Examples of Prepositional Phrases

What Is a Prepositional Phrase?

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.

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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.

Examples of Prepositional Phrases

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.


  • This second is the first second of the minute. The first day is part of the month.
  • I take my coffee with no milk or sugar. My coffee does not include sugar or milk.
  • Last year, we met in May. When we met was in May.
  • He likes all dogs except for bulldogs. All dogs does not include bulldogs.

Parts of a Prepositional Phrase

Every prepositional phrase consists of one or more prepositions and one or more objects.

a. Preposition

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.

  • by the book
  • inside my small intestine
  • on the glove

b. Objects

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.

c. Multiple Prepositions

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:


  • I ate a piece off of the apple.
  • He appeared out of nowhere.
  • He climbed out of the car.
  • The book is made out of leaves.

Types of Prepositional Phrases

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.

a. Who?

There are some prepositional phrases that tell us who did something or who got something.


  • Mike was scarred by the beatle. Who did it.
  • Benny gave the present to Gem. Who received it.

b. With..?

Then there are other prepositional phrases that tell us what is used in order to complete an action.


  • Andre washed his dad’s horse with a bucket. What was used.
  • Abel bought new shows with his Amazon account. What was used.

c. When?

A particular way of expressing when an event happens is with the use of a prepositional phrase.


  • They can start investigating it in the afternoon. When generally.
  • The playoffs will begin at exactly one o’clock. When exactly
  • My dream will start after I fall asleep. When

d. Where?

There are also times where we specify exactly where something is, so we almost always use prepositional phrases.


  • The roof is above the house.
  • The car is at the dealers.
  • The pill is in the drawer.

e. Why?

Reasons for activities can also be expressed using prepositional phrases.


  • I went to comiket for ero doujins and to scout some upcoming talent. What for.
  • Madoka fought all night for the safety of tomorrow. Why.

How to Avoid Mistakes with Prepositional Phrases

a. Phrasal Verbs are not 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:

  • The rivals entered into a temporary truce.
  • It’s always better to tell the truth than to make up a lie you can’t defend.
  • He and I never get along at all.

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.

b. Infinitives are not Prepositional Phrases

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.


  • He wanted to blow dry his hair for his school yearbook
  • Don’t tell us when you’re ready to go because we always forget.
  • I like to play ball in the court in winter.

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.

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