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Functions of the preposition
Prepositions communicate relationships in time and space, often in the form of prepositional phrases. For example, We decided to look underneath the staircase for the old manuscripts. This sentence contains two prepositional phrases: underneath the staircase and for the old manuscripts. Notice how the addition of these phrases expands the amount of information. Prepositional phrases can also emphasize important details. Remember, prepositional phrases begin with a preposition and end with either a noun or pronoun. Some Commonly Used Prepositions about at except near above below during of across before except off after beneath from on among between in onto around beyond inside out as by into over
since through toward under up with without
Be sure not to overdo a good thing. We encourage you to use prepositional phrases judiciously. You will discover that many inexperienced writers string too many prepositional phrases together in a single sentence. If necessary, create two separate sentences when this occurs. Moreover, when determining if a subject agrees with its verb, don’t look for the subject within a prepositional phrase. For example, None of the copy editors is here today is correct because the subject is none, not copy editors, which is the object of the prepositional of. Study the examples below where the prepositional phrases are double-underlined. Identify the subject of the sentence. Then identify each noun or pronoun that is the object of the prepositional phrase. Headings and subheadings help organize information within a document. Although editors must be excellent wordsmiths, they must also be able to evaluate the effectiveness of a document on screen or in the pages of a book. Being able to think outside the box is an important attribute for graphic designers. Jamel tried to install the new hard drive without the manual; however, after he removed many components, he decided to read the directions.