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Prepositions 02
Sometimes two prepositions are used in the same sentence as in 'All the sheep were INSIDE a pen ON the hillside'.

Prepositions 02

Many prepositions indicate place, location or position. Prepositions are important for English sentence structure - they add meaning to a sentence.

How many prepositions can you list? There are a great number of prepositions in the English language, and, of these, some exist as pairs of opposites. So we have, for example, above/below; over/under; in/out. Other prepositions have no clear opposite: through, against, beside, around, etc.

How can you spot a preposition? Unless you know all of the prepositions by heart, you'll first need to find the nouns and then see whether any of them are part of a phrase which gives some type of positional information. Which are the prepositions in this sentence? "He opened the door, found the light switch on the wall to the right, switched it on and looked at the bat dangling from the rafters."

The nouns are: "He" (pronoun), "door", "light switch", "wall", "right" (you can tell because of the determiner, "the"), "it" (pronoun), "bat" and "rafters". Phew!

"He" is the subject pronoun; "door" is the direct object; "light switch" is another direct object. "On the wall to the right" gives extra information about the light switch and consists of two prepositional phrases "on the wall", "to the right", with the prepositions being "on" and "to". "At the bat" and "from the rafters" are also prepositional phrases telling us where he looked and where the bat was located, so "at" and "from" are also prepositions. As you can see, it is possible to have multiple prepositions in the same sentence!

Have a go at our second quiz on the subject.

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1.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The ladder is leaning against the wall inside the garage.
against, inside
ladder, wall
leaning, inside
wall, garage
You now know exactly where to find the ladder!
2.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The bird's nest is between the rocks underneath the cliff.
between, underneath
is, undergrowth
next, rocks
rocks, cliff
You can use multiple prepositions in the same sentence in order to give a very precise idea of location. Prepositions are useful for instructions
3.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The bookshop is opposite the station next to the field.
bookshop, station
is, next to
opposite, next to
station, field
These prepositions show the location of the bookshop
4.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
Walk beside the river until you reach the bend.
beside, until
river, bend
Walk, bend
Walk, reach
A great number of words are classed as prepositions
5.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The book is on the table underneath the cup of tea.
book, cup
book, table
is, tea
on, underneath
These prepositions show the position of the book
6.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The waterfall is behind the bridge next to the forest.
behind, next to
bridge, forest
waterfall, forest
waterfall, bridge
Nouns, such as "waterfall", and verbs, such as "is", are not used as prepositions
7.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The clock hangs on the wall just below the picture.
clock, picture
clock, wall
hang, picture
on, below
"On" and "below" show the position of the clock
8.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
Your coffee is on the table under the tree in the garden.
coffee, table, garden
coffee, table, tree
on, under, in
Your, is, the
The prepositions show where your coffee is to be found
9.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The island is far across the sea beyond the horizon.
across, beyond
is, far
island, horizon
sea, horizon
"Far" is an adjective
10.
Select the prepositions from the following sentence.
The aeroplane flies above the clouds and across the sea.
above, across
aeroplane, clouds
clouds, sea
flies, across
Prepositions give the audience useful information

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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