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Student Learning Support

English Language Support

Prepositions & Prepositional Phrases


Overview
An important element of English sentences is the prepositional phrase. It consists of a
preposition (prep) and its object (o). The object of a preposition is a noun or pronoun.
(s) = subject of sentence; (v) = verb; (prep) = preposition; (o) = object

Example: The student (s) studies (v) in (prep) the library (o of prep)
in the library is a prepositional phrase.
Example: We (s) enjoyed (v) the party (o) at (prep) your house (o of prep)
at your house is a prepositional phrase.
Example: We went to the zoo (place) in the afternoon (time).
In most English sentences, place comes before time.
Example: In the afternoon, we went swimming.
Sometimes a prepositional phrase comes at the beginning of a sentence

Common Prepositions
About

Before

Despite

Of

To

Above

Behind

Down

Off

Toward(s)

Across

Below

During

On

Under

After

Beneath

For

Out

Until

Against

Beside

From

Over

Up

Along

Besides

In

Since

Upon

Among

Between

Into

Through

With

Around

Beyond

Like

Throughout

Within

At

By

Near

Till

Without

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Preposition Combinations with Adjectives and Verbs


Some examples:
be absent from

be dedicated to

be interested in

be satisfied with

be accused of

be devoted to

be involved in

be scared of, by

be acquainted with

be divorced from

be jealous of

stare at

be accused of

be envious of

be known for

substitute for

believe in

be excited about

be located in

succeed in

blame for

be familiar with

be made of, from

be blessed with

be filled with

be married to

take advantage
of

be bored with, by

be friendly to, with

object to

take care of

be capable of

be frightened of

opposed to

talk about, of

be gone from

be prepared for

be terrified of, by

be committed to

be grateful to, for

be proud of

be tired of, from

be connected to

hide from

be qualified for

be upset with

be convinced of

hope for

be remembered for

be used to

be covered with

be innocent of

be responsible for

care about, for

vote for
be worried about

Practice Exercise
Exercise I: Identifying Prepositions. Underline the prepositional phrases in the following
sentences. Identify the preposition (prep) and the noun that is used as the object of the
preposition (o of prep).
1) Grasshoppers destroyed the wheat in the field.
2) The waiter cleared the dirty dishes from our table.
3) I parked my car in the garage.
4) Trees fell during the violent storm.
5) Cowboys depended on horses for transportation.
6) We walked to the park after class.

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Exercise II: Sentence Elements: Underline the subjects (s), verbs (v), objects of verbs
(o), and prepositional phrases (PP) in the following sentences. A transitive verb (vt) is
followed by an object, whereas intransitive verbs (vi) are not followed by an object.
1) Alex (s) needs (vt) new batteries (o) for his camera (PP)
2) Fireworks (s) exploded (vi) in the sky. (PP)
3) Sally wore her blue suit to the meeting.
4) Adel needs to study for his tests that are coming up.
5) Blake went mountain climbing with his friends.
6) Monica wore her scarf to school.

Exercise III: Complete the sentences with appropriate prepositions.


1) Do you believe _________ ghosts?
2) Anthony is engaged _________ my cousin
3) Ms. Ballas substituted __________ our regular teacher.
4) I cant distinguish one twin _________ the other.
5) Max is known _______________ his honesty.
6) Im worried ________ this problem.
7) I dont agree ___________ you.
8) Im worried ___________ this problem.

Answers
Exercise III
1. In

2. With

3. For

4. From

5. For

6. About

7. With

8. About

Source: Azar, B. (1999). Understanding and Using English Grammar (3rd ed.). Longman Press

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