The Function of Prepositional Phrases in English
Jul 16, 2009 Grammar 1884 Views
When learning the English language, it is important to have an understanding of the grammar. One area that requires understanding is the function of prepositional phrases. Prepositions are words that have just one possible form which introduces the object of the prepositional phrase. A few commonly used prepositions in English include: about, above, across, after, against, along among, despite, down, during, around, toward, under, underneath, until, with, within...etc. The preposition's role is to demonstrate a plausible, time-connected, or spatial relationship between the object of the prepositional phrase and the other parts of the sentence. For instance:
- The man is sitting on the chair.
The prepositional phrase 'on the chair' shows a spatial relationship between the subject man and the object chair
- The child has not been to the pool since almost drowning.
The prepositional phrase 'since almost drowning' shows a time-connected relationship between 'has not been to the pool' and 'almost drowning.'
- The woman lost weight despite eating junk food.
The prepositional phrase 'despite eating junk food' shows a plausible relationship between losing weight and eating junk food.
Prepositional phrases consist of a preposition and an object of a preposition and perform a number of sentence functions that include: Particles, Heads The Prepositional Phrases, Complements of Phrases, Adverb Modifying a Verb, Adjective Modifying a Noun, or functioning as nouns but are not real nouns and are referred to as Nominals.
Particles consist of a phrasal verb followed by a preposition.
mess up jump in The prepositions 'up' and 'in,' act as particles in the phrasal verbs 'mess up' and 'jump in.'
2.) Heads The Prepositional Phrases in the office after the movie 'in' and 'after' precede the prepositional phrases.
3.) Complements of Phrases Prepositional phrases balance noun phrases, adjective phrases, and verb phrases. Dogs depend on their owners, The star of the play just left. Prepositional phrases are 'on their owners' and 'of the play'
4.) Adverb modifying a Verb The dog chases after the cat. The toilet overflowed despite the plumbing repair. The plant grew without using special plant food.
5.) Adjective modifying a Noun Please give me the book next to the computer. I see the car with the large dent. Stop the car at the railroad tracks.
6.) Functioning as Nominals The store is next to the bank. The office is between a restaurant and a gift shop. The encore is after the concert has finished. The Nominal performs this function in sentences when they are used in conjunction with the designated verb.
7.) Adjuncts Adjuncts frame an entire clause. For my part, I enjoyed learning to swim. With all due respect, you are not my boss. The prepositional phrases are 'for my part' and 'with all due respect.'
When learning the English language, understanding the rules and meanings of sentence phrases that includes such functions as prepositional phrases will go a long way in mastering both the spoken and written language.