I was reading an article by GrammarBook.com when the moderators used a term I had never heard of.

Out of is a phrasal preposition.

What is exactly a phrasal preposition? Is it when a preposition is forced to immediately follow another preposition?

While I'm at it, are in front of and on top of phrasal prepositions, too? Maybe you haven't noticed, but on top and in front both always take of when there is a noun.

I am on top [of you].

I am in front [of these people].

I am out [of here].

I walked out [of the building].

So what's up with this phrasal preposition business? Anybody familiar with the term?

  • 1
    As a native speaker I have never had to learn English from a grammar book. Hence I have never heard of "phrasal prepositions". But what you are saying sounds perfectly logical.
    – WS2
    Aug 23, 2017 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


No. A phrasal preposition is a phrase that mimics a preposition, such as "rather than" or "in lieu of."

On top of, in front of, and out of are phrasal prepositions because they are phrases that act as prepositions.

  • If all three are phrasal prepositions, then why did you say, "No"?
    – user231780
    Aug 24, 2017 at 0:49
  • 1
    Wait, nvm. I see what you mean now.
    – user231780
    Aug 24, 2017 at 1:32

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