Prepositional Phrases

In a sentence prepositions show the relation of one word to another word. Prepositions require an object to complete them, typically a noun or a pronoun. A preposition and its object is called a prepositional phrase.

Resources for Prepositional Phrases at DonnaYoung.org

preposition bingo cardsThis page has pdf filetext filePrintable lists of prepositions
Next is a bit about Prepositions in the Sentence
Third on this page: Activities and Books Related to Prepositions
A Printable Song- pdf filetext fileOver the River and Through the wood
Don't miss the Bingo Game!
the better choicePreposition Bingo - Fancy
and Plain

The Prepositional Phrase

If any of the words in the table below do not have an object when used in a sentence, then the word is not functioning as a preposition. The words below can be used as a preposition in a prepositional phrase.

about below in spite of regarding
above beneath instead of since
according to beside into through
across between like throughout
after beyond near to
against but (meaning except) of toward
along by off under
amid concerning on underneath
among down on account of until
around during onto up
at except out upon
atop for out of with
because of from outside within
before in over without
behind inside past  
text filePreposition List, A Text File a text file of words that can be used as a preposition

Easy Grammar Users

Easy Grammar List of Prepositions per Grade
pdf fileList of Prepositions for Grade 3
pdf fileList of Prepositions for Grade 4
pdf fileList of Prepositions for Grade 5
pdf fileList of Prepositions for Grade 6 and Easy Grammar Plus

Related to Easy Grammar: Planning Easy Grammar

Prepositions in the Sentence

The words in the lists above can be used as prepositions. In order for one of these words to be considered a preposition, it must be part of a prepositional phrase. Here are some examples of a prepositional phrase:

over the hill
behind the door
at Mary's house
without your coat
during lunch
atop Mount Everest

Notice that the prepositional phrase contains no verbs. Generally, they contain an adjective, a noun or pronoun and they can also contain a gerund. The noun or pronoun is the object of the preposition. Prepositional phrases can also contain conjunctions to join two nouns or pronouns as in this example: 

underneath sand and rock

The advantage of being able to recognize prepositional phrases in sentences is that neither the subject nor the verb will ever be a part of the prepositional phrase. Consider this sentence: "The coat on the chair is mine." If we eliminate the prepositional phrase, "on the chair" then we can easily see that coat is the subject and is is the verb.
"The coat on the chair is mine."

Note: Prepositions do not change form.

Prepositions are not without evaluation challenges. For instance, a preposition paired with a verb is called a phrasal verb, a preposition can follow, rather than precede its object.

Activities and Books Related to Prepositions

grade 6Curriculum: A workbook series called Easy Grammar takes advantage of prepositions in sentence mark-up. You can read about how to make a lesson plan series for the curriculum Planning Easy Grammar at donnayoung.org.

An activity to learn prepositions is playing preposition bingo. This game was devised by the author of the Easy Grammar series. There are additional printable bingo cards on this web-site on the Preposition Bingo page and at Fancy Preposition Bingo.

Another activity that my children and I did is to make up prepositional phrases at the spur of the moment. Using the list of prepositions or, in most cases, from our memory, we made up phrases for the words such as:

after the fall
behind
my chair
beyond
the sunset
amid
the crowd

Books for the Younger Crowd

The children's book, Bears in the Night (Berenstein Bears), is full of prepositional phrases. Your public library might have a copy of this book. Below are two more books. Links go to amazon.com.
Under the Sky by Rozanne Lanczak Williams
Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins

Over the River and Through the Wood

A Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child, this song has many prepositional phrases

DY's Files with the song:
text file - over the river and through the woodText File | pdf filePDF file with song and ruled lines

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