English Prepositional Phrases

    Beginner+ English - Level A2


    This unit covers the use of prepositional phrases in English. Prepositional phrases include a preposition and an object, and can modify a noun (adjectival phrase) or a verb (adverbial phrase).


    English-Prepositional Phrases

    The Convention Center and Riverwalk at night in Tampa, Florida.

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    English A2

    Prepositional Phrases

    Prepositional phrases are groups of words that don't include both a subject and a verb, and refer back to another word in the sentence. These phrases contain objects, and typically have a determiner such as a definite or indefinite article. 

    Ted talks to his friend on the phone.
    Megan and Anthony are walking down the street.
    I jumped into the pool.

    In these examples, the italicized phrases are prepositional. The first sentence contains two such phrases that answer the questions "to whom" and "how" Ted talks. The second example contains a phrase that answers "where," and the last example answers "where to."

    Prepositional phrases use prepositions of time, manner, place, and direction. Typical questions that prepositional phrases answer include: which one, what kind, where, when, and how. Common prepositions are:

    above, across, after, against, around, as, at, below, between, by, during, for, from, in, into, like, off, on, onto, over, out, past, through, to, toward, under, underneath, until, with 

    Prepositional phrases can refer back to a noun or a verb. In the previous examples, they all referred to the action or verb. Here are a couple examples with nouns as the referents.

    My appointment is after the next patient. (when)
    The best coffee is from Columbia. (where)
    Her car is the one with the funny bumper sticker. (which one)

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