You may wonder what a preposition is. It is a word that connects two phrases or ideas in a sentence. The usage of prepositions is for specifying when, how, why and where. The most basic form of a prepositional phrase includes a preposition and its object. They can both be a single word or a group of words that can express a single idea. The true purpose of using a prepositional phrase is to give some additional information about a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb.
There are some that say there are more than 150 prepositions in total, but one does not need to memorize all the prepositions in order to identify one in a sentence. Because prepositional phrases are here to provide extra information about a clause.
Here are some examples of prepositional phrases. The prepositions are in bold. And the 2nd sentence is for what the sentences look like without the use of prepositional phrases.
Every prepositional phrase consists of one or more prepositions and one or more objects.
As mentioned earlier, prepositions are used to specify when, where, how, and why. A preposition links a part of a sentence with that of another.
to, for, with, by, at, on, in, of, and many more.
The 2nd part of a prepositional phrase would be called the object of a preposition. The object of a preposition is also the word or phrase that gives a preposition its meaning. It tells us something about the time, place, manner, or intention of the idea or phrase it modifies.
It went to the moon.
The full prepositional phrase is “to the moon.” The preposition in this sentence is to, the object of the preposition is the moon, and the modified phrase is it went.
There are times when a prepositional phrase begins with more than one preposition. A combination of two or more prepositions would express a different meaning than their individual parts. Here are some examples:
Prepositional phrases can also be used to provide all sorts of information about a noun, pronoun, or verb. But most of the prepositional phrases would usually fall into these following categories.
There are some prepositional phrases that tell us who did something or who got something.
Then there are other prepositional phrases that tell us what is used in order to complete an action.
A particular way of expressing when an event happens is with the use of a prepositional phrase.
There are also times where we specify exactly where something is, so we almost always use prepositional phrases.
Reasons for activities can also be expressed using prepositional phrases.
Some verbs seem to have a specific meaning especially when they are combined with certain prepositions. These multi-word verbs are called phrasal verbs. The two are quite similar, but phrasal verbs shouldn’t be confused with prepositional phrases. Below are some examples of phrasal verbs:
There have been many overlaps between phrasal verbs and prepositional phrases that sometimes it is almost impossible to tell them apart from each other. For instance, if a verb were to change its meaning completely when it is combined with a certain preposition, it can be considered a phrasal verb. When a verb and a preposition both maintain their original meaning, the combination is likely to be a prepositional phrase.
Infinitives and prepositional phrases most often seem to be quite identical. However, an infinitive is practically the basic form of a verb that is not have a connection to the subject of a sentence. Infinitives are formed by combining the word to and the stem of a verb. For example:
It’s easy to kill a puppy.
In this example, to kill does not have a subject. An infinitive is usually a process or activity. So, even though there is a preposition (to), there is no prepositional phrase present.
To has many uses especially in different situations and as different parts of speech. Although to is often used as a preposition, it can also be used to form infinitives.