Above

We commonly use the word 'above' to show location. In this lesson, we will learn all about this word and its uses.

How to Use "Above" in English?

'Above' is a common word in English. It can function as a preposition, an adverb, and an adjective. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Above'

'Above' as a Preposition

One of the main uses of 'above' is to function as a preposition. Below, we are going to see the kinds of prepositions it can be:

Use

'Above' as a Preposition of Place

'Above' can be a preposition of place. Look:

  • One is to state that something/someone is in a higher position. Take a look:

The frame is above the vase.

Here, the location of an object is indicated.

The birds are flying above the lake.

  • When someone/something comes before in ranking, importance and etc.:

They rose above the rank of lieutenant.

She didn't rise above the rank of supervisor.

  • This one is used in formal writing when we want to refer to something mentioned in the upper paragraphs:

As stated above, people pay little attention to environmental crises around the globe.

Contact the email mentioned above for further analysis.

'Above' as a Preposition of Manner

'Above' can also be a preposition of manner. Look below for more clarification:

  • When we want to indicate that something is more in amount, number, etc.:

The temperature is above freezing tonight.

The land is 40 meters above sea level.

  • When a particular voice/sound is louder than others:

I can hear her speaking above everyone else's.

Can't you hear him singing above other singers?

Position in a Sentence

Since 'above' is a preposition here, it mainly comes before nouns and noun phrases and it is mostly put after the main verb to show the place of the action. We can have a prepositional phrase at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the sentences:

Above her bed, she has a statue of an angle.

Here, we have a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence.

Mickey's name is above mine in the professor's list.

Here, we have a prepositional phrase in the middle of the sentence.

Why do you put your shoes above mine?

As you can see, we have a prepositional phrase at the end of the sentence.

Warning!

Please note that whenever we have a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence, we must put a comma after it. Look:

Above my bed, I used to have a cross hanging.

'Above' as an Adverb

Another function of 'above' is to be an adverb. Below, we are going to learn about the different kinds of adverbs it can be:

Use

'Above' as an Adverb of Place

We can use 'above' to show the place so it is an adverb of place. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

Lana looked at the blue sky above.

One of my hobbies is to go to the roof, lie there and look at the stars above.

Position in a Sentence

As you know, we mainly put adverbials after the main verb or other adverbs to modify them. Look at the following examples:

Whenever it is raining, I go to the garden and watch the rain fall from the sky above.

Stop staring above when I'm talking to you.

'Above' as an Adjective

'Above' can also function as an adjective. Look below:

Use

'Above' as an Attributive Adjective

We mainly use 'above' as an adjective in formal writings. Look at the following examples:

For the above reasons, the jury will keep their verdict.

For the above reasons, we will probably experience another global crises.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'above' can only be an attributive adjective, it comes before nouns. Look below:

For the above reasons, all students must have classes till the end of the week.

Idioms with 'Above'

We have several idioms with 'above' that are commonly used among native English speakers. Below we will learn all about them:

  • Above all else: This one is used when we want to indicate the most important thing. Look:

They were above all worried about their vocal class.

She was considerate above all not to hurt anyone.

  • Above one's head: This one is used when we want to indicate that something is beyond someone's level of comprehension and understanding. Look:

Mathematics is above my head.

The diction of this article is way above my students' heads.

  • A cut above: This one is used to indicate that someone/something is better than others. Look:

Why does she think she is a cut above?

I believe I am a cut above and I will prove it.

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