Daily Grammar

Lesson 177

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. The book on the table in the English classroom is Barbara's book.

The book on the table in the English classroom is Barbara's book.
  - on the table modifies book
  - in the English classroom modifies table

2. The girl in the neighboring house plays the flute every night.

The girl in the neighboring house plays the flute every night.
  - in the neighboring house modifies girl

3. Large blocks of the hardest granite formed the walls of the new building.

Large blocks of the hardest granite formed the walls of the new building.
  - of the hardest granite modifies blocks
  - of the new building modifies walls

4. The roads of ancient Rome connected the cities of the empire.

The roads of ancient Rome connected the cities of the empire.
  - of ancient Rome modifies roads
  - of the empire modifies cities

5. I know that man in the gray suit and the suede shoes.

I know that man in the gray suit and the suede shoes.
  - in the gray suit and the suede shoes modifies man





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