A preposition is a word that begins a prepositional phrase and shows
the relationship between its object and another word in the sentence.
A preposition must 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
These words can be used as other parts of speech. 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 preposition followed 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. Up what? There
is no object; therefore up is not a preposition. Down what? 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 or
what 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. Do you remember the title of the new book about morals?
2. Our work on the planning commission covers all kinds of ideas
3. Those immense houses on the west side of town were built
4. The man in the next room is the mayor.
5. Few of the citizens had ever seen that plan.