Useful Prepositional Phrases with AT

Common English phrases with the preposition AT

at a rate/speed
at all costs
at any rate
at fault
at first glance
at hand
at once
at random
at short notice
at the expense of
at this rate


Cyber crimes are rising at an alarming rate.

The lorry was going at a dangerous speed along the motorway.

Avoid taking the motorway at all costs – it’s jam-packed this morning.

I wasn’t able to go to the meeting but I hear I didn’t miss much at any rate (= anyway).

The minivan driver was clearly at fault. He was driving at a speed of 60mph while on his phone.

At first glance the exam seemed pretty easy.

“Do you have last month’s figures at hand?” (= near you) – “No, but I can go and get them.”

Why are you still watching TV? Get ready for bed at once! (= immediately)

Hang on, I can’t do two things at once! // I wish you would all stop talking at once! (= at the same time)

The magician told me to select a card at random from the deck.

I doubt the doctor will be able to see me at such short notice.

She became very successful but at the expense of many friendships.

At this rate I am never going to speak Italian. I need to study and practise a lot more.

LEARNING TIP! Try and make your own examples, especially when the phrase is new to you, and ask your English teacher or a proficient English speaker to check them for you.

AND if you can make the examples meaningful and relevant to your life it will help you even more.