A preposition is a word or group of words
that shows the relationship--in time,
space, or some other senses--between its
object and another word in the sentence.
There are three kinds of prepositions
Simple: after, except, off, with
Compound: alongside, into, throughout,
underneath, without, within
Phrasal: across from, near to, in place of
Prepositional phrases consist of two parts:
The preposition and the object.
The object will be either a noun or a
In English there are hundreds of
prepositions, and the sad fact is you have
to memorize them to know them.
Examples: around, about, at, before, beside,
beyond, by, down, over, past under,
underneath, until, with, within, without, etc.
In formal English, a preposition must be
followed by an object.
Adjectives may come between the
preposition and the object.
A sentence can not end with a
preposition, because it must take an
Wrong: Who are you talking to?
Correct: To whom are you talking?
>>>Formal English only, when we speak we
do not follow this rule.
Prepositional phrases are either
adjectives or adverbs.
When they are adjectives, they modify
nouns and pronouns
When they are adverbs, they modify
verbs, adverbs, and adjectives
Prepositional phrases that are adjectives
answer the questions
The salesman with red hair is the one who
sold me the TV. (which one)
The blue car is the one that belongs to
I want a hamburger without lettuce. (what
I’ll be back in three minutes.(number)
Prepositional phrases that are adverbs answer
Archie took a trip to the moon. (where)
We went hiking on Mt. Baldy on Sunday.
(where and when)
We are going ice skating for Joan’s
We went by ferry to the Islands. (how and
When two or more prepositional phrases follow
each other, they may modify the same word, or
one phrase may modify the object in the
We took a trip to the top of the mountain.
of the mountain is an adverb that modifies the
object of the prepositional phrase “to the top”
They arrived at the airport on time.
(Both phrases modify arrived; "at the airport"
tells where and "on time" tells when.)
Chicago is on the northeast tip of Illinois.
("on the northeast tip" modifies "is"; "of Illinois"
The object of the preposition must not be
confused with the subject.
The object of the preposition can NEVER
be the subject of a sentence.
This is important when forming subjectverb agreement.
Another thing to remember about
prepositional phrases, is that they can
have two or even three objects.
She flew to London and Paris.
The dog ran around the tree and the
Prepositional Phrase or Infinitive Phrase?
"To" followed by a verb is an infinitive
“To" followed by a noun or pronoun is a
Preposition or Adverb?
You can distinguish prepositions by their objects
Preposition: The bird flew out the window.
("window" is the object of "out.")
Adverb: We went out last night.
("out" has no object.)