. I finally found, on that site, an explanation of the third conditional (and, for that matter, I found out that it was CALLED the third conditional), the failure to use which is one of my all time pet peeves with modern users of English. I’ll have to take a look at what it has to say about adjecctives & prepositions. . .

  6. I’d never heard that term, either, but I don’t know what you mean about failure to use it; I’ve never noticed that. Except that many Americans say “if I would have (done such-and-such)” instead of “if I had …”, which makes no sense…

  7. Peter–agreed, most Americans can do the third conditional when it involves woulda-shoulda-coulda constructions. But they have abandoned it altogether when the auxiliary verb is might. When was the last time you heard someone say (or you read a recently written sentence that said) “If I had known that, I might have acted differently?” Virtually all modern American speakers and writers would render that thought “If I had known that, I may have acted differently.” Wrong, wrong, wrong.

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