Are two prepositions allowed along with one another in the English language?

For example:

An opportunity will happen on through any doors

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    The example sentence makes no sense – what were you trying to say? – BladorthinTheGrey Nov 20 '16 at 15:33
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    There are certain examples, such as ''She handed me the pen from under / behind / beside / on top of / inside ... + suitable determiner + noun phrase" etc. "It is up under the gutter'"and "They picnicked down by / beside the river" etc might be argued to be distinct structures. Certainly, most random pairings of prepositions-or-are-they? are unacceptable. But there are many intransitive MWV + PP possibilities: "He gave in at the first sign of trouble." "I locked up after five pm." – Edwin Ashworth Nov 20 '16 at 16:23
  • Is that supposed to be a translation of “Behind any door lies an opportunity”? – Jim Nov 20 '16 at 16:30
  • I'm no expert on parts of speech, but is the "along with" in the question title an example of two adjacent prepositions? – James Nov 21 '16 at 14:05

There are some cases, but they are mostly idioms or set phrases.

The most obvious I can think of is "over in" (which really means "over there in")

There are five cars over in the garage.

But your example doesn't make any sense - especially since 'on' is a preposition indicating location, while 'through' indicates direction.

  • Sorry guys I'm not a native and it's why I make many mistakes in Englich grammar – Arman Nov 20 '16 at 15:36
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    Try the English Language Learners site here in SE - ell.stackexchange.com – John Feltz Nov 20 '16 at 15:37

Since a preposition normally governs a NP (noun phrase) the general answer is No.

There are many examples of sentences containing sequences of words that could all be prepositions (for example, anything containing the phrase "put up with"). But on inspection, only one of the words ('with', in that case) is being used as a preposition.

So your example is not grammatical. In fact, when I read it, I try to make the "on" something other than a preposition, and wonder if there is a phrasal verb "happen on". (There is one, a transitive phrase meaning "find by chance", but it doesn't make sense here).


As @ColinFine answered, the general answer is no. However, there are some idiomatic usages with two prepositions such as

He stole it from under my nose.

The cat came from under the desk.

Some more examples: from behind, from beneath, etc.

There are other examples such as out of and off of as in "Get out of here." and "Get off of my back." but some people say that out and off are not prepositions.

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