A preposition is a word that begins a prepositional phrase and shows the relationship between its object and another word in the sentence. A prepositionmust always have an object. A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition, ends with an object, and may have modifiers between the preposition and 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. What part of speech it is depends on how it is used in that sentence. Many of the common words used as prepositions can be used as adverbs. They are prepositions if they have an object to complete them. To decide which it is, say the prepositionfollowed by whom or what. If a noun or a pronoun answers the question, the word is a preposition.
Example: The boy stood up and ran down the street. Upwhat? There is no object; therefore up is not a preposition. Downwhat? 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 adjective telling which orwhat 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.
2. The girl in the neighboring house plays the flute every night.
3. Large blocks of the hardest granite formed the walls of the new building.
4. The roads of ancient Rome connected the cities of the empire.
5. I know that man in the gray suit and the suede shoes.
–For answers scroll down.
1. on the table modifies “book”/ in the English classroommodifies “table”
2. in the neighboring house modifies “girl”
3. of the hardest granite modifies “blocks”/ of the new building modifies “walls”
4. of ancient Rome modifies “roads”/ of the empiremodifies “cities”
5. in the gray suit and the suede shoes modifies “man”
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