Prepositions

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A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.

A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence as in the following examples:

  • The book is on the table.
  • The book is beneath the table.
  • The book is leaning against the table.
  • The book is beside the table.
  • She held the book over the table.
  • She read the book during class.

In each of the preceding sentences, a preposition locates the noun “book” in space or in time.

Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a preposition:

The children climbed the mountain without fear.

In this sentence, the preposition “without” introduces the noun “fear.” The prepositional phrase “without fear” functions as an adverb describing how the children climbed.

There was rejoicing throughout the land when the government was defeated.

Here, the preposition “throughout” introduces the noun phrase “the land.” The prepositional phrase acts as an adverb describing the location of the rejoicing. 

The spider crawled slowly along the banister.

The preposition “along” introduces the noun phrase “the banister” and the prepositional phrase “along the banister” acts as an adverb, describing where the spider crawled.

The dog is hiding under the porch because it knows it will be punished for chewing up a new pair of shoes.

Here the preposition “under” introduces the prepositional phrase “under the porch,” which acts as an adverb modifying the compound verb “is hiding.”

The screenwriter searched for the manuscript he was certain was somewhere in his office.

Similarly in this sentence, the preposition “in” introduces a prepositional phrase “in his office,” which acts as an adverb describing the location of the missing papers.

Source: University of Ottowa Writing Centre

  • Not under what circumstances but in what circumstances.
  • You don’t work under situations; you work in situations.
  • Under what conditions is correct.
  • You are not submerged with crises; you are submerged in crises.
  • He is typical to typical of most managers in terms of…

From Quick and Dirty Tips:

When Can a Sentence End with a Preposition?

Here’s an example of a sentence that can end with a preposition: What did you step on? A key point, you might say the Quick and Dirty Tip, is that the sentence doesn’t work if you leave off the preposition. You can’t say, “What did you step?” You need to say, “What did you step on?” to make a grammatical sentence.

I can hear some of you gnashing your teeth right now, while you think, “What about saying, ‘On what did you step?’” But really, have you ever heard anyone talk that way? I’ve read long, contorted arguments from noted grammarians about why it’s OK to end sentences with prepositions when the preposition isn’t extraneous (1), but the driving point still seems to be, “Nobody in their right mind talks this way.” Yes, you could say, “On what did you step?” but not even grammarians think you should.

A couple from Georgia and a couple from the Northeast were seated side by side on an airplane.The girl from Georgia, being friendly and all, said, “So, where y’all from?”The Northeast girl said, “From a place where they know better than to use a preposition at the end of a sentence.”The girl from Georgia sat quietly for a few moments and then replied: “So, where y’all from, bitch?” (Joke: Daniel Miessler)

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