Parts of Speech
Prepositions

Preposition

A preposition shows the relationship of the noun or pronoun following it to some other word in the sentence.

The dog with the yellow collar trotted merrily down the street.

With is the preposition, collar is the object of the preposition, and with the yellow collar is the complete prepositional phrase.

Down is the preposition, street is the object of the preposition, and down the street is the complete prepositional phrase.

Prepositional phrase

A prepositional phrase consists of the preposition, its object, and any modifiers between these two words.

To determine the prepositional phrase, take the preposition and ask whom? or what? after it.

For example, take the preposition with and ask with whom? or with what? and you get the answer collar in the above sentence. Therefore, collar is the object of the preposition.

All the other words between the preposition and its object are the modifiers.

The prepositional phrase consists of the preposition (with) + modifiers (the yellow) + its object (collar). Therefore, the entire prepositional phrase is with the yellow collar.

Prepositional phrases are used as adjectives modifying nouns or pronouns, or as adverbs modifying verbs, usually.

The prepositional phrase with the yellow collar identifies which dog trotted merrily down the road, so it is used as an adjective and modifies the noun dog.

The other prepositional phrase is down the street. Since it tells us where the dog trotted, it is used as an adverb and modifies the verb trotted.

List of Common Prepositions

aboard about above across after against
alongamidamongaroundatbefore
behindbelowbeneathbesidebesidesbetween
beyondbut (except)byconcerningconsideringdespite
downduringexceptexcludingfollowingfor
fromininsideintolikeminus
nearofoffonontoopposite
outoutsideoverpastperplus
regardingroundsincethroughthroughouttill
totowardtowardsunderunderneathunlike
untilupuponwithwithinwithout

Compound preposition

A compound preposition consists of more than one word, but it acts in the same way as a single preposition. Some examples are according to, because of, by means of, in spite of, instead of, and on account of.

Practice

Instructions: Identify the 20 prepositions in the following sentences.

  1. The fundraiser by the Lion's Club on Thursday night was a great success by all standards.
  2. The organizers raised a thousand dollars by selling tickets for $10 each on a door key.
  3. The owner of the winning key won a dinner for eight guests; the meal will be prepared in his home by the chefs at CONA.
  4. Instead of the lobster dinner that was planned, the chefs served steaks because of the scarcity of lobsters at this time of the year.
  5. In spite of that, everyone had a great time at the auction, at the dinner, and at the casino night.

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