1. While trying to collect an envelope
  2. from under the table,
  3. Mr. X fell down and
  4. was losing consciousness.

Which of the above bold parts is wrong?

I think that #2 (“from under the table”) is wrong, since it has two prepositions together. Am I right?

  • 4
    Looks like homework! which part do you think is wrong and why? – None Mar 6 '14 at 6:48
  • asked in Gate 2014 – Sagar Pudi Mar 6 '14 at 7:56
  • downvote retracted as it will help others to learn from this example. – Maulik V Mar 6 '14 at 8:30
  • 1
    The part that doesn't have "envelop" in bold. – nxx Mar 6 '14 at 14:18

It does sound uncomfortable, but any general rule against consecutive prepositions is not set in stone. I would be more worried about the change in verb tense from from line 3 to line 4 from simple past to past progressive.


"From under the table" is usable. The location of the item is "under the table," and Mr X is collecting the item from the location, i.e. to move it from one place to another place.

As user13030 mentions the change in verb tense is the likely culprit. Line 3 says he "fell down," an action that has been completed, but line 4 says he "was losing" consciousness, an action in the past in the process of being completed. You'd have to reconcile those two by changing "was losing" to "lost".

  • 1
    I disagree. "was losing" is indeed a past action in the process of being completed, but it is fine here as it potentially brings us up to the point of another past action: "He was losing consciousness, but then someone threw water in his face and he got up." "lost" tells us that the action was completed, but this was not necessarily the case. (Having said that, this looks like a practice exercise, in which the case the answer would be "whichever answer demonstrates the point that was just taught"). – nxx Mar 13 '14 at 20:50

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