The Writing Center Presents: Prepositions Developed by Keith Evans What are Prepositions? A preposition is a word that links a phrase, usually a noun or a pronoun, to the rest of the the sentence. A preposition introduces an object of the sentence and identifies its location. A preposition can also be used to denote when something happened. An easy way to remember this is to look at the word preposition and realize it has the word position in it.
Rules Concerning Prepositions A preposition is always used to define the relationship between other words in a sentence. The part of a sentence following a preposition is called a prepositional phrase. A preposition must be followed by a noun, never a verb. Add -ing to the end of a verb to make it a gerund
(verb in noun form) It is grammatically incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. Special Rules The word to is often used as a preposition. However, unlike normal prepositions, it can be used in front of verbs. When this happens, to is no longer a preposition, but rather a part of the infinitive of the verb to go. I.e. I am going to run. Forming a Prepositional Phrase
A preposition should always come in front of the prepositional phrase. Preposition + Optional modifiers (i.e.. A, the, etc.) + Object (Noun, pronoun or gerund). Some prepositions can also acts as subordinating conjunctions. These prepositions will be followed by a subject and a verb. Common Prepositions There are over 100 prepositions in the English language. Because there are so many possible locations, spatial
prepositions are among the most numerous. The most common are:
At On Up In Around Before Behind Under Over Outside Temporal Prepositions For is used to measure time. Since denotes a
On (used with days) specific date or time in At (A time of day) the past. In/within (a duration of Denoting a specific point in time: time) By ( a deadline) Other Common Prepositions To denote the object of a verb
At Of For Movement: Towards To Not all movement or locations require prepositions:
Down/Upstairs Home In/Outside Down/uptown The Writing Center Contact Info Prairie View A&M Writing Center Hilliard Hall, Room 118 http://www.pvamu.edu/pages/4399.asp (936)261-3724 [email protected]
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