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Prepositional Phrases

Grade 5
Aug 27, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. A kid is sitting with his mother. 
  2. A calendar is placed on the table. 
  3. A waiter at the counter is dealing with a customer. 

These sentences use prepositions rightly. All three sentences have a preposition and an object.  

Now, take the sentence “A calendar is placed on the table.” A close look at this sentence will show us that apart from the aforementioned preposition and object, this sentence also has a word that modifies the object. Here, the verb placed is the word that modifies the object because, on the table answers the question “placed where?” A group of words like this is called a prepositional phrase. 

“A group of words consisting of a preposition, an object, and a word that modifies the object is called a prepositional phrase.” A prepositional phrase is made up of at least one preposition and the object it governs. The object can be a noun, a gerund (a verb form that ends in “ing” and functions as a noun), or a clause. 


  • I live near the shopping mall. 
  • I know that girl in yellow boots. 
  • She carries herself with such elan. 

To, of, about, at, before, after, by, behind, during, for, from, in, over, under, and with are some of the most commonly used prepositions that begin a prepositional phrase. 


Apart from the basic explanation of prepositional phrases given above, it is also important to know about the functions carried out by them.  

Adjectival phrase: 

We know that an adjective is a word that modifies a noun. 

Now, read the sentence: 

  • I bought a scarf with polka dots. 

In this sentence, the prepositional phrase, with polka dots, is used to describe the noun scarf. Therefore, in the given sentence, the prepositional phrase with polka dots that modify the noun scarf can be called an adjectival phrase.  



A prepositional phrase that modifies a noun/ behaves like an adjective is called an adjectival phrase. The adjectival phrases add specificity to a noun, which helps us understand it better. 


  • The books on the table are not mine. 
  • The car in the garage has to be repaired soon. 
  • The gift inside the box is for you. 

Adverbial phrase: 

We know thatan adverb is a word that modifies a verb. 

Now, read the sentence: 

  • We met at the park. 

In this sentence, the prepositional phrase, at the park, modifies the verb met. Therefore, in the given sentence, the prepositional phrase at the park that modifies the verb met can be called an adverbial phrase


A prepositional phrase that modifies a verb/ behaves like an adverb is called an adverbial phrase


  • I am exhausted from the trek. 
  • We live near the church. 
  • I played professional football for ten years. 


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