A preposition is a word that shows relationship. A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and
ends with a noun or pronoun called the object of the preposition.
A list of prepositions: (Note: These words can be used in other ways)
aboard aside down from instead of over to towards
about as to due to into owing to under
above *at during in view of past underneath
according to away from except like per until
across back of except for near prior to unto
across from because of excepting near to rather than up
after before *for next regarding upon
against behind *from notwithstanding up to
ahead of below from among *of round via
along beneath from between off round about *with
alongside besides from under *on save within
alongside of between *in on account of since without
along with beyond in addition to on behalf of subsequent to with regard to
amid(st) but (except) in back of onto than
among *by in behalf of on top of through
apart from by means of in front of opposite throughout
apropos concerning in place of out till
around contrary to in regard to out of *to
as despite inside outside together
as far as down inside of outside of together with
as for down from in spite of over toward
*Account for 92% of prepositions used.
A preposition is "pre-positioned" before its object. Its object will be, as stated above, a noun (in town) or a
pronoun (with me). Find 17 prepositional phrases in the sentences below.
1. Please place the letters in the file.
2. On the bed, among the tumbled blankets and sheets lay the baby.
3. If she leaves the house, will you take the roast from the oven?
4. Impetuously he threw the stone across the river.
5. At the last minute, we lost the ball among the bushes.
6. Charles vaulted over a high fence and ducked under a wire clothesline.
7. Almost like a toy, the tiny boat sailed on and on across the sea.
8. The bonds were hidden under the rug; the cash was pushed in back of the book.
9. She ran around the block hoping to avoid the man who was with her brother.
10. They stood in front of the store hoping to get out of the rain.
The ability to spot prepositions and prepositional phrases helps us avoid one type of subject-verb
In the following sentence, the prepositional phrase is underlined: A set of these tools is very useful.
By mentally eliminating the prepositional phrase, one can see that the verb should be "is," which agrees
with "set" because both are singular. The proximity of "tools" to the verb might cause the speaker or
writer to use "are" by mistake. For determining the correct verb form, "set" is the important word; "tools"
is only the object of the preposition "of."
The Writing Center
University of Central Missouri