Which is the correct preposition with MOTIVATE?(TO or ING)

We usually use the preposition “by” with the verb “ motivate”. The preposition “by” helps us to connect the verb(motivate) and the noun(the thing that creates the motivation)


You can’t be only motivated by money.

I am motivated by my need to get good grades.

Motivate By

We use the preposition “by” with “motivate” to show what it is that motivates us. This thing is usually a noun.


I am feeling motivated by the feedback I received from our customers.

I feel motivated by the award to create more movies.

Motivate TO or ING

We use “motivate” with the infinitive form of the following verb(to and not ing).


Your hard work motivates me to work harder. 

I feel motivated to wake up at 5am every morning. 

Motivation To or For 

We also use “to” with the noun “motivation” when followed by a verb.

I have the motivation to clean my car.

“For” can also be used with motivation but it is less common in my opinion.

What was your motivation to quit smoking? (Better)

What was your motivation for quitting smoking? (Ok)

Final Thoughts

We use the preposition “by” with the verb “to motivate”.