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What is a Prepositional Phrase?

Prepositional phrases are groups of words containing prepositions.


Remember that prepositions are words that indicate the relationships
between various elements within a sentence, and youll never have
difficulty identifying prepositional phrases.
A prepositional phrase is a group of words that lacks either a verb or
a subject, and that functions as a unified part of speech. It normally
consists of a preposition and a noun or a preposition and a pronoun.

Remember the following rules for prepositional phrases and you will
find that using them becomes much easier.

Prepositional phrases always consist of two basic parts at


minimum: the object and the preposition.

In formal English, prepositions are almost always followed by


objects.

Adjectives can be placed between the prepositions and objects in


prepositional phrases.

Prepositional phrases can act as adverbs or adjectives. When they


are used as adjectives, they modify nouns and pronouns in the
same way single-word adjectives do.

When prepositional phrases are used as adverbs, they at the same


way single-word adverbs and adverb clauses do, modifying
adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs.

Just like bread and cheese are the minimum ingredients for making a
cheese sandwich, a preposition and the object of a preposition are
the minimum requirements for forming a prepositional phrase. The
object of a preposition is the name for the noun or pronoun following
the preposition.
Prepositional phrases dont have to be plain. Just as adding more
ingredients to a sandwich dresses it up, adding more words such as
adverbs or adjectives is a good method for spicing up prepositional
phrases. As you read the following examples of prepositional
phrases, youll notice that the first sentence in each set contains a
basic prepositional phrase, while the second one contains a more
interesting one.

Examples of Prepositional Phrases

The following sentences contain examples of prepositional phrases;


the prepositional phrase in each sentence is italicized for easy
identification.

The cupcake with sprinkles is yours.


The cupcake with colorful sprinkles is yours.

We climbed up the hill.


We climbed up the very steep hill.

The rabbits hopped through the garden.


The rabbits hopped through the perfectly manicured garden.
Prepositional Phrase

What Is a Prepositional Phrase?

A preposition draws a relationship between a noun or pronoun and


another word in a sentence. A prepositional phrase includes a
preposition, its object, and any modifiers of the object. The
prepositions object is the noun or pronoun that follows the
preposition. Prepositional phrases can function as either adjective
phrases or adverb phrases to modify other words in a sentence.

Common examples of prepositions include about, after, at, before,


behind, by, during, for, from, in, of, over, past, to, under, up, and with.

Examples of Prepositional Phrases Functioning as Adjective


Phrases:

The boy with him is his son.


(With is the preposition, and with him is the prepositional phrase. The
prepositional phrase functions as an adjective phrase, modifying
boy.)

You can use the broom behind you to sweep the floor.
(Behind is the preposition, and behind you is the prepositional
phrase. The prepositional phrase functions as an adjective phrase,
modifying broom.)

The bracelet in the storefront window is the one I want.


(In is the preposition, and in the storefront window is the prepositional
phrase. The prepositional phrase functions as an adjective phrase,
modifying bracelet.)

We stayed at the cabin by the river.


(By is the preposition, and by the river is the prepositional phrase.
The prepositional phrase functions as an adjective phrase, modifying
cabin.)

The store at the corner sells sandwiches.


(At is the preposition, and at the corner is the prepositional phrase.
The prepositional phrase functions as an adjective phrase, modifying
store.)

I adopted a black cat with white paws.


(With is the preposition, and with white paws is the prepositional
phrase. The prepositional phrase functions as an adjective phrase,
modifying cat.)
Examples of Prepositional Phrases Functioning as Adverb
Phrases:

When you get to the sign, take a left.


(To is the preposition, and to the sign is the prepositional phrase. The
prepositional phrase functions as an adverb phrase, modifying get.)

We climbed up the hill to see the view.


(Up is the preposition, and up the hill is the prepositional phrase. The
prepositional phrase functions as an adverb phrase, modifying
climbed.)

It annoys me when people talk during movies.


(During is the preposition, and during movies is the prepositional
phrase. The prepositional phrase functions as an adverb phrase,
modifying talk.)

Hannah looked under the bed to see if she could find her necklace.
(Under is the preposition, and under the bed is the prepositional
phrase. The prepositional phrase functions as an adverb phrase,
modifying looked.)
Ill meet you after school.
(After is the preposition, and after school is the prepositional phrase.
The prepositional phrase functions as an adverb phrase, modifying
meet.)

The sun rose over the mountain.


(Over is the preposition, and over the mountain is the prepositional
phrase. The prepositional phrase functions as an adverb phrase,
modifying rose.)

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