English is not my first language, and I often lose my confidence when I use across in my sentence.

Could you please give me an advice on the sentence that I have written below?

Health education is so important that it should be provided across all the students.

My mind keeps telling me the sentence should be

Health education is so important that it should be provided to across all the students.

Can we use two prepositions one after another?

  • You don't need a preposition there.
    – Kris
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:10
  • Please see also English Language Learners
    – Kris
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:10
  • Thanks Kris, I appreciate it. Should I move this post to ELL website? This is my second post, and I'm quite confused about what kind of questions I can ask in this website.
    – Sungwoo
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:11
  • Hi, Sungwoo. Welcome to English Language and Usage. Your question reads more like a proof-reading request and it is off-topic. Did you try to look up across and provide in the dictionary? What did you find and what you don't understand from it? Please make sure that you take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance.
    – user140086
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:14
  • Hi Rathony, thanks for the reply. Yes I have looked up dictionary on both of those two words, across and provide. I understand what those mean. However, I am not sure whether "provide to across" is correct or not. Sometimes, I hear people use two prepositions (i.e. I am about to play soccer.)
    – Sungwoo
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:18

3 Answers 3


Words that can be used as prepositions take part in many idiomatic usages in English. That means that rational analysis won't tell you why they're used as they are; you just have to memorize these usages. First of all, as you noted, sometimes prepositions double up. For instance you can say

I went to the store with her

where with means accompanying, and you can say

He drove along the highway

where along means in a marked direction. But the two words can act as a unit (called a compound preposition):

I had to attend physics lectures along with laboratory sessions.

Here, along with means in addition to. But the two words don't always act as a unit. Take the sentence

She gets along with him.

In this case, the word along goes with the verb get to form what's called a phrasal verb. Get along means to have a good relationship. The sentence may be analyzed as

She (gets along) with him.

where the parenthesized words make up the verb, and with acts alone as a preposition. A further complication is that along may act as an adverb (i.e., as a modifier of a verb or adjective). For instance

He shuffled along with his head down.

In this case along is an adverb of manner, telling us how he shuffled, leaving with as the preposition.

  • Hi, deadrat. I edited the question and please see if they are OK. The OP seems to be confused about across more than about the compound preposition.
    – user140086
    Feb 12, 2016 at 10:36
  • Wow... I am amazed by your knowledge! I truly appreciate it, Deadrat. Thanks to you too, Rathony, for editing the format.
    – Sungwoo
    Feb 12, 2016 at 10:47
  • @Sungwoo You can accept the answer if you find it helpful by clicking on the check below the downvote mark on the left.
    – user140086
    Feb 12, 2016 at 11:44
  • @Rathony Looks fine to me.
    – deadrat
    Feb 12, 2016 at 11:52

See, you cannot use the phrase 'provide to across'. its not correct. Now, coming to your sentence, a better sentence with the same meaning would be- Health education is so important that it should be provided all across the country.(as it is 'so important', use of the word 'country' will be better)

However, your sentence is correct in a way, but still doesn't give a good feeling :)

  • I appreciate your answer!
    – Sungwoo
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:40
  • @Sungwoo i hope its correct then, you may use the word students as well.. Feb 12, 2016 at 9:41

If you were going to keep the sentence, I think it would be better to say:

"Health education is so important that it should be provided to all (of) the students."

"Across" isn't necessary.

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