Daily Grammar

Lesson 176

Parts of the Sentence - Prepositional Phrases

A preposition is a word that begins a prepositional phrase and shows the relationship between its object and another word in the sentence. A preposition must always have an object. A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition, ends with an object, and may have modifiers between the preposition and the object of the preposition.

Here is a list of common words that can be used as prepositions: about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, beyond, but (when it means except), by, concerning, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, out, outside, over, past, since, through, to, toward, under, until, up, upon, with, within, and without.

These words can be used as other parts of speech, depending on how the word is used in a particular sentence. Many of the common words used as prepositions can be used as adverbsAdverbs are words that modify (1) verbs, (2) adjectives, and (3) other adverbs. They tell how (manner), when (time), where (place), how much (degree), and why (cause). Source: Lesson 161. Words are prepositions if they have an object to complete them.

To decide if the word in question is a preposition, say the preposition followed by whom or what. If a nounA noun is a word that names a person, place, or thing. Examples: man, city, book, and courage. Nouns often follow words like a, an, and the. Source: Lesson 16 or a pronounA pronoun is a word that replaces a noun or a group of words used as a noun.
Source: Lesson 21
answers the question, the word is a preposition. If there is no noun or pronoun to complete the phrase, the word is not a preposition.

Example: The boy stood up and ran down the street. Up what? There is no object; therefore up is not a preposition. Down what? Street answers the question; therefore, down is a preposition. Down the street is the prepositional phrase starting with the preposition down and ending with the object street with a modifier the in between.

A prepositional phrase may be used as an adjectiveAdjectives modify or affect the meaning of nouns and pronouns and tell us which, whose, what kind, and how many about the nouns or pronouns they modify. They come before the noun or pronoun they modify except for the predicate adjective which comes after a linking verb and modifies the subject. Source: Lesson 151 telling which or what kind and modifying a noun or pronoun. An adjective prepositional phrase will come right after the noun or pronoun that it modifies. If there are two adjective prepositional phrases together, one will follow the other. Only adjective prepositional phrases modify the object of the preposition in another prepositional phrase.

Instructions: Pick out the adjective prepositional phrases in these sentences and tell what they modify.

1. Do you remember the title of the new book about morals?

Do you remember the title of the new book about morals?
  - of the new book modifies title
  - about morals modifies book

2. Our work on the planning commission covers all kinds of ideas and concepts.

Our work on the planning commission covers all kinds of ideas and concepts.
  - on the planning commission modifies work
  - of ideas and concepts modifies kinds

3. Those immense houses on the west side of town were built recently.

Those immense houses on the west side of town were built recently.
  - on the west side modifies houses
  - of town modifies side

4. The man in the next room is the mayor.

The man in the next room is the mayor.
  - in the next room modifies man

5. Few of the citizens had ever seen that plan.

Few of the citizens had ever seen that plan.
  - of the citizens modifies few





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