Daily Grammar

Lesson 179

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 adverbs. 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 adverbAdverbs 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 telling how, when, where, how much, and why and modifying the verb and sometimes an adjective.  Adverb prepositional phrases can come anywhere in the sentence and can be moved within the sentence without changing the meaning. Only adjective prepositional phrases modify the object of the preposition in another prepositional phrase.

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

1. We are proud of the Utah Jazz and of their record.

We are proud of the Utah Jazz and of their record.
  - of the Utah Jazz and of their record modify proud (predicate adjective)

2. The dark shadows stretched across the road and the park.

The dark shadows stretched across the road and the park.
  - across the road and the park modifies stretched

3. On the hill stands an old castle.

On the hill stands an old castle.
  - On the hill modifies stands

4. The employee came for his money.

The employee came for his money.
  - for his money modifies came

5. Bill walked down the trail during the rain storm.

Bill walked down the trail during the rain storm.
  - down the trail and during the rain storm modify walked





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