Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Rules of Writing-Parts of Speech-Preposition 1
By OFW chief editor:
Carlos J Cortes And Renée Miller
Published: June 03, 2013
What’s a preposition?
A part of speech that links nouns, pronouns, and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is the object of the preposition. Here is a short list of the most common, single-word prepositions:
About, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, but, by, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, out, outside, over, past, since, through, throughout, till, to, toward, under, underneath, until, up, upon, with, within, and without.
How do prepositions work?
A preposition indicates the temporal, spatial, or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence.
The heart is on the chest.
The heart is in the chest.
The heart is beneath the chest.
The heart is leaning against the chest.
The heart is beside the chest.
She held the heart over the chest.
She rested the heart on her lap during breakfast.
In each of these sentences, diverse prepositions locate the noun “heart” in space or in time.
One of the wonders of prepositions is their ability to fashion prepositional phrases, or groups of words we can use as one. A word such as “in” or “after” is meaningless and hard to define with reference to itself. For instance, if we attempt to define prepositions like “in” or “between” or “on,” we invariably use other words to show how something is situated in relationship to these. In the glass means contained, just as between can be hemmed or gripped. Most of the time, prepositions combine with other words in structures called prepositional phrases, which are formed by joining the preposition, its object, and any associated adjectives or adverbs. Then, the prepositional phrase becomes a modifier. It acts as an adverb or adjective to modify nouns; locate elements in time and space; or detail where, when, or under what conditions something happened.
The underscored words in the following sentences are prepositions:
Mary aimed the dagger
In this sentence, the preposition “at” introduces the noun phrase “the target.” The prepositional phrase “at the target” functions as an adverb describing where Mary aimed the dagger.
The rabbit hopped
The preposition “across” introduces the noun phrase “the lava” and the prepositional phrase “across the lava” acts as an adverb, describing where the rabbit hopped.
Renee Miller & Carlos Cortes
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