Back to School at FamilyEducation.com

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 Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!