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English Grammar


Set phrases or groups of words introduced with the prepositions 'at' and 'for'.

Prepositional phrases are set phrases or groups of words introduced by a preposition.

Below are some examples of commonly-used propositional phrases with 'AT' and 'FOR', with their meaning and a sentence showing how they are used.

Preposition Prepositional phrase Meaning Example
AT At an advantage In a favourable position that makes success more likely Sophie's computer skills puts her at an advantage.
At a disadvantage In an unfavourable position that reduces the chances of success Without computer skills Eva is at a disadvantage.
At any cost / at all costs no matter how much effort or money is required We must avoid the spread of the virus at any cost / at all costs.
At a distance Not too close The policeman followed the suspect at a distance.
At any rate anyway; anyhow Nobody knew much about the problem. At any rate Tom didn't.
At ease Comfortable and relaxed I was immediately at ease with the group.
At a glance As soon as you see something The technician identified the problem at a glance.
At hand Close or very near I always keep a dictionary at hand when I'm writing.
At large still free; not yet captured The suspected murderer is still at large.
At length For a long time He spoke at length about the dangers of alcohol.
At liberty Be allowed/be free to do something I am not at liberty to reveal the details.
At most At the maximum It will cost you 50€ at the most.
At odds (with) In disagreement The two heirs are at odds with each other.
At once Immediately; instantly It's urgent. Tell him to call me at once!
At the latest No later than The boss wants the report by Friday at the latest.
At random In no particular order Samples were distributed at random.
At risk In danger The house is at risk if the river overflows.
At the outset At the begininning or start It all seemed very simple at the outset.
At short notice A short time beforehand I can't change the arrangements at (such) short notice.
At a standstill Stopped completely (for the moment) Renovation work on the museum is at a standstill.
At times Occasionally; sometimes The old lady behaves strangely at times.
FOR For ages For a long time I haven't been downtown for ages!
For a change To do something different Let's go hiking for a change.
For instance To give an example John works late. For instance, yesterday he left the office at 9 pm.
For nothing In vain The trains are on strike. I walked to the station for nothing!
For nothing At no cost He gave me several books and dictionaries for nothing!
For the sake of For the purpose of; in the interest of They stayed together for the sake of their children.
For short As a short form William is his name, but he's called Bill for short.
For now Until a later time That's all the information we have for now.
For sale/rent/hire Something offered to people to buy/rent/hire ... That red car is for sale.
For better or worse Whatever the consequences Anyway, I accepted the job, for better or worse.
For want of Because of a lack of For want of a better place we set up camp in a field.
For a while For a period of time I'd like to stop working and travel for a while.

More Prepositional Phrases: 

Try these online exercises: 

at-on-in at-for-from-in-

See also: Prepositions

more exercises

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