If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:7:50

Video transcript

hey grammarians today we're talking about compound prepositions which are prepositions that have more than one syllable on a syllable is like a unit of rhythmic measurement in language so for example you could say compound prepositions right so so the word compound has has two syllables here and the word prepositions has four and it's just how many rhythmic word sounds there are that's all it means and it generally tends to mean that a word is more complicated adding to the complication is that a lot of these words have multiple meanings beginning with between so between can have a literal meaning but I can also have a metaphorical meaning and what it means is that when you use between in a sentence you're considering multiple objects as individuals so between considers individuals I'll explain so you could say something literal like the fire fly zipped between the raindrops literally going in between each one but you could also use it in an abstract metaphorical way what do you want to watch I can't decide between humdinger and police cat right which are made up TV shows this describes not a physical relationship but the relationship of ideas you're choosing between two ideas or or making a decision between two concepts now between often gets confused with the word among and they do have distinct meanings because we're between considers individuals among is a preposition that considers collections so among considers collectively among can also have a literal physical meaning or a metaphorical meaning we could say something like Ashley and Cyrus frolicked among the daisies and we could say this because there we're not really distinguishing between each individual daisy the way that the Firefly up here in this sentence is distinguishing between each individual raindrop that it flies between I imagine Ashley inside dancing through or frolicking through a field of daisies and they're not distinguishing between each one you can also use among metaphorically and say among the ideas you've had I like this one best so considering the entire collection of ideas that you might have had like say for a television show like something called humdinger and something called police cat we among those ideas among like a multitude of ideas I like this one but the difference is in this in this prepositional phrase that we're just sort of considering all of those ideas as a collective group let's look at some more prepositions around is a word that has both a literal and a metaphorical connotation and around is in the literal sense is pretty pretty explanatory pretty self-explanatory the Fox ran around the tree right so we've got this tree we've got a little fox going around it there was the weird-looking little foxy but in the metaphorical sense we can also use this connotation of going around something in a circle you know the mayor talked around the issue you can use the word around as a metaphor to say that someone is avoiding something by instead of addressing it head on just going what what's that whoop nope here's your little trouble box here so you can take this physical idea and extend it into the realm of the figurative in language against right has this connotation of opposing or opposition and literally you can say something like Rudyard leaned heavily against a tree or you can use it metaphorically by by saying that you're opposed to something you're opposed to an idea right Georgie campaigned against clog-dancing which for the record is a beautiful tradition within is a word that basically just means in or inside and you can use it literally you know to say there is a frog within the pond which is maybe a little ponderous but you get the idea but if you want to get metaphorical you could say non literally who can say what is within Ralph's heart right and we're not asking you know what's the condition of his cardiac muscles what I'm talking about the blood we're talking about what you know what spiritually or what emotionally is going on inside Ralph without is an interesting one because it kind of has it used to mean something different it used to mean something more akin to outside but now it has this connotation of just not with it's the opposite of with I guess we're going to the candy planet without Stu then all right let's look at two more examples so inside basically means the same thing as in or within you can use it much the same way as you would use any of the any of those other two words so you could use it literally and ask what's inside the box but we can also use this kind of interior tea as a metaphor and say what's inside her mind right now because the difference between that and the literal sentence is you can open the box you can't really open someone's mind not physically anyway you can open someone's mind by showing them new foods and movies and books and music and stuff but you can't really get inside someone's head unless you're you know a psychic mind wizard finally beyond and beyond is a preposition that has this connotation of being far away like far away and past some point and it also has a literal meaning and it has a metaphorical meaning so for example you could say literally beyond those mountains is Tourelles Kingdom right we're using these mountains as like a literal literal boundary of snow-capped peaks and past them is terr Elia but you can also use it as a metaphor we can use this physical relationship as a metaphor you can say something like this strawberries flavor is beyond anything I've ever had before right this is just like the world's most delicious strawberry and it's its taste its flavor surpasses it goes past you know over the mountains and into Torelli that's how delicious it is oh my goodness what a strawberry you know we're using this physical relationship as a figurative metaphor we're using that to say that this strawberry over here is way better than anything else that we've had previously like this square rock this is a you used to eat rocks before now you've had a strawberry for the first time oh my goodness is just blowing you away although we do eat rocks all the time if you think about what salt is technically anyway these are eight of the most common compound prepositions there are more listed in the exercises you can learn anything Dave it out