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An adposition is one of a class of words that occurs alongside nouns to express precise relationships between the and other elements of the sentence, e.g. English in, at, of, to, with, despite. In English, these are called prepositions.

Crosslinguistically, these words may occur either before or after nouns. When they occur after nouns, they are called postpositions. An English example of a postposition is notwithstanding, as in the sentence Your objections notwithstanding, we shall proceed..1 Because the term preposition implies something that precedes the noun, we use the term adposition to cover prepositions and postpositions.

Whether a language uses prepositions or postpositions is strongly correlated with the language’s basic word order. See: Relationship between adposition placement and basic word order.

  1. The English word notwithstanding can appear either as a postposition (e.g., in your objections notwithstanding) or a preposition (e.g., in notwithstanding your objections). 

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