A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases that function as nouns to other words
in a sentence. The noun or pronoun that the preposition links is called the object of the
A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to
the rest of the sentence.
A prepositional phrase is made up of the preposition, its object and any associated
adjectives or adverbs. A prepositional phrase can function as a noun, an adjective, or an
Underline the prepositions in the sentences below. Each sentence contains one preposition.
Example: The first automobile race was won by an Oshkosh steamer.
1. Pierre is the capital of South Dakota.
2. Rick’s book is about a young grizzly bear.
3. I drove past Marcy’s house every evening last week.
4. Rhinoplasty is plastic surgery performed on a person’s nose.
5. Australia accepted 75,000 convicts between 1790 and 1840.
6. X-rays can detect cracks in metal.
7. Sleeping Beauty slept for 100 years.
8. Bacteria are mostly composed of water.
9. Gourds have been made into musical instruments, masks, and waterproof containers.
10. Popeye has an anchor tattooed on his arm.
Challenge: Can you find all the prepositional phrases in these sentences? Underline
each prepositional phrase that you find.
REMEMBER: Prepositional phrases will not have verbs in them. The word “to” followed
by a verb is not a prepositional phrase it is a verbal called an infinitive.
Example: Farmers used to smoke bacon by hanging it in their chimneys. (2)
1. One of the items on display at the museum is a large sculpture of the feet of King
2. Tucking his briefcase under his arm, Leo carried the doughnut and cup of coffee onto the
3. A refrigerator should be kept at thirty-seven degrees and a freezer at zero. (2)
4. Air vents over the gauze pads on adhesive bandages help air circulate around wounds. (3)
5. Animal acts were barred from the Miss America talent contest in 1948. (2)
6. During World War I balloons were used to watch for submarines. (2)
7. Aztec religion was dominated by a preoccupation with time. (2)
8. Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland. (1)
9. In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the Morse code for the letter S (dot-dot-dot) from
England to Newfoundland, marking the beginning of radio. (5)
10. Earth travels at 66,700 miles in an hour. (2)
Using Prepositions in Sentences
Write the abbreviation that identifies the way each prepositional phrase functions in the
sentences below. Use the following code:
ADJ adjective- ADV adverb- N noun phrase
Example: ADJ Meltdown is the disintegration of a nuclear reactor’s core.
______ 1. Among the earliest adhesives were glues made by carpenters from animal hides
______ 2. The selection of a new pope is announced through the release of white smoke.
______ 3. An aardvark’s tongue can be as long as eighteen inches.
______ 4. Out the door is where you’ll be if you keep bouncing that ball in here.
______ 5. Why did so many U.S. presidents come from Virginia?
______ 6. At one feeding a hippopotamus may eat as much as 100 pounds of food.
______ 7. Between five and six o’clock is our busiest time.
______ 8. Sand is the main ingredient in glass.
______ 9. A dragonfly feeds and mates on the wing.
______ 10. Beyond Washington is too far away from here for a weekend trip.
Write three sentences using prepositional phrases correctly.
1. (Use as a noun)___________________________________________________________
2. (Use as an adjective)_______________________________________________________
3. (Use as an adverb)_________________________________________________________