If Gryffindor won, they would move (1) up into second place in the house championship. (Harry Potter book1)

They follow him (2) out into the farmyard, and (3) on into the old flint barn. (The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life)

Are those examples of (1), (2) and (3) the same consecutive prepositions as the case in J.R.’s reply?

1 Answer 1


The first example of “move up into second place” is a phrasal verb, to move up followed by a preposition.

There is nothing “wrong”, nor even uncommon, with stacking prepositions in English. You can lean out of a second-storey window, or ask someone to come on up out of the cellar — or even, and somewhat famously, ask them what they brought that book that you don’t want to be read to out of up for.

  • 1
    AHDEL classifies out of as a single ('complex') preposition; cf on top of, the obsolescent over against, and the (arguably 'simple') fused form into (and many others). Come on up out of the cellar arguably contains a particle, an adverb, and the complex preposition out of. Jan 7, 2013 at 7:23

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