Parts of the Sentence - Prepositional Phrases
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 the object of the preposition.
A prepositional phrase may be used as an adjectiveAdjectives modify or affect the meaning of nouns and pronouns and tell us which, whose, what kind, and how many about the nouns or pronouns they modify. They come before the noun or pronoun they modify except for the predicate adjective which comes after a linking verb and modifies the subject. Source: Lesson 151 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.
A prepositional phrase may be used as an adverbAdverbs are words that modify (1) verbs, (2) adjectives, and (3) other adverbs. They tell how (manner), when (time), where (place), how much (degree), and why (cause). Source: Lesson 161 telling how, when, where, how much, and why and modifying the verb and sometimes an adjective. Adverb prepositional phrases can come anywhere in the sentence and can be moved within the sentence without changing the meaning.
Only adjective prepositional phrases modify the object of the preposition in another prepositional phrase. Notice that some prepositional phrases may be adverbs or adjectives because of their location in the sentence.
Instructions: Pick out the prepositional phrases in these sentences, identify what they tell us, and what they modify.
1. Do you have a reason for your absence from class?
- for your absence modifies reason (telling what kind)
- from class modifies absence (telling which)
2. The veterans from the war in Spain remained loyal.
- from the war modifies veterans (telling which)
- in Spain modifies war (telling which)
3. The class was delighted by the outcome of the story.
- by the outcome modifies was delighted (telling how or why)
- of the story modifies outcome (telling which)
4. Dozens of stories about heroes are in the school library.
- of stories modifies Dozens (telling what kind)
- about heroes modifies stories (telling what kind)
- in the school library modifies are (telling where)
5. In the afternoon Henrietta went to the library.
- In the afternoon modifies went (telling when)
- to the library modifies went (telling where)