When I read and write a sentence in English, I always wonder the relation between noun and preposition.

For example, I looked at this sentence I have a problem with...

But I wonder why the preposition with is used and why about or another preposition like that is not used.

Native remember these relationships? Do I have to remember all the relationships like problem with?

Please help me.

  • Native speakers don't need to memorize such things actively. We simply hear them spoken many thousands of times when we are children learning the language. Roughly the same experience occurs in an immersive language-learning experience later in life. But if you're learning from a book in a classroom, you must provide the repetition yourself.
    – TimR
    Jun 6, 2017 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


Sadly, yes, for the most part it's memorization, particularly when a preposition is used for something abstract like "a problem". When prepositions are used to describe the physical arrangement of different objects, for example "in" or "on", they tend to be much more consistently used.

And there actually are more prepositions that could be used in your sentence. For example, you could use "I have a problem regarding...", which does have a slightly different meaning. A sentence using "regarding" would typically introduce a more broad topic of problem, while "with" would be used for the more specific issue. For example:

I'm calling about an issue regarding my internet service. I think there was a problem with my last payment.


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