The English language is teeming with phrase prepositions- phrases that constitute the following structure: ‘preposition+ noun+ preposition’. For example, ‘to the satisfaction of’, ‘in accordance with’, ‘in response to’. Though most of these phase prepositions are easy to understand for even novices, there are several that can confuse even seasoned experts. Following is a list of 13 phrase prepositions that are quite similar in form but altogether different in meaning. It is advisable that you take a pen and paper and note these down:

1. In case of
in-case-of
Meaning- ‘In case of’ is used when you are referring to some particular event.
Example- In case of emergency, dial 100.

In the case of
Meaning- On the other hand, ‘in the case of’ refers to considering or regarding.
Example- The professor said that the essays submitted were mostly good, but in the case of Vishal and Rashmi, there was still much room for improvement.

2. In (the) face of

'I laugh in the face of danger.'

‘I laugh in the face of danger.’

Meaning- It means in the presence of.
Example- Rohit can’t possibly perform well in the exams in the face of such difficulties.
Shiraz showed exemplary courage in face of great danger.

On the face of (it)
Meaning- From appearances; judging from the way things look.
Example- On the face of the cutoff, the IIT-JEE exam was too difficult.
On the face of it, he seems to be telling the truth.

3. In favour of

The teacher was in favour of comic relief... but, not in class time!'

The teacher was in favour of comic relief… but, not in class time!’


Meaning- supporting, on the side of
Example- Over half the members voted in favour of the proposal.

In favour with
Meaning- having the approval of, liked by
Example- You can’t to be expect in favour with Karan if you are always criticizing him.

4. For fear of

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Meaning- because of being afraid of, out of anxiety about
Example- I avoid carrying huge wads of cash with me for fear of losing it.

In fear of
Meaning- anxious for the safety of
Example- She ran in fear of her life when she heard the gunfire.

5. By the name of
Meaning- named, with the name
Example- A woman by the name of Shalini called up this morning.

In the name of
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Meaning- in the cause of, for the love of; on the authority of
Example- in the course of history, many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion.
Stop in the name of the law!

6. At the point of
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Meaning- approaching (a state)
Example- Ankur’s grandfather is at the point of death.

On the point of
Meaning- on the verge of (doing something)
Example- I was on the point of leaving from the house when the phone suddenly rang.

7. In possession of
Meaning- having in one’s possession
Example- I am not in possession of all the details on the accident, so I can’t give my valid opinion on the matter.

In the possession of
quote-i-am-not-one-who-was-born-in-the-possession-of-knowledge-i-am-one-who-is-fond-of-antiquity-and-confucius-282244Meaning- possessed by, belonging to
Example- The official documents have been in the possession of the Indian archives for the past 50 years.

8. In/with regard to
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Meaning- regarding, concerning
Example- With regard to the safety of the operation, the doctor proposed several measures to be taken for the patient.

Out of regard for
Meaning- because of respect for, out of consideration for
Example- Out of regard for your outstanding work, I am recommending you for promotion.

9. In respect of
Meaning- with regard to, as regards, as far as something is concerned
Example- In respect of social improvement, the Indian government’s policy and paperwork are sound, but implementation has so far been ineffective.

With respect to
Meaning- with reference to
Example- With respect to your request for a salary hike, a final decision will be taken by the senior management in the next month.

10. At the sight of
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Meaning- when seeing
Example- Radhika burst out laughing at the sight of her younger brother’s new haircut.

In the sight of
Meaning- from the point of view of
Example- From a moral point of view, Rohit’s conduct can be excused, but in the sight of the law, he is guilty of libel.

11. At the time of
Meaning- at the particular point of time of
Example- Aditya was in India at the time of his father’s death.

In time of
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Meaning- at a general time of, during
Example- In time of need one is thankful for small comforts.

12. In view of
Meaning- considering
Example- In view of his recent success in the student body elections, Robert was asked to contest polls on a national level.

With a view to
Meaning- with the intention or purpose of
Example- Ritwik purchased the old, dilapidated house with a view to renovate it and sell it off at a handsome profit.

13. For/From want of
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Meaning- because of the lack of
Example- Many kharif and rabi crops in India have died from want of rain and a deficient monsoon.

In want of
Meaning- in need of, needing
Example- I am badly in want of a new pair of shoes, but my hectic schedule doesn’t leave me any time to go to the market!prepositional-phrase-4-638

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