A prepositional phrase consists of the preposition or compound preposition, its object (a noun or pronoun), and a set of determiners (articles, adjectives, or pronouns) which modify the object. The most common construction of a prepositional phrase is as follows:
- Preposition + determiner + object
- Example: into the seats
In this sentence, into is the preposition, the is an article that acts as a determiner because it modifies the object, and seats is a noun which is the object of the phrase.
A sentence can be formulated as follows:
- She hit the ball into the cheap seats.
A breakdown of the sentence is as follows:
|She||hit||the ball||into the cheap seats.|
|Noun||Verb||Object complement||Prepositional phrase|
The English language contains only about 150 prepositions and compound prepositions, but it contains tens of thousands of adjectives. You can create an almost endless number of prepositional phrases. Following are a few examples.
|aboard the ship||at the ballpark|
|concerning the subscription||during the game|
|from the boy||in lieu of a test|
|like a bird||off the ground|
|since the flood||until the work ends|
|via the expressway||with respect to the library|
All the above phrases, whether simple or complex, adhere to the preposition + determiner + object, or compound preposition + determiner + object construction.
A predicate preposition is a prepositional phrase following a form of the verb to be and telling where the subject of the sentence is. In the sentences below, the form of the verb to be is underlined and the predicate preposition is in bold.
- The dog is in the neighbor’s backyard.
- My keys were on the kitchen counter.