Podcast #86 Prepositions with Adjectives (5)

Published in the category Grammar and Usage, Prepositions with Adjectives

generous to/with/of

The main meaning of generous is “giving” or “sharing.” Let’s start with the combinations generous to and generous with. A person is generous to other people or generous with other people. With this meaning, the phrase generous to is more common than generous with, but they are both equally acceptable.

He is generous to his family.

He is generous with his family.

You should try to be generous to strangers.

You should try to be generous with strangers.

She is generous to local charities.

She is generous with local charities.

 

The phrase generous with can also be used to describe the thing that is being given or shared.

The manager is generous with his praise.

I think we should be more generous with foreign aid.

She is always generous with her time.

James was very generous with his advice.

 

The phrase generous of names the person who is being generous. Usually generous of is followed by a verbal phrase beginning with to. Here’s an example: It was generous of him to buy new uniforms for the team. Listen again: It was generous of him to buy new uniforms for the team. The phrase generous of refers to something that is done in a warm and giving manner, something that is done with what is called a generous spirit.

It was generous of my brother to pay for everyone’s meal.

It was generous of Pamela to mention me in her speech.

It’s generous of him to share his insights with us.

It was generous of her to offer her help.


good to/for/at/with/of

When you are good to someone you treat them in a nice way.

My company is very good to its employees.

He’s not been very good to his wife.

Life has been good to me.

 

You can use good to followed by the infinitive form of a verb in a statement like It’s good to live near friends. Once again: It’s good to live near friends. Used this way, it’s good to or it was good to express a positive opinion about the action of the verb.

It’s good to live near friends.

It was good to see you last week.

It’s good to save money on a regular basis.

 

The phrase good for can indicate a positive contribution of some sort. Something can be good for a person’s physical or mental health. Something can be good for the world economy or even good for cleaning windows.

Daily exercise is good for you.

Too much homework is not good for young children.

This website is good for getting travel advice.

All this candy is not good for my weight.

 

The phrase good for can also indicate the length of time that something can be used.

The pills I got are good for one year.

This special price is good for two weeks.

 

The phrase Good for followed by a pronoun–for example, Good for you!— is an expression of approval and encouragement for something a person has accomplished.

You hear that someone you know has lost 50 pounds.

You say: Good for him!

I tell you that I just told my mother-in-law to stop complaining about everything.

You say to me: Good for you!

You read in the paper that a group of hotel workers is organizing a union,

and you think: Good for them!


You can use phrases like quite good for or pretty good for to praise someone or something that is better than expected when that expectation is based on their basic characteristics. For example, if a six-year-old girl plays chess and beats older opponents you might say: She is pretty good for a six-year-old. Listen again: She is pretty good for a six-year-old.

She is pretty good for a teenager.

This wine is quite good for the price.

His Chinese is pretty good for an American.

 

The phrase good at is used to describe skill at some activity.

I’m good at fixing cars.

She’s pretty good at investing.

He’s good at hiding his feelings.

My son is very good at soccer.

Is there any sport that you’re good at?

 

The phrase good with describes something that a person usually has success with. For example, if you say a dog is good with children, it means that dog can relate to children and be patient with them.

My dog is good with children.

That social worker is good with difficult families.

I’ve never been good with numbers.

He forgets names, but he’s good with faces.

 

The phrase good of describes a kind or considerate action.

It is good of you to share your thoughts with us.

It was good of the doctor to call back so soon.

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