Phrasal prepositions are a common feature of English language that can add nuance and complexity to your sentences. They are combinations of a preposition and an adverb or a preposition and a particle, and they are used to express relationships between people, objects, and ideas. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to phrasal prepositions, including their definitions, rules, and examples.
Are you tired of using the same old prepositions in your writing and speaking? Do you want to add nuance and complexity to your sentences? Look no further than phrasal prepositions. By combining a preposition with an adverb or particle, phrasal prepositions can express a wide range of relationships between people, objects, and ideas. However, they can also be tricky to use correctly, especially for non-native speakers of English. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to phrasal prepositions, including their definitions, rules, and examples.
What is a phrasal preposition?
A phrasal preposition is a combination of a preposition and an adverb or particle. Some common examples of phrasal prepositions include “in front of,” “in spite of,” and “by means of.” Phrasal prepositions can express a wide range of relationships between people, objects, and ideas, including location, time, cause and effect, and manner.
Types of phrasal prepositions
There are two main types of phrasal prepositions: inseparable and separable. Inseparable phrasal prepositions cannot be separated by their adverb or particle, while separable phrasal prepositions can be separated. For example, “according to” is an inseparable phrasal preposition, while “look up” is a separable phrasal preposition. In addition to these two types, there are also phrasal prepositions that can function as both inseparable and separable, depending on the context.
Placement of phrasal prepositions
The placement of phrasal prepositions in a sentence can be tricky, especially for non-native speakers of English. In general, phrasal prepositions should come immediately after the noun or pronoun they modify. For example, “She sat in front of the TV” is correct, while “She sat the TV in front of” is incorrect. However, if the phrasal preposition is used as a verb, it should come after the subject. For example, “He looked up the word” is correct, while “He up looked the word” is incorrect.
Common mistakes with phrasal prepositions
One common mistake with phrasal prepositions is using them incorrectly as verbs. For example, “He broke up with his girlfriend” is correct, while “He broke his girlfriend up” is incorrect. Another common mistake is separating inseparable phrasal prepositions. For example, “According to the weather report, it’s going to rain” is correct, while “According the weather report to, it’s going to rain” is incorrect.
Tips for improving your use of phrasal prepositions
Here are some tips for improving your use of phrasal prepositions:
- Study and memorize common phrasal prepositions and their meanings.
- Pay attention to phrasal prepositions when you read and listen to English.
- Practice using phrasal prepositions in your writing and speaking.
- Ask a native speaker or language teacher for feedback on your use of phrasal prepositions.
Examples of phrasal prepositions
Here are some examples of common phrasal prepositions:
- In spite of – Despite
Example: In spite of the rain, we went for a walk.
- By means of – Using
Example: We can solve this problem by means of technology.
- In front of – Before
Example: Please stand in front of the class.
- According to – As per
Example: According to the rules, you can’t use your phone during the test.
- Up to – As far as possible
Example: We walked up to the top of the hill.
- Out of – No longer in
Example: I ran out of patience waiting for the bus.
- With regard to – Concerning
Example: With regard to your application, we will be in touch soon.
- On account of – Because of
Example: The game was canceled on account of the rain.
- In addition to – Besides
Example: In addition to his job, he also volunteers at the shelter.
- Instead of – Rather than
Example: We had pizza instead of burgers for dinner.
Frequently asked questions
- Q: Can phrasal prepositions be separated by other words? A: No, phrasal prepositions should be kept together as a single unit.
- Q: Can phrasal prepositions be used as verbs? A: Yes, phrasal prepositions can be used as verbs, but their placement in the sentence may change.
- Q: Are phrasal prepositions the same as phrasal verbs? A: No, phrasal prepositions and phrasal verbs are different. Phrasal verbs are a combination of a verb and an adverb or particle, while phrasal prepositions are a combination of a preposition and an adverb or particle.
- Q: Can phrasal prepositions be used in formal writing? A: Yes, phrasal prepositions can be used in formal writing, but it is important to use them correctly and appropriately.
Phrasal prepositions can add nuance and complexity to your writing and speaking, but they can also be tricky to use correctly. By studying common phrasal prepositions and their meanings, paying attention to phrasal prepositions in your reading and listening, and practicing their use in your writing and speaking, you can improve your proficiency with phrasal prepositions. Remember to keep inseparable phrasal prepositions together, place phrasal prepositions correctly in the sentence, and avoid common mistakes. With these tips and examples, you can take your use of phrasal prepositions to the next level.