Adjective or Adverb Prepositional Phrases

May 22, 2021

Adjective prepositional phrases follow the nouns they modify, unlike adjectives which generally go immediately before the nouns they modify. Like adjectives, they tell which onewhat kindhow 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 the words they modify. Like intensifiers, they tell to what extent. They can also tell why or in what way or in what circumstances.

I am hungry \because of this diet. (Because of this diet tells why I’m hungry.)
You can run pretty quickly \in those high heels. (In those high heels tells when you run quickly.)

Adverb prepositional phrases that modify verbs can move about the sentence, just as adverbs do. Like adverbs they can tell wherewhenhow, and to what extent. Since they use more than one word, they can also tell why.

We will go snowboarding \in the winter. (In the winter tells when we will go snowboarding.)
\In the winter, we will go snowboarding.
We will, \in the winter, go snowboarding.

Hint:Sometimes a prepositional phrase could make sense either as an adjective phrase modifying the noun before it or as an adverb phrase modifying the verb. In this case, it is usually considered an adjective phrase.

The plant \in the window gets lots of sunlight. (Tells which plant.)
\In the window, the plant gets lots of sunlight. (Tells where the plant gets lots of sunlight.)
The plant gets lots of sunlight \in the window. (Tells where the plant gets lots of sunlight.)