What Are Prepositional Phrases?
By the lake
By the ocean
Near the window
Over the cabinet
On the roof
Under the bed
There are two kinds of prepositional phrases: adjectival phrases and adverbial phrases.
When a prepositional phrase serves as an adjective, it’s called an adjectival phrase. An adjectival phrase, as with an adjective, describes a noun or a pronoun. An adjectival phrase answers these questions: ‘Which one?’ or ‘What kind?’
- She has a fish with red gills. (The adjectival phrase ‘with red gills’ describes the noun ‘fish’.)
- Something in the corner of the desk was moving. (The adjectival phrase ‘in the corner’ describes the noun ‘something’; the adjectival phrase ‘of the desk’ describes the noun ‘corner’.)
You can connect two or more prepositional phrases with a coordinating conjunction like and, but, or or yet.
An adverbial phrase is a prepositional phrase that functions as an adverb. It modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. The adverbial phrase answers one of these questions: ‘Where?’ ‘When?’ ‘In what manner?’ ‘To what extent?’
- The rock climbers arrived late at night. (The adverbial phrase ‘at night’ modifies the adverb ‘late.’)
- We cheered with loud voices. (The adverbial phrase ‘with loud voices’ modifies the verb ‘cheered’.)
- They fought with courage. (The adverbial phrase ‘with courage’ modifies the verb ‘fought’.)
- The boys were thrilled at their victory. (The adverbial phrase ‘at their victory’ modifies the adjective ‘thrilled’.)