A prepositional phrase adds information to a sentence. An example of a prepositional phrase is, “With a reusable tote in hand, Matthew walked to the farmer’s market.” Every prepositional phrase is a series of words consisting of a preposition and its object. In the example above, with is the preposition and reusable tote is the object. Explore several prepositional phrase examples to see them shift into different roles in a sentence.
Examples of Common Prepositional Phrases
There are many prepositional phrases that you’ve probably seen (and used) in your writing. These phrases set a scene or give us more details about a sentence. For example:
- according to the weather forecast
- across many deserts
- after many tries
- amid the confusion
- around the world
- before we start the meeting
- between a rock and a hard place
- by the light of the moon
- like a beautiful swan
- near the ocean
- of my boss
- off the top
- out the door
- through the looking glass
- throughout the thick forest
- to the amusement park
Examples of Prepositional Phrases as Adjectives
Adjectives modify nouns, pronouns, and other adjectives. They can be simple words that provide more detail. For example, “The old book sounded so intriguing.” However, prepositional phrases can also act as adjectives, providing additional details about nouns. See how they can tell us more about the nearby noun (indicated in italics):
- The book with the tattered cover is my favorite.
- All the passengers aboard the runaway train were frightened.
- The present inside the big box is mine.
- Our boss put out a memo regarding the new rule.
- The clues within the first few chapters will lead to the murderer.
- His is only one voice among many, but it will be heard.
- The extra blanket is in the box under the bed.
- Saul, unlike many others, will remain there.
- The car beside the red one is the one I want to buy.
- The area outside the boundary is dangerous to cross.
- All rooms below deck are for sleeping.
- Tell me the story about the dragon slayer.
Prepositional Phrases as Adverbs
While adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify verbs and other adverbs. They, too, can be simple words. For example, “She frantically raced for the door.” Prepositional phrases can also act as adverbs, providing additional details about verbs (indicated in italics). For example:
- Racing toward the finish line, Sarah realized she just might win.
- My shopping list needs to be put into my purse.
- The balloon drifted up the stairs.
- Put the fresh flowers on a high shelf.
- Our team won against all odds.
- The tiger crept over the grass.
- We will order pizza during halftime.
- I will climb up the highest mountain tomorrow.
- I love to take my truck off the road.
- The baby cried well into the night.
Powerful Prepositional Phrases
Prepositional phrases provide us with more information, act as adjectives, and stand in as adverbs. Now that you’re familiar with prepositional phrases, explore the rules for prepositions along with a list of common prepositions and how to use them.