Grammar Lesson: Compound Prepositions and the Preposition-Adverb Question
A compound preposition has the same function as the regular, one-word preposition. It connects a noun (or pronoun) to another word in the sentence. The sole difference with the compound preposition is that it contains more than one word!
- According to the author, this event happened in 1334.
- We sat next to him.
- In addition to the shed, we will also have to paint the basement floor.
- We had a great time in spite of the nasty weather.
The Preposition-Adverb Question
The same word can be an adverb in one sentence and a preposition in another sentence. How do you tell the difference? Simple! Both an adverb and a preposition answer the same questions—When? Where? How? To what extent?—but only the adverb does it in a single word. The preposition needs other words to answer the same questions.
I walked around. (adverb) (Where did I walk? around)
I walked around the block (preposition). (Where did I walk? around the block)
The terrified dog scampered past (adverb). (Where did the dog scamper? past)
The terrified dog scampered past us (preposition). (Where did the dog scamper? past us)
Kenny, look beyond (adverb). (Where should Kenny look? beyond)
Kenny, look beyond your present troubles (preposition). (Where should Kenny look? beyond his present troubles)
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