Prepositions: Advanced

  • Many prepositions are followed by a noun phrase (which is called the prepositional complement) to form a prepositional phrase.

    In the garden    Under the stars    Round the next corner

  • Prepositional phrases are also a common way to expand noun phrases.

    eg The collie in the garden had gone wild.

    So yes, a noun phrase helps to form a prepositional phrase, which in turn can be added to another noun phrase to expand it! In the example above, the noun phrase 'the garden' complements the preposition to make the prepositional phrase 'in the garden'. This prepositional phrase then expands the noun phrase 'the collie'.

  • Sometimes the prepositional complement is a clause.

    She ate whatever she could

  • There are many words which can be a preposition or a conjunction, or a preposition or an adverb. This highlights the importance of looking at what function words play in a sentence, rather than learning lists of prepositions.

    After he had eaten his lunch, he returned to the meeting. Conjunction
    The police have a responsibility to chase after criminals. Preposition
    And Jill came tumbling after. Adverb

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