Sometimes in our writing, there are groups of words that work together to describe nouns, pronouns, or verbs, like adjectives and adverbs do.
Prepositions — A preposition begins a group of words and shows a relationship to other words in the sentence. It comes before a noun or an object pronoun, which complete the phrase.
Ex. I went to the store.
I gave it to him.
These phrases describe or modify like adjectives and adverbs. For example, in the above example, the prepositional phrase “to the store” tells us where I went, like an adverb would.
A list of commonly used prepositions are:
above, about, across, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, since, to, toward, through, under, until, up, upon, with, within
Like adjectives and adverbs, these phrases will always point to other words in sentences.
- A prepositional phrase acts as an adjective when it modifies (describes) a noun or a pronoun, usually answering these questions:
What kind (of)?
Example: The boy at the bus stop seemed nervous.
The prepositional phrase at the bus stop tells which boy.
- A prepositional phrase acts as an adverb when it modifies (describes) a verb. A phrase used as an adverb usually answers these questions:
Example: Megan eats lunch every day in the cafeteria.
The prepositional phrase in the cafeteria tells where Megan ate lunch.
Adverbial Noun Phrases – These are noun phrases that describe or modify verbs as an adverb would.
Ex. Leon hunts deer (when?) every weekend.
He is arriving (where?) home.
He travels (how much?) a great deal.