Prepositional Phrases


All prepositional phrases begin with... yes, you've guessed it... a preposition.

Most of them end with a noun or pronoun, however, some also end with a gerund or a clause. Whatever they end with, it's called the 'object' of the preposition.

If the above sounds complicated, don't worry, this page will help you overcome any difficulties you've had with this particular grammar item.

The first question that needs to be answered is:

What do Prepositional Phrases
do in a sentence?

For the most part, they act as adjectives and adverbs. That is, they give additional information regarding nouns, pronouns and verbs.

In short, prepositional phrases answer the questions which, what kind, how much, why, how, where and when. They do this by adding extra information.

You can find prepositional phrases anywhere in the sentence and sometimes you can even find prepositional phrases more than once in a sentence.

A few examples follow to help make things clear. The answers that follow the examples are there to help you identify the types of questions answered so you can spot prepositional phrases more easily in a sentence.

Prepositional Phrases = Examples of Prepositional Phrases

A.) The curtains in the bedroom need changing.

B.) The house near the park needs painting.

C.) A large fire was burning near the outskirts of the city.

D.) An old woman with white hair and blue eyes sat at the front of the bus.

E.) The small children listened carefully to their mother.

Questions Answered?

A.) in the bedroom modifies curtains. It answers the question... which curtains? 

B.) near the park modifies house. It answers the questions... which house / where is the house?

C.) near the outskirts modifies was burning answering where and how / of the city modifies ouskirts answering where?

D.) with white hair and blue eyes modifies old woman telling what kind / at the front of the bus modifies sat telling where?

E.) to their mother modifies listened answering the question how did the children listen?

Some common prepositional phrases follow below. I've included them according to the list of prepositional phrases beginning with....



after a fashion
against the law
along the line

AT

at (a) high speed
at (the) risk (of)
at / by one’s side
at / for a fraction of
at / from the outset
at / in the end
at / on sight
at / on the double
at a / one time
at a disadvantage
at a discount
at a distance
at a glance
at a guess
at a loose and
at a loss
at a low ebb
at a moment’s notice
at a price
at a rate of
at a speed of
at a standstill
at all costs
at all events
at an advantage
at any cost
at any rate
at breakfast
at ease (with)
at face value
at fault
at full strength
at hand
at heart
at home (with)
at issue
at large
at least
at length
at liberty
at most
at night
at noon
at odds with
at once
at one’s best
at one’s discretion
at one’s disposal
at one’s leisure
at one’s request
at peace / war (with)
at play
at present
at random
at sea
at the / in front of
at the age of
at the beginning
at the expense of
at the foot of
at the hands of
at the height of
at the latest
at the mercy of
at the peak of
at the same time
at the thought of
at the time of
at the top of
at this juncture
at times
at war with
at work

behind the scenes

List of prepositional phrases beginning with BY

by (any) chance
by / under the name of
by / with luck
by accident
by air /sea /land
by all accounts
by all means
by any standard
by appointment
by birth
by check
by coincidence
by courtesy of
by definition
by degrees
by design
by dint of
by far
by force
by hand
by heart
by law
by marriage
by means of
by mistake
by my watch
by nature
by no means
by oneself
by order of
by process of
by profession
by reason of
by request
by rights
by sight
by surprise
by the side of
by virtue of
by way of

FOR

for / in a good cause
for / to the benefit (of)
for a (good) reason
for a change
for certain / sure
for fear of
for good
for granted
for hire
for lack of
for life
for love
for my / your, etc. part
for real
for the good of
for the sake of
for want of
from experience
from memory

IN

in (no) time
in / at the forefront of
in / on demand
in / out of focus
in / out of one’s element
in / out of prison
in / out of season
in / out of stock
in / out of touch (with)
in / out of use
in / with difficulty
in / within sight (of)
in a deep sleep
in a flash
in a heap
in a hurry
in a mess
in a pile
in a sense
in a temper
in abeyance
in abundance
in accordance with
in action
in addition to
in advance
in agony
in agreement with
in aid of
in all likelihood
in an instant
in an uproar
in answer to
in anticipation of
in arrears
in awe of
in blossom
in brief
in bulk
in cash
in character
in charge of
in code
in collaboration with
in combination with
in comfort
in command of
in common
in comparison with
in compensation for
in conclusion
in confidence
in confinement
in confusion
in conjunction with
in connection with
in consequence of
in contact with
in contrast with / to
in control of
in convoy
in custody
in danger
in debt
in decline
in defense of
in detail
in disgrace
in disguise
in disorder
in dispute
in distress
in doubt
in due course
in duplicate
in earnest
in effect
in error
in essence
in excess of
in exchange for
in existence
in fact
in fairness to
in favor of
in fear of
in flames
in flower
in full
in future
in gear
in general
in good / bad condition
in good faith
in hand
in harmony (with)
in haste
in hiding
in high spirits
in honor of
in horror (of)
in ink / pencil
in isolation
in its infancy
in jeopardy
in keeping with
in labor
in league with
in length
in line with
in love with
in memory of
in mid-air
in mind
in moderation
in mourning (for)
in name
in office
in one’s absence / presence
in one’s spare time
in operation
in opposition to
in origin
in other words
in pain
in Parliament
in particular
in person
in pieces
in place of
in possession of
in poverty
in practice
in preference to
in preparation for
in principle
in private
in progress
in proportion to / with
in public
in pursuit of
in quantity
in question
in reality
in recognition of
in relation to
in reply to
in reserve
in residence
in respect of
in response to
in retrospect
in return
in revenge for
in reverse
in ruins
in safety
in sb’s interest
in sb’s opinion
in search of
in secret
in self-defense
in settlement of
in short
in silence
in small change
in store for
in succession
in support of
in suspense
in sympathy with
in tears
in terms of
in terror
in the absence of
in the aftermath
in the balance
in the case of
in the course of
in the distance
in the event of
in the extreme
in the eyes of
in the flesh
in the form of
in the habit of
in the interests of
in the lead
in the light of
in the long run
in the making
in the meantime
in the midst of
in the mood for
in the name of
in the night
in the open
in the process of
in the right
in the seclusion of
in the shade
in the space of
in the wake of
in the way of
in the wrong
in theory
in time for
in times of
in town
in trouble
in tune with
in turmoil
in turn
in two minds
in twos / threes / tens
in uniform
in unison
in vain
in view of
in vogue
in words

of the opinion
off / on duty

ON

on (the) watch (for)
on / behind schedule
on / off the record
on / off the road
on / under oath
on / under pain of
on /of the air
on /off balance
on a diet
on a journey / trip / cruise
on a large / small scale
on a pension
on a regular basis
on a spree
on account of
on an expedition
on an island
on approval
on average
on bail
on behalf of
on board
on business
on condition that
on credit
on display
on edge
on end
on file
on fire
on foot
on good terms
on guard
on hand
on horseback
on impulse
on leave
on loan
on no account
on occasion
on one’s (own) terms
on one’s own
on one’s own initiative
on order
on paper
on parade
on patrol
on principle
on purpose
on reflection
on remand
on sale
on second thoughts
on show
on strike
on suspicion of
on the agenda
on the assumption
on the brink of
on the dot
on the edge of
on the eve of
on the grounds of
on the horizon
on the hour
on the increase
on the job
on the move
on the off-chance
on the outskirts
on the part of
on the phone
on the point of
on the run
on the strength of
on the stroke of
on the tip of
on the top of
on the understanding that
on the verge of
on the way to
on time
on tiptoe
on trial
on vacation

OUT

out of / in fashion
out of / in print
out of / in step
out of breath
out of context
out of control
out of curiosity / jealousy / love /hatred
out of date
out of doors
out of hand
out of ideas
out of one’s mind
out of order
out of pity
out of place
out of practice
out of reach
out of respect for
out of sight
out of spite
out of the ordinary
out of the question
out of work

through no fault of

TO

to / on the contrary
to an extent
to date
to excess
to one’s astonishment
to one’s credit
to one’s dismay
to sb’s face
to the / this day
to the accompaniment of
to the best of
to the detriment of
to the exclusion of
to the full
to the satisfaction of

UNDER


under / in the circumstances
under age
under arrest
under consideration
under construction
under cover of
under discussion
under lock and key
under one’s protection
under orders
under pressure
under regulations
under repair
under strain
under stress
under suspicion
under the command of
under the impression that
under the influence (of)
under the misapprehension
under treatment

WITH / WITHIN / WITHOUT 


with / in reference to
with / without success
with a view to
with an eye to
with regard to
with regret
with respect to
with the aid of
with the compliments of
with the exception of
with the help of
with the intention of
within / out of earshot
within / without reason
within limits
within one’s budget
within one’s power
within one’s rights
within reach (of)
within walking / striking distance
without (a) doubt
without a break
without a hitch
without delay
without exception
without fail
without foundation
without precedent
without question
without respite
without warning


If you haven't learned enough about prepositional phrases from this page and would like some more details regarding them, just click on the preceding link... the one marked prepositional phrases... or you can go to my new site, one that's filled with prepositional phrases and preposition exercises by clicking here.

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