Prepositions – Above

  • Above can mean in or at a higher place.

    Pattern 1: be + above + noun A dark cloud was above the house.

    Pattern 2: verb + noun + above + noun Let’s hang the picture above the sofa.
    Verbs commonly used before above:
    arrange, carry, hang, hold, keep, place, put, set

  • Above can mean at a higher level, value, or rank.
    Her blood pressure is above normal.
    The children in her class are all above average.
    In the navy, a captain is above a commander.
  • Above (adverb) can indicate something written earlier in a book, article, or other document.
    Please see the instructions above.
  • Above (adjective) describes something written earlier.
    Please follow the above instructions.
  • Above indicates that a person is too good to commit the stated negative action.

    Pattern 1: be + above + noun The policeman is above cruelty.
    Nouns often used after above:
    cruelty, dishonesty, meanness, perjury, theft, murder, treason

    Pattern 2: be + above + verb in gerund form
    He may be poor, but he is above stealing.
    Gerunds often used with this meaning:
    breaking the law, cheating, gossiping, lying, robbing, snooping, stealing

  • Expressions
    up above (adverb)—in heaven
    Our dear grandmother is now in peace up above.
    above and beyond the call of duty—action that is more or greater than what is expected of a person
    My teacher’s help after school was above and beyond the call of duty.
    above board—completely honest and open
    Our negotiations with the company were above board.
    above the law—exempt from restrictions of the law People in power sometimes believe they are above the law.