Compound Prepositions

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Compound Prepositions

What is a compound preposition?

A compound preposition combines a non-prepositional word with two or more simple prepositions, usually before the noun, pronoun, adjective, or adverb.

How is a compound preposition formed?

You simply combine two or three words.

Two-word prepositions: an adjective, adverb, or pronoun followed by a simple preposition

Example: Her room was not tidy aside from the table.

You needed to go right instead of left at the fork in the road.

Three-word prepositions: a preposition, then a noun or article, then another simple preposition.

Example: As far as she could tell, she had painted the entire wall.

The dog sat in front of the cat.

What are common compound prepositions?

The following are the most common compound prepositions:

Two-word Compound Prepositions Three-word Compound Prepositions
according toas far as
affection foras well as
ahead ofby means of
along withby virtue of
alternate withby way of
apart fromduring the course of
as forin accordance with
as ofin addition to
as toin case of
aside fromin conjunction with
because ofin excess of
contrary toin favor of
due toin front of
except forin lieu of
in betweenin line with
instead ofin order to
next toin place of
out ofin receipt of
out fromin regards to
outside ofin relation to
owing toin spite of
prior toin terms of
pursuant toon account of
rather thanon behalf of
regardless ofon top of
relating towith respect to
similar towith regard to
subsequent towith reference to
with relation to

TIP! Compound prepositions are often wordy and may sound outdated. It is often best to reword them to be more concise with your meaning and writing style.

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