Adverb particles and prepositions

Adverb particles are small adverbs like above, about, across, ahead, away, back, in, on, off, under and up. Many of these words can also be used as prepositions, but there are some exceptions: for example, back and away (only adverb particles); from and during (only prepositions).

Difference between adverb particles and prepositions

When words like on, in, up and down are used as prepositions, they take objects. When they are used as adverb particles they do not take objects.


  • He drove down the road. (down – preposition; object – the road)
  • Please sit down. (down – adverb particle; no object)
  • He is in the garden. (in – preposition; object – the garden)
  • May I come in? (in – adverb particle; no object)

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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