Phrase Preposition


To understand phrase prepositions better, we will quickly revise few parts of speeches as already studied before-

  • Noun– to put it simply, a noun is the name of a person, place or thing. Ex- Mohit, Delhi and Car etc.
  • Pronoun– Pronoun is a word that replaces noun Ex- I, me, her and you etc.
  • Preposition– Words that link noun or pronoun to other words or phrase. Ex- after, before, at, it, etc.
  • Modifier– Is a word that describes a noun. Ex- ‘The black Car’. In the sentence the adjective ‘black’ is a modifier describing the noun car. A modifier may also describe an adverb like in the sentence- ‘He swam faster’. ‘Faster’ is a modifier used to describe the verb ‘swam’.
  • Gerund– Are the verbs ending with’ ing’, with no exceptions. Ex- swimming, dancing, bathing, partying, doing etc.
  • Clause– Smallest grammatical sentence containing the subject and verb. Ex- He swims, Raman drives fast etc.

You must be wondering as to why we have revised the terminology that we have already studied in the preceding chapters. That is because; a phrase preposition or a prepositional phrase (don’t confuse, both are same) is formed from the different combinations of the above mentioned parts of speeches. Not clear!! Need not to worry, just go through the following concepts of a phrase preposition (Prepositional Phrase) and you will get a better idea.

  • A phrase preposition begins with a preposition and ends with a noun, pronoun, gerund or clause (which is also the object of the preposition).
  • The noun, pronoun, gerund or clause may be prefixed by the modifiers.
  • Phrase Preposition= Preposition+ noun, pronoun, gerund or clause.
  • Phrase preposition= Preposition+modifier+noun, pronoun, gerund or clause.

Now that we have well understood the basic concept of a ‘Phrase Preposition’ we will go through a few simple examples of phrase prepositions:

  • In house – where ‘in’ is a preposition and ‘house’ is a noun.
  • With him- where ‘with’ is a preposition and ‘him’ is a pronoun.
  • By bathing- where ‘by’ is a pronoun and ‘bathing’ is a gerund.
  • At whichever place you desire-‘At’ is a pronoun followed by noun clause-‘whichever place you desire’.
  • From my uncle- where ‘from’ is a preposition, ‘my’ is a modifier and ‘uncle’ is a noun.

Now that you have completely understood the formation of Prepositional phrase, it’s time now to move over to their function and types. There are two types of Prepositional phrases based on the functions they serve- Adjective Prepositional Phrase and Adverb Prepositional Phrase.

We will understand both of them with the help of suitable examples-

  • Adjective Prepositional Phrase

In a lay man’s definition the Prepositional Phrase which is acting as an adjective, answers one question- ‘Which one?’ or serves the same purpose of an adjective – modify the noun. Consider the below sentences-

1) The car in the parking lot is making a rattling sound.

Which car? Ans- The one ‘in the parking lot’.

The phrase ‘in the parking lot’ is therefore an adjective prepositional phrase.

2) The man sitting on the bench is acting suspiciously.

Which man is acting suspiciously? Ans- the man who is ‘sitting on the bench’.

Therefore, ‘sitting on the bench’ is an adverb prepositional phrase.

  • Adverb Prepositional Phrase

As an adverb the Prepositional phrase answers – how?, When?, why? For ex-

1) I got a headache from yesterday’s late night meeting.

How did you get headache? Ans- ‘From yesterday’s late night meeting’.

‘From yesterday’s late night meeting’ is an ‘Adverb Prepositional Phrase’.

2) I hired a taxi when my car broke down.

When did you hire a taxi? Ans: ‘When my car broke down’.

Therefore in the example the phrase- ‘when my car broke down’ is an Adverb Prepositional Phrase answering, when?

3) I came early because I have some pending work.

Why did you come early? Ans- Because I have some pending work.

The adverb Prepositional Phrase in the above example is therefore- ‘because I have some pending work’.


In house, in the commotion, in the car, by bathing, in chilly weather, over the fridge, across the road, after long time, under the table, with my teacher, around the corner, before you go out, in the light of the torch, of my father, in hot water, about my class, upon the cliff, like a burning Sun, off he went, into the wild, since two days, because of my liabilities etc. There may be many more Prepositional Phrases than the ones provided. Try forming such phrases and also identify the different parts, i.e.-  preposition, noun, pronoun, gerund, clause and modifiers.

Once you are done practicing with the basic ‘Prepositional Phrases’ refer to the Exercises below to fine tone your skills. We will be doing separate exercises on Simple, Adjective and Adverb phrase prepositions to help you better understand the three.

Exercises/MCQs with Answers

Do note that simple Phrase Prepositions are similar to the Compound Prepositions we have already studied.

Complete the given sentences using the appropriate Phrase Preposition given below them.

  • He failed ________ of his high endurance.
    1. in spite of
    2. because of
    3. due to
  • __________ his teacher, he is doing well in the class.
    1. despite of
    2. according to
    3. under
  • I was _______ when he left for home.
    1. standing on
    2. with him
    3. sitting
  • I signed a contract ________ employer.
    1. upon my
    2. with my
    3. along with
  • I went to the doctor _______ grandmother.
    1. with my
    2. together with
    3. to show
  • I dropped him _______ car.
    1. on my
    2. in my
    3. inside my
  • He ________ fast.
    1. spoke
    2. drove
    3. was swimming
  • I saw ________ on the joke
    1. running
    2. him laughing
    3. at Ramesh
  • He was fined _____ not wearing helmet.
    1. because of
    2. despite of
    3. for actually
  • The lady gave up her job for _______ her children.
    1. need of
    2. the sake of
    3. nourishing
  • His house is too far _______ house.
    1. away from
    2. from my
    3. near my
  • I saw _________ on the road.
    1. him
    2. anyone
    3. him walking
  • The car belongs to _______.
    1. my father
    2. us
  • I saw __________ loudly over phone.
    1. him
    2. him talking
    3. him ever
  • He stood there _________ his class.
    1. on behalf of
    2. on pretext of
    3. in charge
  • He climbed _________.
    1. over the tree
    2. onto the tree
    3. above the tree.
  • For a couple of years, he stayed _________.
    1. inside
    2. out
    3. in the house.
  • Finally he made it __________.
    1. possible
    2. through the turmoil
    3. at last.
  • He lives a life ________.
    1. needy
    2. on the edge
    3. everyone wants.
  • I mistakenly took the wrong turn ________ the right one.
    1. despite of
    2. in spite of
    3. instead of

Answers- 1)a, 2)b, 3)b, 4)b, 5)a, 6)b, 7)c, 8)b, 9)a, 10)b, 11)b, 12)c, 13)a, 14)b, 15)a, 16)a, 17)c, 18)b, 19)b, 20)c.

Exercises/MCQs with Answers:

Identify the Adjective Prepositional Phrase in the following sentences-

  • The car with the red paint is in the garage.
  • The horse was ridden by a man with a big hat.
  • I met a child with curly hairs.
  • The snakes with bright colours are usually venomous.
  • The person who laughs a lot is sadder inside.
  • He visited many houses without any electricity.
  • The bike I was looking for had a bright red paint.
  • My father is a man of great principles.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed.
  • Cars on the track run faster than the cars on the road.

Answers- 1) with the red paint, 2) with a big hat, 3) with curly hairs, 4) with bright colours, 5) who laughs a lot, 6) without any electricity, 7) had a bright red paint, 8) of great principles, 9) in need, 10) on the track, on the road

Now choose an appropriate ‘Adjective Prepositional Phrase’ for the sentences from the choices given below them.

  • The animals ___________ are must to preserve their species.
    1. on the zoo
    2. in the zoo
    3. along with zoo
  • The vehicle _________ will reach early.
    1. obviously
    2. which moves fast
    3. on the road
  • He wrote all his poems with a _________.
    1. pen
    2. pencil
    3. black fountain pen.
  • Please take the books lying _____________.
    1. on the table
    2. in the table
    3. on table.
  • Please do the dishes _________.
    1. in the sink
    2. over the sink
    3. under
  • The car ____________ is mine.
    1. on the road
    2. park
    3. honking
  • The man __________ is my best friend.
    1. on the curtain
    2. behind the curtain
    3. on the car
  • It was a tiger __________.
    1. big
    2. ferocious
    3. with a white skin
  • His was an _____.
    1. act of courage
    2. long performance
    3. different act
  • My uncle was __________.
    1. rich
    2. a man of wisdom
    3. poor

Answers- 1)b, 2)b, 3)c, 4)a, 5)a, 6)a, 7)b, 8)c, 9)a, 10)b

Adverb Phrase Preposition Exercises/Activities/MCQs with Answers:

Identify the Adverb Prepositional Phrase in the following sentences.

  • We incurred huge losses due to the recession.
  • He arrived during early morning hours.
  • The train got delayed due to the heavy rains.
  • My book was lying on the table.
  • He goes to the school by school bus every day.
  • Durga Puja usually falls in the month of October.
  • He was fined because of negligence.
  • My car is lying in the garage.
  • I turned off the lights to save the electricity.
  • He was able to excel only because of hard work.

Note– Remember the phrase that answers- how?, when?, why?, where?

Answers- 1) due to the recession, 2) early morning hours, 3) due to the heavy rains, 4) lying on the table, 5) by school bus, 6) falls in the month of October, 7) because of negligence,8) in the garage, 9) to save the electricity, 10) because of hard work.

For the sentences given below choose appropriate Adverb Prepositional Phrase from the choices given.

  • He landed on hill top with the help of ________.
    1. an expert climber
    2. a rope
    3. a torch
  • I don’t go to school _________.
    1. everyday
    2. often
    3. during the rains
  • I came here _______.
    1. so long
    2. to meet you
    3. fast
  • He started working __________.
    1. in the bank.
    2. early enough
    3. too much
  • I was lost ___________.
    1. forever
    2. unnecessarily
    3. in the middle of nowhere
  • The coin was lying there __________.
    1. motionless
    2. as no one noticed
    3. for ever
  • ___________ lay many secrets.
    1. in the shadow of darkness
    2. inside
    3. outside
  • The species survived __________.
    1. healthily
    2. due to its endurance
    3. happily forever
  • He was appointed as the Chairman ____________.
    1. on the fateful day
    2. earlier before
    3. unanimously
  • I was waiting for you _________.
    1. whole night
    2. badly
    3. at the station

Answers- 1)a, 2)c, 3)b, 4)a, 5)c, 6)b, 7)a, 8)b, 9)a, 10)c

Related Links:

Other Prepositions
Participle Preposition
Compound Preposition
Double Preposition

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