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.



Phrase prepositions , also known as Complex prepositions are said to consist more than one word but are used with the force of a single preposition.
Example: according to, on behalf of etc.
As far as my knowledge goes a prepositional phrase must have an object to the preposition.
Example : according to my instructions ( 'instruction' being the object of 'according to')
My query is whether we can have a prep phrase without an object , thus making it synonymous to phrase preposition...
Kind of confused...

Hello amrita_enakshi,

Prepositions require objects, though if the context is very clear then the object may be implied.

A phrase preposition is the same as any preposition, other than being formed from more than one word. It still requires an object.

A prepositional phrase contains the object within it. For example, in the prepositional phrase 'with her friend' we have a preposition ('with') and its object ('her friend').

You can form a prepositional phrase with a preposition and an object or a phrase preposition and an object. Thus you can say 'with her friend' and you can also say 'along with her friend'.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir.

Hello sir,
Is there any difference between a 'phrase preposition ' and a 'prepositional phrase' ?

Hi amrita_enakshi,

I'm not familiar with the term 'phrase preposition', so I'm afraid I can't really comment. If you could provide the context in which the terms is used we'll try to help you understand it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,
I posted my query along with the context on the main page by chance , and it has been clearly explained by Sir Peter M. I am extremely thankful to the Learn English Team for their quick response and help. Your suport is much appreciated. Thank 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.