Compound Preposition: Definitions, Rules & Examples

If you are learning English as a second language, you might find it challenging to understand the different types of prepositions. One of these types is the compound preposition, which is a combination of two or more words that function as a single preposition. In this article, we will define compound prepositions, discuss their rules, and provide examples to help you understand how to use them correctly in your writing and speaking.

Compound Preposition Definitions, Rules & Examples

What is a Compound Preposition?

Definition of Compound Prepositions:

A compound preposition is a combination of two or more words that function as a single preposition. The words in a compound preposition can be any part of speech, including nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. Some examples of compound prepositions include:

  • According to
  • Along with
  • Because of
  • In spite of
  • Out of
  • Up to

Types of Compound Prepositions:

There are many types of compound prepositions, but some of the most common ones include:

  • With
  • In
  • On
  • At
  • From
  • For

Rules for Using Compound Prepositions

Rule 1: Word Order:

In English, the order of words in a sentence is critical. When using a compound preposition, the words should always appear in a specific order. For example, the compound preposition “along with” should always be written as “along with” and not “with along.”

Rule 2: Use in Context:

To use a compound preposition correctly, you need to understand the context in which it is used. For instance, the compound preposition “in front of” is used to indicate the location of an object, while “because of” is used to show the cause of an event or situation.

Rule 3: Proper Use of Prepositions:

The correct use of prepositions is essential in English grammar. You should use the right preposition in the right context. For instance, “in” is used to indicate a location inside a building, while “at” is used to indicate a specific point in time.

Rule 4: Avoid Redundancy:

When using compound prepositions, avoid redundancy. For instance, instead of writing “inside of the house,” write “inside the house.” The word “of”.

Examples of Compound Prepositions

Now that we have discussed the rules for using compound prepositions, let’s look at some examples to help you understand how they work.

Compound Prepositions with “With”

  • Along with: Along with his friends, he went to the cinema.
  • Out with: She is out with her friends tonight.
  • Together with: Together with her team, she won the championship.

Compound Prepositions with “In”

  • In front of: The cat is sitting in front of the fireplace.
  • In spite of: In spite of the bad weather, we still had fun on our vacation.
  • In addition to: In addition to his job, he volunteers at a local shelter.

Compound Prepositions with “On”

  • On top of: The vase is on top of the table.
  • On behalf of: The lawyer spoke on behalf of his client in court.
  • On the verge of: She was on the verge of tears after the argument.

Compound Prepositions with “At”

  • At the end of: The movie was great, but I didn’t like the ending.
  • At the expense of: She achieved her success at the expense of her personal life.
  • At the risk of: He took the job at the risk of losing his current job.

Compound Prepositions with “From”

  • Apart from: Apart from the weather, everything was perfect on our trip.
  • Away from: She moved away from her hometown to pursue her career.
  • Different from: This pizza is different from the one we had last time.

Compound Prepositions with “For”

  • Famous for: Paris is famous for its romantic atmosphere.
  • Responsible for: She is responsible for managing the project.
  • Suitable for: This dress is suitable for the wedding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Compound Prepositions

  1. What is the difference between a preposition and a compound preposition? A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. A compound preposition, on the other hand, is a combination of two or more words that function as a single preposition.
  2. Can I use a compound preposition at the beginning of a sentence? Yes, you can use a compound preposition at the beginning of a sentence. However, you should make sure that the word order is correct.
  3. What are some common mistakes when using compound prepositions? One common mistake is using the wrong preposition in a compound preposition. Another mistake is using redundant words, such as “inside of” instead of “inside.”
  4. How can I improve my use of compound prepositions? To improve your use of compound prepositions, practice writing sentences with different compound prepositions. You can also read books or articles to see how other writers use them in their writing.


In conclusion, compound prepositions are an essential part of English grammar. They are a combination of two or more words that function as a single preposition. To use them correctly, you need to understand the rules and use them in the proper context. With practice and patience, you can improve your use of compound prepositions and become a better writer and communicator.

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