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.




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

Thank you very much for the wonderful explanation.

Hello . I want to ask : how we can negate prepositional phrase. thank you.

Hello rastak keen,

Can you give an example? Off the top of my head, I can't think of a way to negate a prepositional phrase other than negating the verb or another part of the sentence.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your note. In fact،I do not have any example . It was just a question of my mind.I have another question.please explain the correct answer:
............all rock flour would be suitable for use as fertilizer.certain chemical elements are poisonous to humans.
a)Not b)No c)None d)Neither
with sincere thanks.

Hello rastak keen,

The correct answer for that is a). Please note that our main purpose here is to help users learn from the content on our site. We also answer other questions from time to time, but they should mostly have something to do with the grammar or content on the page. 

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team