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 adverb 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. The boys jumped quickly over the wall.
2. The old dog is troublesome in many ways.
3. The pirate map was hidden underneath a big rock.
4. The family was waiting for us at the rest stop.
5. In the morning I will come for the plans.
–For answers scroll down.
1. over the wall modifies the verb “jumped”
2. in many ways modifies the predicate adjective “troublesome”
3. underneath a big rock modifies the verb “was hidden”
4. for us/ at the rest stop modify the verb “was waiting”
5. in the morning/ for the plans modify the verb “will come”
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