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 you’ll 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.
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- 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.
Examples of Prepositional PhrasesThe 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 ExercisesThe following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how prepositional phrases work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.
- There are lots of birds nesting _____________________.
- Under the eaves
- After school, the children played tag ________________.
- At the park
- And baseball
- Come ___________________ with me.
- Into the store
- __________________ the chair sat mouldering in the attic.
- Sad to say,
- For one hundred years
- I gave the children pizza ______________ pancakes for breakfast today.
- Instead of
- Because of
- Any more