Hey there! This is TOP episode 168. Questions with Prepositions

My name’s Ola and I’ve been teaching English since 2012. I believe you can eliminate your language blockade. You can speak English with more confidence, slay that fear and enjoy communication. 

Visit my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Visit my shop at teacherola.com and enjoy your journey to fluency! Happy learning!

Hello there! Hello and welcome! Thank you for being here. Today we’re going to continue the topic of asking questions. If you haven’t yet please tune in to episodes: 146: Ask Questions Fearlessly and episode 156: Question Tags and episode 160: Question Tags part 2. Now we’re going to practice questions with prepositions. 

Before we do just that. I’ve got an offer. Why don’t you start speaking English? Let’s do it together! I’ve set up a challenge. It’s a 5-week programme to make you start speaking English. It’s completely free. Every week you’ll receive a short video message from me with a task. Speaking task. The link is in the description. 

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In an informal style when a question word is the object of a preposition, the preposition usually comes at the end. For instance:

What are you looking for?  Instead of ‘For what are looking?’

Who is this for? Instead of ‘For whom is this present?’ 

Who were you speaking to? Instead of ‘To whom were you speaking?’

For what are you looking?

For whom is this present?

To whom were you speaking?

These questions sound offbeat, really weird and definitely way waay too formal. Listen and repeat those more natural sentences:

What are you looking for?  

Who is this for?

Who were you speaking to?

Additionally, prepositions come at the end of what-clauses which are not questions. For example:

Tell me what you are looking for. 

Sometimes there’s just a question word and preposition ad that’s enough, for example:

What with?

Who for?

What about?

But! And that ‘but’ makes a difference. If there’s a noun with a preposition we have to change the whole phrase and we end up with:

With what method? Instead of ‘What method with. That would be unusual. 

Ok, let’s practice. This time you are going to hear an answer and your task is to formulate the question. For example:

I say:

I’m looking for my smartwatch. 

And you say:

What are you looking for? 

Then I say it again so that you can check your answer. 

What are you looking for?

Cool? Great! Let’s get going! 


It’s made of cheese. 

What is it made of?


I’m going with Adam.

Who are you going with?


I’m, talking to my plant.

Who are you talking to?


It’s for my teacher.

Who is this flower for?


It was caused by a flood. 

What was it caused by?


I’m laughing at you!

Who are you laughing at?


She’s worried about her garden.

What is she worried about?


I have lived in two cities.

How many cities have you lived in?


I’m looking at your painting.

What are you looking at?


My office is close to the river.

What is your office close to?

See? It wasn’t that bad! Or… was it? Please let me know! Do you think you need more practice? Do you feel confident asking such questions? Get in touch with me, reach me on Instagram, in the comments or email me! Thank you!

Now, go to your inbox and get the worksheet to test yourself. Translate the sentences into English. If you aren’t a member of TOPeople download the worksheet from teacherola.com/168. 

If you find this episode useful, tell your friends about my podcast. Thank you so much for doing so! Help this podcast reach more people who want to start speaking English fearlessly. Thank you so much! I’ll see you next Wednesday! Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!