Daily Grammar

Lesson 71

Parts of Speech - Prepositions

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.

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 without.

These words can be used as other parts of speech, depending on how the word is used in a particular sentence. Many of the common words used as prepositions can be used as adverbs. Words are prepositions if they have an object to complete them.

To decide if the word in question is a preposition, say the preposition followed by whom or what. If a noun or a pronoun answers the question, the word is a preposition. If there is no noun or pronoun to complete the phrase, the word is not 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.

Instructions: Find the prepositional phrases in the following sentences.

1. Jim painted a picture on the wall of the house.

Jim painted a picture on the wall of the house.

2. I like to lie in the shade of the apricot tree and think of the jobs for the day.

I like to lie in the shade of the apricot tree and think of the jobs for the day.

3. The dog jumped over the mound behind the barn and ran into the street.

The dog jumped over the mound behind the barn and ran into the street.

4. Everyone but you will need a note from home with parental permission.

Everyone but you will need a note from home with parental permission.

5. Around the yard for miles, you could see nothing except junk.

Around the yard for miles, you could see nothing except junk.

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