The word ‘above’ can be used as a preposition, adverb and adjective with different meanings. In general, when above is used as a preposition, it means higher or better than an amount, level or standard. Note when it is used as a preposition, it must be followed by a noun, noun phrase or a pronoun as prepositions are always followed by nouns or pronouns. And when it is used as an adverb, there will be no nouns or pronouns following it. These two rule are applicable for other words when used as prepositions or adverbs respectively.
As a preposition, Above is used to show someone’s rank is higher or their job is more important than someone else’s. see the examples :
a. At office, Karim is above me in terms of position. But my work is more important than that of him.
Above is used to show ‘not beyond a particular type of behaviour’ or beyond something. see the examples :
a. no one should behave above their true nature. (means going beyond nature)
b. Students nowadays are behaving in a way that is above their nature.
Uses of above as adjective or adverb are given below :
Above is used to show someone/something is in an earlier (former) part of a piece of writing or higher up a page. See the examples below :
a. Many of the documents mentioned above are now available on the Internet. (here above is used as an adverb)
b. Mr. Karim and Mrs. Marina, pictured above, got married just last month. (here above is also used as an adverb)
c. Our next meeting will be held at the above address (addressed that is mentioned earlier in the paper) on 26th March. (here above is used as an adjective)
Note : Remember that both above and over can be used to show something is at a higher position or place or level than something else. Despite having said that, there are slight and clear differences between them which will be discussed later in the next session. so keep browsing this site. See the example below where both above or over can be used :
a. A fighter jet is flying over or above our village. (meaning the plane is at a position higher than our house is)
Finally if you find this article useful in learning English then please share it with friends and classmates. Good luck!