A simple preposition is a one-word preposition. A preposition can also come in a two-word or a three-word combination, which is called a compound preposition. A compound preposition functions as a single preposition. A compound preposition that consists of two words include according to, because of, different from, due to, and instead of. Three-word compound prepositions are as far as, in addition to, in front of, and in spite of, etc.

 

Words that are used only as prepositions 

 

against concerning onto
amid despite toward
among during towards
at from unto
bar into upon
beside of with

 

One-word prepositions 

 

Examples:

  • His doctor advised the mother and daughter against riding a camel since they are allergic to camel’s hair.

  • There was a single duck amid a brood of chickens.
  • The mother called the three sons to divide the pizza among them.
  • She began to think of getting married at the age of thirteen.
  • Six cats slept atop a three-metre wall.
  • She has eaten all my grapes, bar one. (bar = except for)
  • She was sure someone stood beside her but didn’t appear on the photo.
  • He went to catch crabs in the dark, despite the weather.
  • He got into a fight with the coach driver during the trip.
  • He began to sing aloud from an old songbook.
  • Most of his personal belongings including his pet goose were destroyed in the fire.
  • This is the third time my grandfather walked into me when he didn’t have his glasses on.
  • Last night, he heard the sound of footsteps coming from the roof.
  • The dining hall opens onto a cemetery.
  • He had very little information regarding the policeman's disappearance.
  • The train is now heading toward the tunnel.
  • The prisoner threatened to fast unto death to get his alcoholic drinks.
  • They look upon him as a role model of how to teach adults to behave like adults.
  • Her weight grows with each passing day. 

 

 

Two-word compound prepositions 

 

Examples:

  • According to his mother, he often talked in his sleep.
  • As of next week, all of you will eat less to lose weight.

  • Her face was perfect aside from that one hairy mole.

  • The bucks fought hard and it’s all because of a doe.

  • You waste a lot of time arguing instead of agreeing.

  • The detective didn’t know he was sitting next to a wanted man. 

  • Sometimes my grandfather tears pages out of my magazines.

 

 

Three-word compound prepositions 

 

Examples:

  • The explosion could be heard as far as five kilometers away.
  • We keep five dogs in addition to two cats.

  • A steamroller parked in front of his house.

  • They continued with their search and rescue mission in spite of the bad weather.

  • He can’t sing any more on account of his failing health.

  • The villagers carried pails of water on top of their heads.