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Phrases, Preposition

Note 32 – Preposition words and phrases

This blog marks the start of month two of my writing challenge. If you are new to my blogs, you may wish to read the background to my challenge first –; however, if you would prefer to dive straight into note 32, then please read on…

1. What is a preposition word?

John Seely in the Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation explains that a preposition is a word or group of words that goes before: the noun, the pronoun, the verbal noun or the noun phrase, to which they apply. He lists quite a few, but you will get the idea by looking at the examples below. I have split them into one, two , three and four word prepositions:

Examples of one word prepositions

  • About
  • Into
  • For
  • By
  • Without
  • Except
  • At

Examples of two word prepositions

  • On to
  • Because of
  • Owing to
  • Away from

Examples of three word prepositions

  • On top of
  • As well as

Examples of four word prepositions

  • In the face of

2. What is a prepositional phrase?

Prepositional phrases are made by placing a preposition word before a noun, pronoun, verbal noun or noun phrase. For example:

  • About time (preposition + noun)
  • Because of me (preposition + pronoun)
  • Except dancing (preposition + verbal noun)
  • On top of the wooden cupboard (preposition + noun phrase)

3. Can you end a sentence with a preposition?

According to Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English, you can end a sentence with a preposition, when it’s part of a phrasal verb (a mulit-word verb). The example he gives is “The country’s prospects are looking up”.

Note: I will cover phrasal verbs in a separate blog another day.

Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and got something out of it. Remember, you can always send me requests if you have any particular writing issues that you would like me to blog about.

Until tomorrow…


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Reference list

Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK

John Seely The Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation, USA


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


2 thoughts on “Note 32 – Preposition words and phrases

  1. You mean one word, two word, three word and four word prepositions..

    Posted by vamanan | August 12, 2011, 10:46 am

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