Many sources say to use noun phrases, nouns, or objective pronouns as objects of preposition. As per that, "Like I said" should be corrected to "As I said." At the same time, we have sources which agree with using noun clauses and gerunds as objects of prepositions. The following are valid sentences which agree with noun clauses as objects of preposition.

Examples: The extra doughnuts are free to whoever wants them.

She is saving her trump card for when she needs it most.

I cannot work with people who aren't interested in teamwork.

Please clarify the confusion.

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    I don't understand the question. Your three examples are all perfectly natural. There are still plenty of pedants ready to complain about people mixing up as and like, but almost all native speakers sometimes use those words in ways that others might complain about. And I don't see how that like / as distinction relates to the rest of the question text. Jan 9 at 15:20
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    I have read from many sources that finite clauses should not be used after prepositions. "As I said" is correct compared to "like I said." We met during my stay in Paris VS We met when/while I was staying in Paris. (preposition with the phrase, conjunction with the clause). If that information is correct then is it not in conflict with the examples in bold- which are correct?
    – BumbleBee
    Jan 9 at 17:09
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    Everyone uses "like I said" to mean "as I said". Where is a finite clause used after a preposition??
    – Lambie
    Jan 9 at 17:18
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    @brp7 Prepositions can certainly take clauses as complement. Both "like I said" and "as I said" are preposition phrases headed by the preps "like" and "as" with the subordinate clause "I said" as complement. However, none of your examples have a clause as complement of a preposition: "whoever wants them" and "people who aren't interested in teamwork" are noun phrases, and "when she needs it most" is a preposition phrase.
    – BillJ
    Jan 9 at 18:26
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    CGEL defines "preposition" in an expansive way that includes "when". CGEL makes arguments to justify this decision, but it is a departure from tradition: their definition of "preposition" is definitely not the most common one, and "when" is more commonly considered an adverb.
    – nschneid
    Jan 10 at 2:10

1 Answer 1


A clear example of a finite clause as complement of a preposition is:

  • I am confused about whether I should say it this way.

Some grammatical descriptions might call "about" used in this way a subordinating conjunction rather than a preposition. This is based on a tradition in English grammar that is now controversial; many linguists would say this "about" is a preposition just like it would be in "I am confused about the problem".

So, it depends on your definition of "preposition". But many words that occur as prepositions with a noun phrase may also occur in the same meaning with a clause.

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