Prepositional Phrases


– A prepositional phrase consists of the preposition, its object. The object of the preposition is always a noun, pronoun, or a group of words used as a noun.

I put the book on the table


On is the preposition in the above sentence. To find the object of the preposition ask
“on what?” The noun “table” answers the question, so it is the object of the preposition.


– Prepositional phrases are used as adjectives or adverbs.


A. When prepositional phrases are used as adjectives, the phrase comes immediately after the noun or pronoun it modifies. The phrase answers one of the following questions about the word it modifies: nWhich one? What kind of? How many? Whose?

EX  – The book on the table is mine. 

The prepositional phrase, “on the table,” tells which book. The phrase “on the table” is used as an adjective modifying the noun “book.”


B. When prepositional phrases are used as adverbs, they may be found any place in the sentence.
The adverb phrase tells how, when, where, or under what condition about a verb, adjective, or adverb.


EX – I put the book on the table


The phrase “on the table” tells whereI put the book. It modifies the verb “put” and is used as an adverb.


4. The following is a list of frequently used prepositions:

A. Simple Prepositions: single word

about, above, according to, across, after, against, along, amid, amidst, among, away, from, apart, from, around, aside, from, at, before, behind, below, beneath, on, onto out, outside, over past, through to towards, under, underneath, until up, upon, beside, besides, between, beyond, concerning, despite, down, during, except, for from in, into, including, like, near, of, off, with, within, without

B. Compound Prepositions: two or three words 

because of, in spite of, along with, out of, by means of, by way of, in front of, next to, across from,

Quiz - Prepositional Phrases : Decide whether the UNDERLINED prepositional phrases are adjectives or adverbs

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1. After the movie the group of teenagers went to McDonalds for a burger.
2. Without sugar the blueberries were too sour for the dinner guests.
3. Sally worked from midnight to noon on her science project.
4. Over the river and through the woods to grandfather’s house we go.
5. He ate three boxes of popcorn with butter during the movie.
6. Despite his fear of water Jack saved the drowning puppy.
7. Janet took her lunch with her to the seminar.
8. At the Country Fair the child with the freckles won the talent contest.
9. For breakfast she likes bananas with strawberries.
10. Down the dark alley the cat chased a rat with long whiskers.
11. The police searched throughout the apartment complex for the escaped criminal.
12. During the summer Gordie fishes under the large oak tree beside Silver Creek.
13. By noon Jimmy decided a nap on the hammock would be nice.
14. Geese live in flocks while cattle live among herds.
15. Around the world music brings together people of all nationalities.
16. He likes movies about war; she prefers movies with a romantic theme.
17. Away from home for the first time Mary wrote numerous letters to her family.
18. Mud squished beneath her feet as Ann walked through the woods during a rainstorm.
19. The sculptures above the entrance were designed by a nineteenth century artist.
20. Inside the auditorium a group of dancers were practicing.