Why are prepositional phrases important for our written and oral communication?
How can varied sentence structure make my writing more effective?
For the past week, we have been studying prepositions and have closely analyzed sentences to learn how they add detail to describe something or to give the location of something. It is not often that I ask the students to do memorization work, but we will be applying a lot of new skills that will require them to have extensive knowledge about prepositional phrases. That means that they will need to recall all of their prepositions from the list below. They have learned that a subject and verb cannot be found in a prepositional phrase. Sometimes a prepositional phrase is wedged between a subject and a verb, and they are learning to look for this when making sure to have correct subject/verb agreement; they know not to make the mistake of having the verb agree with the object of the preposition. The students are also learning about varying the beginnings of their sentences. When prepositional phrases are moved to the front of a sentence, it adds variety to writing.
Did you know that when you take away a preposition's object that the preposition then becomes an adverb? If you identify a word in a sentence as a preposition, it must always have an object that is a noun or a pronoun. Just locate the preposition and ask the question, "Who or what?" and the answer will the the preposition's object. All of the modifiers in between the preposition and its object are part of the prepositional phrase. If there isn't a "who or what" that follows, then the word that you identified as a preposition is functioning as an adverb.
The following are the most commonly used prepositions that should be memorized. We will continue to reference prepositions as we learn new skills throughout the year.