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preposition connects a certain word in a sentence to a noun or pronoun. But the meaning of prepositional phrases (preposition followed by a noun or pronoun) is varied. They tell where, when, why, how, or whose. Look at these examples:

  • where = in the garden
  • when = until Monday
  • why = because of the bad weather
  • how = by train
  • whose = of the bride

Here is a list of some commonly used prepositions.


Compound prepositions consist of more than one word: along withbecause ofdue toin spite ofon account ofnext toon top oftogether with, and so on.

When a noun is used in a prepositional phrase, it does not change. But most pronouns do:

I → with mewe → from us
you → to youthey → for them
he → by himthe boys → to the boys
she → without hera girl → after a girl
it → on itmy keys → over my key

Note: Sometimes a prepositional phrase connected to the subject of a sentence can cause confusion. This is especially true when one of those elements is singular and the other is plural. Always remember that the subject—not the prepositional phrase—determines the form of the verb.

Singular Subject + Plural Object of the Preposition

  • The box of fresh cookies was torn open by their dog.
  • Each of you has a duty to help them.
  • One of the youngest candidates needs a lot more money.

Plural Subject + Singular Object of the Preposition

  • The musicians in the little band were given a new contract.
  • Several girls from our school have been awarded scholarships.

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