Verbs And Prepositions: On

Many English verbs are followed by a preposition. This is a list of common verbs which have the preposition “on”.

These verbs are organised into meaning groups to make them easier to remember. Verbs with similar meanings are often followed by the same preposition.

Verbs Meaning “Attention”

concentrate on = put all your attention on something
“I’m concentrating on my health this year.”
“Please be quiet – I need to concentrate on my work.”

focus on = highlight something or put your attention on something
“This report focuses on climate change.”
“Can we focus on the second page for now?”

Verbs Meaning “Improvement” or “Expansion”

base on = use something as a base for improvement / new edition
“The film is based on a book.”
“He based his design on drawings.”

experiment on = make an experiment with something
“We’re experimenting on old methods of preserving food to see if we can find a better way.”
“They’re campaigning against experimenting on animals.”

improve on = get better results
“He did well in his exam, but he’d like to improve on his scores.”

pride yourself on = feel proud that you have a particular quality
“She prides herself on her attention to detail.”

work on = try to improve or repair something
“They’re working on a new project.”
“He’s working on his IT skills.”

Verbs Meaning “Depending”

count on = when you know you can depend on someone else
“You can always count on her in an emergency.”

depend on = when you know someone will help
“You shouldn’t always depend on your parents to give you money!”

reckon on = when you make plans based on something else happening
“The organisers are reckoning on thousands of people attending the music festival. That’s why they’re providing so many food tents.”

rely on = when you depend on someone else’s help
“I’m relying on you to support me in the meeting.”

Verbs Meaning “Deciding”

agree on = come to an agreement
“They finally agreed on the price.”

base on – use information to support an opinion
“They based their decision on a number of factors.”

decide on = choose someone / something after thinking carefully
“We decided on a buffet for the reception.”

impose on = force someone to accept something
“The government imposed lockdown on the whole country.”
“He always tries to impose his political views on me.”

impress on = make someone understand the value of something
“My parents always impressed on me the value of hard work.”

insist on = demand something
“They insisted on getting a discount.”

Verbs Meaning “Responding”

blame something on = saying someone else is responsible
“He blamed the mistake on his employee.”

comment on = say something about
“I don’t want to comment on what she said.”

compliment on = give praise to someone for something
“He complimented me on my good taste!”

congratulate on = say “well done” for something
“I’d like to congratulate you on your new job!”

elaborate on = give further details
“He didn’t elaborate on his comments.”

expand on – give more details
“Can you expand on your summary?”

Verbs Meaning “Influence”

play on – manipulate people’s feelings
“I’ve seen a lot of ads that play on our fear of missing out.”

prey on = get something unfairly
“This type of scammer preys on vulnerable women.”

work on = try to influence someone
“I’m working on my boss to give me an extra day’s holiday.”


It’s easier to learn phrases (like verbs + prepositions) than individual words. Phrases help you to speak English without hesitating or translating. When you join the English Fluency Club, you get more than 650 phrases to speak fluently and confidently.

Verbs And Prepositions: On
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