This may be familiar to you in a way that this part of speech just like nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. This part of speech however may be a bit confusing to some especially if it had not been discussed specifically in class. But, this should be an easy part simply by reading today’s article. So from this sample sentence, you may get an idea as to what this topic may be about. “Among the three winners, Ms. Jones thought one of us would have won the game.” If from the example sentence, you may already know what we are going to be talking about. Prepositional phrases. Yet, what do you know about them and why do you think they are necessary in our sentences? To get to know more about this, head on down the 100+ examples and straight to what you’re looking for.
A preposition is a type of speech that connects phrases or ideas to a sentence. It is also mostly used before a noun and a pronoun. In addition to that, a preposition is present to show time, a place, direction, etc. An example of prepositions are “with, to, at, in”. A prepositional phrase is a word, a group of words or ideas that consists of the preposition and the object. What this means is a prepositional phrase has a preposition and the object or a word along with it to modify within the sentence. Prepositional phrases mostly modify verbs or nouns.
Just as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions and adverbs have elements, so does a prepositional phrase. However, unlike the ones mentioned above, these elements are only a few but still worth learning about. So why don’t we check it below to see what these elements may be.
To make a short review, a preposition is a type of speech that connects phrases or ideas to a sentence. In the sentence, the main purpose of a preposition is to answer the questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. To make a prepositional phrase, you must of course add the preposition to the mix. Some prepositional words include “on, between, in, of, at, by, etc. An example sentence for the following prepositions would be: “Between the two of them, one is a suspect for murder.” “I will be coming at around noon tomorrow.” “She had her glasses on her head the whole time.” “The boss told me to submit my work by tomorrow or I would be fired.”
To give you an idea, let us first define what an object of the preposition is. So the object of the preposition is basically a word, a group of words, an idea or a phrase. The object of the preposition is found beside the preposition and it explains what is going on in the sentence. In other words, it specifies about the intention, the place, the time and the manner of the idea. To make it simpler, here is an example for an object of the preposition. “The oranges are in the basket.” For this sentence, the object of the preposition is “the basket.” As for the preposition, the word “in.” The preposition in is basically explaining where you can find the oranges.
What are multiple prepositions? Well, there are actually instances wherein in a sentence, you get more than just one preposition and the object of the preposition. In this case, it’s called multiple prepositions. The combination of more than one or two prepositions to expound a better if not different meaning than the single prepositions often found in sentences. To keep it easier to understand, take this as an example. “With regards to the current issues, a lot of companies decide to lay off their employees, except for those who have been working in the company for more than a year.”
Have a fun fact while we carry on with the discussion about prepositional phrases. Did you know that prepositional phrases can be used as information? If you wonder what kind of information, this type of information goes with nouns, pronouns and even verbs! However, the majority role of the prepositional phrase would usually or most of the time answer WH questions, location, time, and manner. Check these ones below.
So the first type of prepositional phrase we have is who did the action or to whom was the action made for. For this to be answered, your prepositional phrase must be based on a person rather than on a thing. The person being addressed is the one who did the action or the one whom the prepositional phrase was meant for. In this case, an example for that would be: “Tyson was punched in the face.” For the first example, this would mean who received the punch to the face. So your prepositional phrase is the word in. To whom it was directed to would be Tyson. Another example would be “Jenna gave a basketball to Luke for his birthday.” The one doing the action is Jenna but to whom the action was addressed to would be Luke.
The second one we have is why. Why did they do the action? So this prepositional phrase is going to explain the reason as to why the object or the subject of the phrase is doing the action. To give out a reason for the activity being done. An example for this would be: “Mary went to the market to buy some fresh vegetables.” This sentence let’s you ask why did Mary go? It gives out the explanation in the sentence or better yet what was her reason for going. Another example would be “Lucy studied for the whole weekend for an exam on Monday.” Why did Lucy study would be the exact question for this second example.
For this type of prepositional phrase, the prepositional phrase explains what kind was being used. In a way that the object must be specific along with another object. To make this as clearer as possible, here is an example. “Jane and her sister bathed their dog with a hose.” So this sentence here explains with what they were doing. Another example sentence would be “My mother washed the dishes with soap and water.” This phrase is explaining as to what is used or with whom the action was being done.
This type simply asks where. Where did the action take place. So the prepositional phrase is accompanied by either the location or place. An example would be “My friends and I are going to the beach.” “My parents are traveling to Madrid this week.” Your prepositional phrase + the location.
Just like the fourth one, for where did the action take place, it simply states the location of where the prepositional phrase took place. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be specific with where the location is as long as it still answers the question “where”. An example would be: “My parents are off to a vacation in Madrid.” “I will spend my summer vacation in Europe.”
We are all guilty at some point over making a lot of mistakes with prepositional phrases in sentences. Especially when we use them in a lot of documents that need active voice. So here are some tips to avoid mistakes.
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. 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.
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.
There are times that we often make the mistake of overdoing our prepositional phrases. One thing that should be taken to consideration is to stop overdoing it. If the sentence does not need any more prepositional phrases, do not add them.
The more prepositional phrases in your sentences, the more it gets confusing. To avoid having to go through that, it is best to use some into active voice instead. Active voice in your sentences can not just lessen the use of a lot of prepositional phrases in your sentence, it can also make your sentences look and sound nicer.
Taking out unnecessary phrases or those that are redundant not only makes your sentences look neater, it also helps by making your prepositional phrases less all over the place.
A preposition is a type of speech that connects phrases or ideas to a sentence. Prepositional phrases help the sentence make more sense.
Some examples of prepositional phrases in a sentence are: At the back of the line. In the apple tree. With my sister. Across the pond.
Do not overdo your sentences by adding a lot of prepositional phrases. As this would make your sentences look odd or dull. Adding just the exact amount of prepositional phrases is fine, but overdoing it would make your sentence confusing.
When writing your sentences, always remember to not overdo anything. Do not make your sentences sound passive when they are okay to sound active. Always choose the correct prepositional phrase for your sentence.