Compound Prepositions

Compound Prepositions or complex prepositions consist of two or more words that function as a single preposition. You'll learn about them here!

"Compound Prepositions" in English Grammar

What Are Compound Prepositions?

A preposition can be a single word, like most of the prepositions in the English language. But a preposition can also be a two-word or a three-word preposition, which is called a compound preposition. A compound preposition functions as a single preposition.

Two-word Prepositions

These prepositions consist of two words such as:

  • according to
  • because of
  • due to
  • instead of
  • as of
  • next to
  • out of
  • aside from

According to

'According to' expresses a statement or report by somebody or something.

According to New York Times Bestseller list, it's an awesome book.

Because of

'Because of' is used before a noun or a noun phrase and talks about the reason for an action happening.

He couldn't attend the big game, because of his leg injury.

Due to

'Due to' means 'caused by something or someone'. It is synonymous with 'because of'.

Due to her courage and skill, she is the top employee of the month.

Instead of

'Instead of' means in the place of something or someone.

We ordered Champaign instead of Chardonnay.

Next to

'Next to' means beside or near something/someone.

Sit next to me.

Out of

When 'out' comes with another preposition, 'of', it means 'away from inside of a place or thing'.

I got out of bed.

using a compound preposition in a sentence

Aside from

'Aside from' (also 'apart from' especially in British English) either means except for, or in addition to.

Aside from some slight errors, my report was just fine.

Aside from anything else, you owe me this much.

Three-word Prepositions

Here are some examples of the three-word prepositions (also called complex prepositions):

  • in addition to
  • in front of
  • in spite of
  • on account of
  • on top of

in addition to

'In addition to' is used when you want to mention another person or thing after something else.

In addition to financial expenses, we have to consider other problems too.

in front of

'In front of' is a complex preposition that shows a position that is further forward than something or someone, but not very far away.

The taxi stopped in front of the school.

in spite of

If somebody did something in spite of a fact, it means it is surprising that the fact did not prevent them from doing it.

In spite of her inability, she is a successful career woman.

on account of

'On account of somebody or something' means because of somebody or something.

She couldn't attend that party on account of her age.

on top of

On top of something means on or over something.

There is a statue on top of the bookcase.


'Prepositions' are the words that govern a noun or pronoun to indicate their relation to other words. They can be made up of only one word or more than one word which is called compound prepositions.

compound prepositions are as follows:

1. according to 5. next to 9. in front of
2. because of/ due to 6. out of 10. in spite of
3. instead of 7. aside from 11. on account of
4. as of 8. in addition to 12. on top of


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Prepositions of Place

Prepositions allow us to talk about the relationship between two words in a sentence. Here, we will discuss the different prepositions of place in English.

Prepositions of Direction and Movement

As their names suggest, prepositions of direction and movement show a movement from one place to another or show a particular direction.

Prepositions of Manner

Prepositions of Manner which is also called Prepositions of Method express how a certain thing happens or is done. In this part, we will discuss them.

Complex Prepositions

Complex prepositions are created by combining two or more simple prepositions like out of and as for. In this lesson, we will discover more about them.

Participle Prepositions

Some participles (i.e. verbs ending with '-ing', '-en' or '-ed') can sometimes act as a preposition. In this lesson, we will learn about the most common ones.


Post means after therefore a preposition that comes after its complement or object is called a postposition.

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