Ask the Editor
Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
All About Prepositional Phrases
Thursday August 19th 2021
What is a prepositional phrase? — Learners Everywhere

prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase (this noun, pronoun, or noun phrase is the object of the preposition). Prepositional phrases modify or describe nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. They say something about the relationship between their object and the word they describe/modify. Prepositional phrases can tell us when [time] or where [location] something is or something happened. They can tell us the direction something is or is moving/going. They can tell us something about the word or words they describe.

In the phrase "the girl with the brown hair" the prepositional phrase is "with the long hair." It tells us something about "the girl."

In the phrase "the book on the table" the prepositional phrase is "on the table." It tells us the location of  "the book."

In the sentence "I run in the morning" the prepositional phrase is "in the morning" and it modifies the verb "run" [it tells us when I run].

In the sentence "the keys are under the table" the prepositional phrase "under the table" tells us where they keys are.

In the sentence "the play starts at five o'clock" the prepositional phrase "at five o'clock" tells us when the play starts."

In the phrase "they keys to the house" the prepositional phrase "to the house" tells us about the keys [it tells us which keys they are/what the keys are for].

In the sentence "she looked around the living room for the cat" the prepositional phrase "around the living room" tells us where she looked" and the prepositional phrase "for the cat" tells us why she looked.


Below are more sentences with their prepositional phrases in italics and the word the prepositional phrase describes in bold:

  • I left the house before noon
  • He walked through the park.
  • She sat beneath the tree.
  • The dog under the bed was scared.
  • She lost the book with the red cover.
  • They loved the gift from their cousin.
  • We watched the people from afar.
  • The teen slept until 1 pm.


Some common prepositions are aboveacrossafteragainstalongamongaroundat, before, behindbelowbeneathbesidebetweenbyforfromininside, intonearofoff, onon top ofonto, outsideoverpastthrough, to, towardunderuntilupuponwith, within, and without. Look up each of these words at to see their meanings and examples of how they are used.


I hope this helps.


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