Preposition Followed By Preposition

Constructions with Preposition + Preposition Combinations

Some prepositions (e.g., from, down) may be immediately followed by another preposition.

    For example:
  • 1a)  They emerged from behind the cottage.
  • 1b)  The sound seemed to be coming from inside the chest.

Sequences made up of two prepositions, such as from behind, from inside, and down to, occur frequently, as shown in examples in 1) above.

The first preposition can often be followed by a number of others. For example, from occurs freely with prepositions such as behind, inside, and beside, whereas down occurs freely with prepositions such as beside, around, and by, as is the case in examples 2).

  • 2a)  He took the package [from {behind/inside/beside} the box] and gave it to her.
  • 2b)  She wandered [down {beside/around/by} the river].

These sequences of two adjacent prepositions followed by an NP function as single prepositional phrases and can therefore be moved to the beginning of the sentence, as demonstrated in 3).

  • 3a)  A strange vehicle suddenly emerged from behind the house.
  • 3b)  From behind the house, a strange vehicle suddenly emerged.