Below you will find 82 color-coded complex-preposition prepositional-phrase example sentences. Each color-coded example sentence is accompanied by two or three methods of analysis. Each method of analysis illustrates a different way of thinking about how prepositional phrases function in a sentence.

Be sure to read these two pages in order to better understand complex prepositions, prepositional phrases, and the methods of analysis for all the examples below.

1.   What are Complex Prepositions?
2.   74 Color-Coded Prepositional Phrase Example Sentences with Analysis

Color-Coded KEY to the Examples

•   Blue = The Sentence
•   Green = The Prepositional Phrase
•   Red = The Word or Words that the Prepositional Phrase Modifies
•   Adj. = Adjectival
•   Adv. = Adverbial (includes Sentence Adverbs i.e., Disjuncts/Conjuncts)

The Two Categories of Complex Prepositions

We have two basic groups of complex prepositions:

1.   Two-Word Complex Prepositions
2.   Three-Word and Four-Word Complex Prepositions

Here is a relatively complete list of both types, and an example sentence for each complex preposition follows.

Two-Word Complex Prepositions: 37 Total

1) according to,  2) adjacent to,  3) ahead of,  4) along with,  5) apart from,  6) as for,  7) as of,  8) as per,  9) as regards,  10) as to,  11) aside from,  12) away from,  13) because of,  14) but for,  15) close to,  16) contrary to,  17) due to,  18) except for,  19) far from,  20) in between,  21) inside of,  22) instead of,  23) irrespective of,  24) next to,  25) opposite to,  26) out of,  27) outside of,  28) owing to,  29) pertaining to,  30) prior to,  31) pursuant to,  32) regardless of,  33) subsequent to,  34) thanks to,  35) together with,  36) up against,  37) up to.

Three-Word and Four-Word Complex Prepositions: 45 Total

Note: The three-word and four-word prepositions are very similar in structure, except that the four-word prepositions contains an article (the or a).

1) as a result of,  2) at the expense of,  3) by means of,  4) by virtue of,  5) by way of,  6) for the sake of,  7) in accordance with / to,  8) in addition to,  9) in back of,  10) in case of,  11) in charge of,  12) in comparison with / to,  13) in common with,  14) in connection with / to,  15) in contact with,  16) in contrast with / to,  17) in exchange for,  18) in favor of,  19) in front of,  20) in lieu of,  21) in (the) light of,  22) in line with,  23) in need of,  24) in place of,  25) in the process of,  26) in reference to,  27) in regard to,  28) in relation to,  29) in respect to,  30) in return for,  31) in search of,  32) in spite of,  33) in terms of,  34) in view of,  35) on account of,  36) on behalf of,  37) on the matter of,  38) on top of,  39) to the left of,  40) to the right of,  41) to the side of,  42) with reference to,  43) with regard to,  44) with respect to,  45) with the exception of.

Two-Word Complex-Preposition Example Sentences: 37 Total

 

1. according to – According to the teacher, Mindy is correct.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT:  Source of Knowledge.

2. adjacent to – The girl adjacent to Ron is Karen.

  • Adj. – WHICH girl is Karen? The girl adjacent to Ron. (Uses location to specify which one.)

3. ahead of – The boy ahead of Karen is Tom.

  • Adj. – WHICH boy is Tom? The boy ahead of Karen. (Uses location to specify which one.)

4. along with – All the children, along with a few parents, swam across the lake.

  • Quasi-coordination with the subject : Accompaniment.

5. apart from – Apart from the bug infestation, the hotel room was great.

  • Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT: Exception.

6. as for – As for Jim, he stayed behind.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Respect.

7. as of – As of yesterday, I can drive a car.

  • Adv. – EXTENT: FOR HOW LONG have you been able to drive? As of yesterday.
  • Time  »  Duration  »  Start Time: Since when?

8. as per – You must wash the dishes, as per our agreement.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT:  Source of Knowledge.

9. as regards – As regards the price of gasoline in Mexico, it’s relatively cheap.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Respect.

10. as to – As to my health, it’s never been better.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Respect.

11. aside from – I like everything about the house, aside from the outrageous price.

  • Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT: Exception.

12. away from – Sally moved away from the fire.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Sally move? Away from the fire.
  • Location  »  Direction of Motion: In what direction?

13. because of – We were late to the party because of bad traffic.

  • Adv. – WHY were we late? Because of bad traffic.
  • Why? REASON or CAUSE: For what reason? From what cause?

14. but for – But for that one error, we would have won the game.

  • Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT.

15. close to – Our house is close to the lake.

  • Verb Complement – WHERE is our house? Close to the lake.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: Close to what location?
  • TEST: Our house is. = INCOMPLETE SENTENCE.

16. contrary to – Contrary to public opinion, snakes are excellent pets.

  • Adv. – Concession: WHY? (Related to REASON: Not because of public opinion; but despite public opinion.)
  • OR Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT: Viewpoint or Perspective.

17. due to – The game was canceled due to rain.

  • Adv. – WHY was the game cancelled? Due to rain.
  • Why? REASON or Cause: For what reason? From what cause.

18. except for – The parade was excellent, except for the rain.

  • Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT: Exception.

19. far from – We parked far from the beach.

  • Adv. – WHERE did we park? Far from the beach.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: Far from what location?

20. in between – Water seeped in between the tiny cracks in the roof.

  • Adv. – WHERE did water seep? In between the cracks.
  • Location  »  In what location or position?

21. inside of – The deal will close inside of one month.

  • Adv. – WHEN will the deal close? Inside of one month.
  • Time  »  Time Period: What time period?

22. instead of – We ate chicken instead of steak.

  • Adv. – Substitution or Replacement.
  • POSSIBLY  Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT.

23. irrespective of – We evaluate all applicants using the same criteria, irrespective of race, religion, and gender.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Respect.

24. next to –  John sat next to his friend.

  • Adv. – WHERE did John sit? Next to his friend.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: Next to what location?

25. opposite to – Monica sat opposite to Bill.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Monica sit? Opposite to Bill.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: Opposite to what location?

26. out of – The giant fish leaped out of the water.

  • Adv. – WHERE did the fish leap? Out of the water.
  • Location  »  Change of Location  »  Source: From what location?

27. outside of – The grizzly bear remained outside of town.

  • Verb Complement
  • Location  »  Relative Location: Outside of what location?
  • TEST: WHAT did the grizzly bear remain OUTSIDE OF? Town.
  • DO-SO TEST: The bear remained outside of the town, and the lion did so outside of the city. FAILED!

28. owing to – Owing to tremendous teamwork, the Jaybirds won the game.

  • Adv. – WHY did the Jaybirds win the game? Tremendous teamwork.
  • Why? CAUSE: From what cause?

29. pertaining to – The lawyer misplaced the papers pertaining to the lawsuit.

  • Adj. – WHICH papers did the lawyer misplace? The papers pertaining to the lawsuit. (Uses division to specify which ones.)

30. prior to – The moments prior to dismissal are hectic.

  • Adj. – WHICH moments are hectic? The moment prior to dismissal. (Uses division to specify which ones.)

31. pursuant to – Pursuant to the laws of New York, you must report for jury duty.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT:  Source of Knowledge.

32. regardless of – Regardless of the outcome, you should be proud.

  • Adv. –  EXHAUSTIVE CONDITIONAL.
  • OR Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT.

33. subsequent to –  Subsequent to the meeting, we found a new supplier.

  • Adv. – WHEN did we find a new supplier? Subsequent to the meeting.
  • Time  »  Relative Position in Time: Found a supplier subsequent to what?

34. thanks to –  I achieved great success thanks to my parents.

  • Adv. – WHY did I achieve great success? Thanks to my parents.
  • Why? CAUSE: From what cause?

35. together with – Surprisingly, the managers, together with the laborers, walked out mid-day and went on strike.

  • Quasi-coordination with the subject : Accompaniment.

36. up against – Sally pushed the bookcase up against the wall.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Sally push the bookcase? Up against the wall.
  • Location  »  Change of Location  »  Goal: To what location?

37. up to – The lottery winner moved up to the penthouse.

  • Adv. – WHERE did the lottery winner move? Up to the penthouse.
  • Location  »  Change of Location  »  Goal: To what location?

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Three-Word and Four-Word Complex-Preposition Example Sentences: 45 Total

 

1. as a result of – Lucy missed the championship game as a result of her knee injury.

  • Adv. – WHY was Lucy forced? As a result of her knee injury.
  • Why? CAUSE and RESULT: From what cause?

2. at the expense of – Martin stayed up late playing video games at the expense of his math test.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT.

3. by means of –  Chris lived a lavish lifestyle by means of his inheritance.

  • Adv. – HOW did Chris live a lavish lifestyle? By means of his inheritance.
  • Process: How? By what means?

4. by virtue of – The lawyer won the case by virtue of hard work.

  • Adv. – WHY did the lawyer win the case? By virtue of hard work.
  • Why? CAUSE: From what cause?

5. by way of – We traveled to California by way of the Grand Canyon.

  • Adv. – WHERE did we travel? By way of the Grand Canyon.
  • Location  »  Change of Location  »  Path: Along what path?

6. for the sake of – For the sake of his health, Sam quit smoking.

  • Adv. – WHY did Sam stop smoking? For the sake of his health.
  • Why? REASON: For what reason?

7. in accordance with / to – In accordance with their beliefs, vegans eat only plant-based foods.

  • Adv. – WHY do vegans eat only plant based food? Their beliefs.
  • Why? REASON: For what reason? Their beliefs.
  • OR Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT

8. in addition to – In addition to his poor health, Lance is worried about money.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Addition.

9. in back of – Carol moved the document in back of the others.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Carol moved the document? In back of the others.
  • Location  »  Change of Location  »  Goal: To what location?

10. in case of – In case of an emergency, remain calm and collected.

  • Adv. – CONDITIONAL.
  • OR Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT.

11. in charge of – The person in charge of the schedule made a mistake.

  • Adj. – WHICH person made a mistake? The person in charge of the schedule. (Uses division to specify which one.)

12. in common with – Mark has little in common with Tom.

  • Noun Phrase Complement

13. in comparison with / to – In comparison with apples, oranges are delicious.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Comparison.

14. in connection with / to – The police questioned an employee in connection with the missing money.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Respect.

15. in contact with – The star athlete stays in contact with all his old friends.

  • Verb Complement
  • TEST: WHO does the star athlete stay IN CONTACT WITH? All his old friends.

16. in contrast with / to – In contrast to the polluted city, the countryside is beautiful.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT: Comparison.

17. in exchange for – The workers agreed to lower wages in exchange for a percentage of the profits.

  • Adv. – WHY did they agree? In exchange for a percentage.
  • Why? REASON: For what reason?
  • OR DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT.

18. in favor of – The senator voted in favor of lower taxes.

  • Verb Complement
  • TEST: WHAT did the senator vote IN FAVOR OF? Lower taxes.

19. in front of – Kim parked her car in front of my car.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Kim park her car? In front of my car.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: In front of what location?

20. in lieu of – In lieu of money, the child chose candy.

  • Adv. – Substitution or Replacement.
  • POSSIBLY  Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT.

21. in (the) light of – In light of the recent news, we must abandon fossil fuels immediately.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT.

22. in line with – Cindy parked her car in line with the other cars.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Cindy park her car? In line with the other cars.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: In line with what location?

23. in need of / in want of – A person in need of sleep is always irritable.

  • Adj. – WHAT KIND of person? A person in need of sleep.

24. in place of – Nancy ordered extra rice in place of beans.

  • Adv. – Substitution or Replacement.
  • POSSIBLY  Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT.

25. in reference to – The teacher spoke kindly to the student in reference to his progress.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

26. in regard to – In regard to your grades, we are very happy.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

27. in relation to – We discussed healthy eating in relation to a vegetarian diet.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

28. in respect to – Karla is quite similar to Jenny in respect to athletic ability.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

29. in return for – Employees give time in return for money.

  • Adv. – WHY do employees give time? In return for money.
  • Why? REASON: For what reason?

30. in search of – Larry left home in search of a job.

  • Adv. – WHY did Larry leave home? In search of a job.
  • Why? REASON: For what reason?

31. in spite of – In spite of her recent failures, Sara was still optimistic.

  • Adv. – Concession: WHY? (Related to REASON: Not because of her recent failures; but in spite of her recent failures. In spite of what circumstances? In spite of her recent failures.)

32. in terms of – In terms of artistic technique, the painting is a masterpiece.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

33. in the process of – We are in the process of remodeling our house.

  • Verb Complement
  • TEST: We are. = Incomplete sentence.

34. in view of – In view of recent events, we believe the parade must be canceled.

  • Adv. – WHY do we believe? Recent events.
  • Why? REASON or CAUSE: For what reason? From what cause?

35. on account of – Kim could not attend the play on account of her sister’s birthday.

  • Adv. – WHY couldn’t Kim attend the play? On account of her sister’s birthday.
  • Why? REASON: For what reason?

36. on behalf of – Carter spoke on behalf of the students.

  • Adv. – WHY? For what PURPOSE did Carter speak? Related to REASON or PURPOSE.

37. on top of – Lilly wore a fine hat on top of her head.

  • Adv. – WHERE did Lilly wear a fine hat? On top of her head.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: On top of what location?

38. on the matter of – The President speaks out regularly on the matter of global warming.

  • Verb Complement
  • TEST: WHAT does the President speak out ON THE MATTER OF? Global warming.

39. to the left of – You must set the fork to the left of the plate.

  • Adv. – WHERE must you set the fork? To the left of the plate.
  • Location  »  Relative Location: To the left of what location?

40. to the right of – The person to the right of Jim is Karen.

  • Adj. – WHICH person? The person to the right of Jim. (Uses location to specify which one.)

41. to the side of – The whale passed to the side of our boat.

  • Adv. – WHERE did the whale pass? To the side of our boat.
  • Location  »  Change of Location  »  Path: Along what path?

42. with reference to – I spoke to the apartment manager with reference to the leaky pipes.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

43. with regard to – With regard to her school work, Mary’s parents are very happy.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

44. with respect to – With respect to our progress, the committee is impressed.

  • Adv. – DISJUNCT/CONJUNCT/DOMAIN ADJUNCT: Respect – Restricts the domain.

45. with the exception of – The team won every game, with the exception of the final game.

  • Adv. – CONJUNCT/DISJUNCT: Exception.

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