A prepositional phrase is made up of a preposition and a noun phrase. We use prepositional phrases for many purposes, for example:

- as adverbials of time and place:

We will be back in a few days.
They drove to Glasgow

.- as a postmodifier in a noun phrase:

Helen is the girl in the red dress
We’ve got a new television with a thirty one inch screen.

- to show who did something:

The lion was killed by the hunter
I saw a wonderful painting by Van Gogh

- with double object verbs like give and get:

We gave five pounds to the woman on the corner.
They got a drink for me.

- after certain verbs, nouns and adjectives:

The book belongs to me.
I had an argument with my brother.
I feel sorry for you.




What does "off ter live" mean ?. The context is the following :
'S-s-sorry,' sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large spotted
handkerchief and burying his face in it. 'But I c-c-can't stand it -
Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles

Hello Pasindu,

In this and many other passages which represent how Hagrid speaks, Rowling uses non-standard spelling to show Hagrid's non-standard accent. The standard form here would be: 'poor little Harry [is going] off to live with Muggles'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Mr.kirk


I came across two sentences below and was confused about the functions of the preposition phrase (adjective or adverb) and appreciate if you can help?

"The Aquatic centre will be an exciting new space for students." I know that "for students" is a preposition phrase but is it acting as adjective or adverb in this sentence and what is it modifying?

"I look forward to welcoming you to our open ceremony on Saturday 20 August."
Is "to our open ceremony" a preposition phrase functioning as adverb modifying "welcoming" because it's adverb of manner?
Is "on Saturday 20 August" a preposition phrase functioning as adjective modifying "ceremony" as it says "which" ceremony?

Thank you and hopefully you can help clarify.


I found this sentence :
In the library and at church, Michele giggles inappropriately.

So why we use "in" for the library but "at" for church?

Hello Salem249,

Our adverbials of place section might be of interest to you, as it is a related topic, but probably the most useful page I can refer you to is on the BBC's Learning English site.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Plese help clarify the below.

1) Some of the members of the assembly complained of increase milatary expenditure.

Is it correct to express this as complained about (or) complained on.
Are these wrong way of usage or do they mean different. If they are correct but not in this context please let me know the correct usage of the given prepositions (about, on).

Hello suryachaitanya,

After 'complain' we can use 'about' or 'of' but not 'on'.

For questions like this about the meanings of words or phrases the best place to look is a dictionary, where you'll find explanations and multiple examples. For example, you can find both 'complain about' and 'complain of' here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I'd like to know the difference between control of and control over.
For example, loss of human control of or over machines.

Hello Petals,

The first thing I'd recommend is that you read through the entry for 'control' (especially the one in which it is a noun) in the dictionary, looking carefully at the example sentences. Most of the time, 'of' or 'over' are used depending on what verb collocates with the word 'control'. In the case of the verb 'lose' (as in your example), both 'of' and 'over' are possible, though I think 'over' is better here. This is because 'of' tends to be used when the object controlled is something that has no volition of its own (e.g. a car or plane), but when the object has some kind of volition (e.g. a child or maverick robot), then 'over' is used.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team