Prepositions. off. down. beneath. around. above. during

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1 Prepositions In the above sentences, the words in bold print are prepositions; arrows indicate the words each preposition connects. The noun or pronoun that comes after each preposition is called the object of the preposition. Prepositions always have objects. Thus trees, hill, street, shopping bag, top, Empire State Building, and it are all objects of prepositions, in the above sentences. These words are often used as prepositions: of in on by to up for off into with from near down along throughout about under beneath before through behind between around amid toward at over above beside among within below during across without But, be careful. Several words can be used as both prepositions and adverbs. How do you know their correct part of speech? If the word has an object, class it as a preposition. If there is no object, call it an adverb. They stepped outside the room. (preposition)

2 They stepped outside. He walked on the right. He walked on. A car drove past the yard. A car drove past. (adverb) (preposition) (adverb) (preposition) (adverb) Exercise A Underline all the prepositions in these sentences. Circle the object of the preposition. 1. The story of life in the colonies begins with two tiny settlements. 2. One was Jamestown in Virginia; the other was Plymouth in Massachusetts. 3. Other settlements grew on the Atlantic coast and along the rivers. 4. The settlers came from towns where their families had lived for hundreds of years. 5. Some settlers came to America during the English Civil War. 6. Many colonists left their native lands with regret. 7. The voyage across the ocean was sometimes difficult. 8. The pilgrims got off their ship, The Mayflower, at Plymouth. Prepositions together with their objects make up prepositional phrases. The girl in the red dress is my cousin.

3 We ll come after the dance. The student put her books under the desk. The parts of the above sentences in bold print are prepositional phrases. Notice how each phrase has a preposition (in, after, under) and an object. Exercise B Underline the prepositional phrases in these sentences. Circle the preposition. Put a box around the object of the preposition. 1. Life was hard in the new world. 2. Sometimes people were without food for days. 3. Many people were often near starvation. 4. Living through the winter was extremely difficult. 5. The temperature often dropped below zero. 6 Many settlers finally died from hunger and exposure. 7. The settlers thought danger lurked behind every tree. 8. The colonists must have complained about their hardships. A preposition almost always comes before its object, but it sometimes follows the object, especially in more formal sentences like these: Whom are you going with? He is one boy that I will not put up with.

4 The history test is what we must study for. The pronouns in bold print are the objects of the prepositions with, with and for. Use of Prepositions Prepositional phrases are versatile modifiers. When they are used to modify nouns or pronouns, they are called adjective phrases. When they modify verbs, adverbs, or adjectives, they are called adverb phrases. Look at the ways prepositions work in the following examples. The modified words are underlined. Prepositional phrase as an adjective phrase noun modifiers: We bought the house on the hill. The lilacs beside the door are lovely. Weeds by the road need trimming. on the hill modifies house. beside the door modifies lilacs. by the road modifies weeds. Prepositional phrase as an _ adverb phrase verb modifiers: The copter hovered over the dock. It dropped a line to the sailor. He seized it without delay. adjective modifiers: Jane seems sure of herself. Her life was rich in memories. over the dock modifies hovered. to the sailor modifies dropped. Without delay modifies seized. of herself modifies sure. in memories modifies rich. with people modifies tactful.

5 John is tactful with people. adverb modifiers: He ran fast by any standard. by any standard modifies fast. in life modifies early. Early in life, he succeeded. To summarize: 1. Prepositional phrases that do the work of an adverb, i.e. they tell how, when, or where an action is done, are called adverb phrases. 2. Prepositional phrases that do the work of an adjective, i.e. they tell more about a noun (pronoun), are called adjective phrases. Exercise C Underline the prepositional phrases in the following sentences. Write ADJ if they are acting as adjective phrases; write AV if they are acting as adverb phrases. 1. The halfback was under the right tackle. 2. Some towels were left beside the bench. 3. Their fans ran across the field. 4. The ball lay within bounds. 5. We ve been waiting since noon. 6. Snow fell during the night. 7. Arrive before Tuesday.

6 8. He looked at me with hatred. 9. That style is behind the times. 10. They were above suspicion. 11. The error was made through carelessness. 12. He read a play written by Ibsen. 13. She was killed with kindness. 14. He worked for fame. 15. She sent a memo about wage concerns. Longer Prepositions Sometimes a preposition is made up of more than one word. Called a "phrasal preposition", it does the same job as a single word preposition. Here are some examples: due to instead of apart from out of because of along with in addition to contrary to Exercise D

7 In each sentence, underline the prepositional phrase. Circle the object of the preposition. Write ADJ or AV according to whether the phrase is acting as an adjective (adjective phrase) or as an adverb (adverb phrase). Watch out for the examples that do not contain a preposition but only an adverb. 1. Contented in the warmth, she watched the fire. 2. The rain, fierce by all accounts, struck the house. 3. Wind howled through the trees. 4. Tossed by the storm, limbs scraped the roof. 5. The house, built before 1900, stood firm. 6. It rained heavily until midnight. 7. The woman drank tea with lemon. 8. She watched the rain trickle down the glass. 9. The coals from the fire died silently. 10. Walk carefully when you go past. 11. In a narrow tunnel, you must squeeze through. 12. The kindling on top caught fire. 13. The flames shot through the logs. 14. Early in the evening, she brought more wood.

8 15. She set candles on low tables. 16. Someone should stay beside the injured explorer. 17. Suddenly, dark clouds floated past the sun. 18. The woman stacked some logs in the fireplace. 19. She held a match to the wood. 20. It is frightening when the bats fly past. 21. They may look up to see the sun. Answer Key - Prepositions Exercise A (The object you circled in noted in bold print.) 1. The story of life in the colonies begins with two tiny settlements. 2. One was Jamestown in Virginia; the other was Plymouth in Massachusetts. 3. Other settlements grew on the Atlantic coast and along the rivers. 4. The settlers came from towns where their families had lived for hundreds of years. 5. Some settlers came to America during the English Civil War. 6. Many colonists left their native lands with regret.

9 7. The voyage across the ocean was sometimes difficult. 8. The pilgrims got off their ship, The Mayflower, at Plymouth. Exercise B (Circled preposition appears in bold print; boxed objects of the prepositions appear in italics.) 1. Life was hard in the new world. 2. Sometimes people were without food for days. 3. Many people were often near starvation. 4. Living through the winter was extremely difficult. 5. The temperature often dropped below zero. 6 Many settlers finally died from hunger and exposure. 7. The settlers thought danger lurked behind every tree. 8. The colonists must have complained about their hardships. Exercise C 1. AV under the right tackle 2. AV beside the bench 3. AV across the field 4. AV within bounds 5. AV since noon 6. AV during the night

10 7. AV before Tuesday 8. AV / AV at me / with hatred 9. ADJ behind the times 10. ADJ above suspicion 11. AV through carelessness 12. ADJ by Ibsen 13. AV with kindness 14. AV for fame 15. ADJ about wage concerns Exercise D (The object of the preposition which you circled appears in bold print.) 1. AV Contented in the warmth, she watched the fire. 2. AV The rain, fierce by all accounts, struck the house. 3. AV Wind howled through the trees. 4. AV Tossed by the storm, limbs scraped the roof. 5. AV The house, built before 1900, stood firm. 6. AV It rained heavily until midnight. 7. ADJ The woman drank tea with lemon. 8. AV She watched the rain trickle down the glass. 9. ADJ The coals from the fire died silently. 10. Walk carefully when you go past. past is an adverb here. 11. ADJ In a narrow tunnel, you must squeeze through. through is an adverb here

11 12. ADJ The kindling on top caught fire. 13. AV The flames shot through the logs. 14. AV Early in the evening, she brought more wood. 15. AV She set candles on low tables. 16. AV Someone should stay beside the injured explorer. 17. AV Suddenly, dark clouds floated past the sun. 18. AV The woman stacked some logs in the fireplace. 19. AV She held a match to the wood. 20. It is frightening when the bats fly past. past is an adverb here 21. They may look up to see the sun. up is an adverb here

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