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.



I would like to ask when we use the following prepositions;
I live on Main Street
I live at Main Street.
2. Which one of the following prepositions are correct in the following case:
Every day I go to school/ work. When I am at school/ work/ the university, I do a lot of work. In this case is the preposition at (school/ work etc) the correct one?
Thank you in advance

Hello anie2,

The correct preposition for streets is 'on'.

In the second sentence 'at' is correct.



The LearnEnglish Team

Prepositional phrases have two functions to perform, they can modify an adjective and adverb, Those modifying adverbs are called adverb prepositional phrases and the other one are called adjective prepositional phrases.

Now in order to identify whether or not a word we identify from a sentence is a prepositional phrase, we can use adjective and adverb questions to make sure about that.
E.g Aslam returned to the classroom. Now, "to the classroom" is our prepositional phrase, but can we verify it?
We can verify it by adjective and adverb questions. If we get a answer, then we've got our phrase.


My question is about prepositions. I actually looked far for finding a more appropriate page to ask my question, but unfortunately I couldn't find such a page but this.

My question is about some bewildering prepositions that I even suspect if it's correct to name them prepositions! They're "but", "save" and "bar".

Let's first speak about "but" and a general rule on the English grammar:
"The verb after prepositions comes in the gerund-participle form, essentially always."

Now what about "but"?
Please take a look at these sentences:

1- He does nothing but eat.
2- Ed does nothing but drink beer all day.
3- If we want vehicles to be less polluting, then we have no choice but to find an alternative fuel.

As you see, neither "eat" nor "drink" or "to find" comes in gerund-participle. The same is for "save" and "bar" prepositions.

Now I have two questions:
1- Do you believe that "but", "save" and "bar" are actually prepositions?
2- If they're prepositions, are they exceptional cases for the general rule I mentioned above, please?

Thanks for much for your help.

Hello abbasi,

This is an unusual structure and it is the focus of some discussion amongst grammarians. It occurs only when certain forms are used in the first part of the sentence - specifically the verb do:

he does nothing but eat

he likes nothing but eating



You can find a discussion of this topic here.



The LearnEnglish Team


I am confused between" inspired by" and "inspired with" as in this sentence:
"Poets are normally inspired (by/with) beauty." Could you please explain the different meaning if I use either of this preposition? Thank you.

Hello Widescreen,

I'm not aware of any difference in meaning. The most common preposition to use is 'by'. 'With' is relatively uncommon and may sound odd in some contexts. You can see examples and the frequency of use of each preposition here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear team
Which sentence is correct?
A) She has made a promise to her love.
B) She has made a promise with her love.

Actually she has promised her love for not doing something again.

Hello Marie,

'with' is not normally used with 'promise' -- 'to' or a clause beginning with 'that' are the most common forms. See the dictionary entry for 'promise' to see more examples.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you : )