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Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases

The preposition shows a noun's, pronoun's, or clause's relation to other parts of the sentence. There are three types of prepositions: simple, marginal, and compound.

Simple prepositions indicate location (above and below), time (before and after), and less tangible relationships (to and with) as well as other meanings. Examples include the following:

Marginal prepositions are derived from other word types, particularly verbs, like in the following examples:

Compound prepositions contain two or more words. Examples are as follows:

A prepositional phrase includes the preposition, a noun or pronoun (its object), and any words that modify its object. Within a sentence, a prepositional phrase acts as an adjective (answering the question: which one) or adverb (answering the question: how, when, or where).

Use in Sentences

Simple prepositional phrase: Johnny will leave for college in August.

Marginal prepositional phrase: Barring another financial setback, Johnny will leave for college in August.

Compound prepositional phrase: At this point in time, Johnny does not have the money to attend college.


Good, Edward C. 2002. A Grammar Book for You and I…oops, me! Herndon, Virginia: Capital Books, Inc.

Grammar-Monster.com. Prepositions. http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/prepositions.htm.

Terms at Grammar Bites. The Preposition. http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/preposition.htm