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.
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.
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. Notice that some prepositional phrases may be adverbs or adjectives because of their location in the sentence.
Instructions: Pick out the prepositional phrases in these sentences, identify what they tell us, and what they modify.
1. The boys searched the beach for sand dollars.
- for sand dollars modifies searched (telling why)
2. The grass behind the house and near the fence is dying.
- behind the house and near the fence modify grass (telling which)
3. A deep ditch was dug near the boundary of the factory.
- near the boundary modifies was dug (telling where)
- of the factory modifies boundary (telling which)
4. A pretty girl with brown hair and eyes sat near me at the banquet.
- with brown hair and eyes modifies girl (telling what kind)
- near me and at the banquet modify sat (telling where)
5. The three contestants listened carefully to each question.
- to each question modifies listened (telling how)