Idiomatic Verbs

You learned about phrasal verbs in Verbs Module Lesson 12.Definition: Phrasal verbs, also called idiomatic verbs or two-word verbs, are made up of a verb and one or more prepositions. The preposition in an phrasal verb is called a particle. This is because the preposition is not being used to show a relationship such as time, […]

Commas with Prepositional Phrases

Restrictive or Essential Adjective PhrasesDefinition: A restrictive phrase, or essential phrase, is one that is necessary to the sentence. It limits or restricts the word it is modifying so that the reader knows which noun is being referred to. Restrictive phrases do not have commas around them. The newspapers \in the attic are garbage. The newspapers \in the den are […]

Troublesome Prepositions

Some prepositions commonly cause trouble for writers.Beside / BesidesBeside means next to or at the side of. The book is on the table beside my chair. Besides means in addition to. No one besides the teachers is allowed in the teachers’ lounge. Between / AmongBetween is used with two things. I sit between Annie and Mark. Among is used with a group of three or more. I sit among my friends. […]

Placement Problems and Dangling Prepositions

Misplaced Prepositional Phrases Putting the prepositional phrase in the wrong place can lead to some strange-sounding sentences. Tourists often wander along our beach \with cameras. (Do the beaches have cameras?)Tourists \with cameras often wander along our beach. (No, the tourists have cameras.) It is always best to put prepositional phrases with the words they modify unless you are […]

Adjective or Adverb Prepositional Phrases

Adjective prepositional phrases follow the nouns they modify, unlike adjectives which generally go immediately before the nouns they modify. Like adjectives, they tell which one, what kind, how much, or how many. The show \on television tonight is about snow leopards \in Asia.On television tells us which show. In Asia tells us which leopards. Adverb prepositional phrases that modify adjectives and adverbs must go after […]

Layered Prepositional Phrases

A prepositional phrase may modify the object of another prepositional phrase. The flowers \in the pot \on the windowsill \in the kitchen \of my grandmother’s house \in Maine are violets. The flowers are in the pot.The pot is on the windowsill.The windowsill is in the kitchen.The kitchen is of my grandmother’s house.The house is in Maine. Doesn’t this sound like a children’s rhyme? Hint:Be careful not to use too many prepositional phrases at once because it […]

Prepositional Phrases as Nouns

Once in a while, a prepositional phrase may act as a noun. This is fairly rare. A noun prepositional phrase generally acts as the subject of a sentence or as a subject complement. In front of the class is a stressful place to be. (subject)The most stressful place for me is in front of the class. (subject complement) In […]

Adverb Prepositional Phrases

Definition: An adverb prepositional phrase modifies a verb, adjective, or adverb. It usually tells when, where, how, why, or to what extent (how many, how much, how long, or how far), and under what condition.Modifying a verb: We always go \to the beach \on the weekends. (Where and when we go.) Modifying an adjective: You look tired \from all the heat. (How tired?)Michele is very good \at singing. (Under what condition is she […]

Adjective Prepositional Phrases

Definition: An adjective prepositional phrase describes a noun or pronoun. It answers the questions which one, what kind, how much, or how many. Adjective: The wind’s sound made a whistling noise.Prepositional Phrase: The sound \of the wind made a whistling noise. On the other hand, adverb prepositional phrases modify a verb, adjective, or adverb. They usually tell when, where, how, why, or to what extent (how many, how much, how long, or how far), and under […]

Preposition versus Adverb

ome words can be used as either prepositions or adverbs. If the word has an object, it is acting as a preposition. If it has no object, it is acting as an adverb. Adverb: My school bus just went past.Preposition: My brother just drove past us. Hint:Ask what after the word to see if it has an object. Adverb: My school bus just […]