Compound Prepositions

Compound Prepositions :

A Preposition is a word placed before a Noun or Noun-equivalent to show in what relation the person or thing denoted thereby stands to something else. The Noun or Noun-equivalent is called The Object of The Preposition.

1. I place my hand on the table.

Here if the word ON is omitted, the sentence makes no sense. The hand might be placed on the table or under the table or above the table. Until some Preposition has been inserted, the relation between the hand and the table is not known.

Omission of Object :

There are two cases of this.

Relative Pronouns :

The man (whom or that) we were looking for has come.

Personal Pronouns :

A dress with blue spots on (on it) is here.

Participial Prepositions :

These were originally Present or Past Participles used absolutely, sometimes (a) with the Noun expressed and sometimes (b) with some Noun understood.

(a) The Noun expressed :

1. Pending fresh orders = fresh orders pending or not yet being given

2. During the summer = the summer during or enduring or still lasting

3. Notwithstanding his anger = his anger notwithstanding or not preventing it

4. All except one = all, one being excepted

(b) Some Noun understood : Impersonal Absolute

1. Considering your age, you have done very well.
2. Owing to the long drought, the crops have failed.
3. Inform me concerning this matter.
4. Inform me touching this matter.
5. Inform me regarding this matter.

(One frequently sees DUE used instead of owing in a sentence (2) of this kind. But, this is quite incorrect.)

Compound Prepositions :

Two or more words habitually thrown together and ending with a Simple Preposition may be called Compound Prepositions.

1. By means of
2. because of
3. in front of
4. in opposition to
5. in spite of
6. on account of
7. with reference to
8. with regard to
9. for the sake of
10. on behalf of
11. instead of; in lieu of
12. in the place of
13. with a view to
14. in the event of

The phrase ON BOARD does not take a Simple Preposition after it.

1. On board the ship…

Similarly, the Noun DESPITE can be used as a Simple Preposition in place of the Compound IN SPITE OF.

1. Despite those titles, power and pelf….


In such examples as the following, BUT is used as a Preposition. As a rule it is a Conjunction.

2. All but (except) one fulfilled their promises.
3. He was all but (=every thing except) ruined.

4. (Here RUINED is an elliptical form of the Gerund BEING RUINED and this Gerund is the Object of the Preposition BUT.)

5. But for your help (= except on account of your help and = if you had not helped me), I should have been ruined. (Here the phrase FOR YOUR HELP is Object to the Preposition.)

6. I cannot but fear (= I cannot do anything except fear) that you are ill. (Here the Infinitive FEAR is the Object.)

BUT may also be an Adverb.

7. Man needs but (=only) little here below.


  1. A Preposition
  2. Prepositions
  3. The Preposition
  4. Object of The Preposition
  5. Omission of Object of The Preposition
  6. Participial Prepositions
  7. Compound Prepositions
  8. BUT as A Preposition
  9. Preposition and Object
  10. Wrong Uses of Prepositions
  11. Wrong Omissions of Prepositions
  12. Misuses of Prepositions
  13. Uses of Prepositions
  14. Gerunds preceded by Prepositions
  15. Peculiar Uses of Prepositions
  16. Example Sentences with Appropriate Prepositions
  17. Words followed by Appropriate Prepositions
  18. Nouns followed by Prepositions
  19. Participles followed by Prepositions
  20. Adjectives followed by Prepositions
  21. Verbs followed by Prepositions
  22. Verbs and Prepositions
  23. Sample Sentences with Prepositions
  24. Sample Sentences with Prepositional Phrases

Compound Prepositions :

Compound Prepositions To HOME PAGE

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