Phrases

Prepositional Phrases: The Big Daddy of Phrases

You Could Look It Up

A phrase is a group of words, without a subject or a verb, that functions in a sentence as a single part of speech. A phrase cannot stand alone as an independent unit. A phrase can function only as a part of speech.

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun.

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun. This noun or pronoun is called the “object of the preposition.”

Here are some sample prepositional phrases:

You can connect two or more prepositional phrases with a coordinating conjunction. The seven coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. For example:

Quoth the Maven

To find out if a prepositional phrase is functioning as an adjectival phrase, see if it answers these questions: “Which one?” or “What kind?”

Offspring 1: Adjectival Phrases

When a prepositional phrase serves as an adjective, it's called an adjectival phrase. (That was a no-brainer, eh? Who says you don't get a break in this English biz?)

An adjectival phrase, as with an adjective, describes a noun or a pronoun. Here are some examples:

You Could Look It Up

An adverbial phrase is a prepositional phrase that modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb.

Offspring 2: Adverbial Phrases

Like Meryl Streep or Kevin Kline, the prepositional phrase is a versatile creature, able to slip into different roles. Depending on how it is used in a sentence, a prepositional phrase can function as an adverbial phrase by modifying a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. For example:

Quoth the Maven

To find out if a prepositional phrase is functioning as an adverbial phrase, see if it answers one of these questions: “Where?” “When?” “In what manner?” “To what extent?”

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Printable Spring Fun To-Do List
Enjoy the warmer weather by using this printable checklist of fun springtime activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!