Grammar Object of a Preposition Examples |
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Object of a Preposition Examples

In today’s post we will look at prepositions, objects, and the relationship between the two. With that knowledge, you’ll have greater insight into another fine point of English grammar.

What Is a Preposition?

A preposition is a word that usually comes before a noun or pronoun and expresses a relationship to another word. In other words, a preposition will usually provide information such as what, where, when, and whom. Some common prepositions are in, at, on, beside, to, between, under, over, and within.

The prepositional object is the noun or pronoun that the preposition affects or describes. So, if you were to say “the apple in the tree,” the word in is the preposition and tree is its object. The full prepositional phrase modifies apple by telling us where it is.

Finding the Object of a Preposition

With that understanding of prepositions and objects, you can probably find them in sentences with ease. Let’s consider a few examples:

I put the pizza on the table.
In this sentence, on is the preposition and table is the object. The prepositional phrase describes where the pizza was placed.

My dog ran into the park at six o’clock.
This sentence has two prepositional phrases. Into is a preposition and park is its object; the phrase describes where the dog ran. In the second phrase, at is the preposition and six o’clock is the object; it describes when the dog ran.

Jackie handed the paper airplane to Jake.
In this sentence, to is the preposition and Jake is its object; the phrase identifies to whom Jackie gave the paper airplane.

You might notice that a descriptive prepositional phrase often appears next to the noun or verb it modifies, usually to its right. Sometimes, the prepositional phrase might be moved as a matter of style or effect:

On the desk you will find all of my notes about the next film project.

In this sentence, the prepositional phrase is on the desk (preposition: on, object: desk). However, it does not modify you; it modifies the verb find and answers question of where: You will find on the desk all of my notes…

Pop Quiz

Identify the preposition and the prepositional object in each sentence. Some sentences might have more than one preposition and object.

1. The knives go inside the drawer.

2. I have to turn in my paper before Tuesday.

3. The outdoor concert starts at sundown.

4. I stood behind a famous actor at the airport.

5. Jim refuses to cut paper with plastic scissors.


Pop Quiz Answers

1. The knives go inside the drawer.

2. I have to turn in my paper before Tuesday.

3. The outdoor concert starts at sundown.

4. I stood behind a famous actor at the airport.

5. Jim refuses to cut paper with plastic scissors.

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9 responses to “Object of a Preposition Examples”

  1. Mia Kelly says:

    What is the object of the verb “buy” and the object of the preposition “for” in the following sentence?
    You can buy small magnets or mounting hooks for only a few dollars.

    • says:

      The direct objects of the verb “buy” are “magnets” and “hooks.” The object of the preposition “for” is “dollars.”

  2. Uchenna Chinye says:

    Very informative. This was very helpful to me.

  3. Peter says:

    The object of the preposition “for” is “dollars.”

    In that case is “for ….dollars” in the accusative case? I mean according to this defintion: “the accusative, or the accusative case,” is the case used for a noun when it is the direct object of a verb, or the object of some prepositions.”

    • says:

      In English only the pronouns “me,” “him,” “her,” “us,” and ‘them” are in the accusative. The accusative case is rarely referred to in English but is pervasive in a language such as German.

  4. Peter says:

    What is the function then of “for….dollars” in a sentence? In Dutch I have found something called “adverb of quantity/measure (maat). “Does something such as “adverb of quantity/measure” (Ex: The book costs 20 dollars. I weigh 65 kilos.) exist in the English grammar classification of adverbs? It is a pity that many grammar books do not mention all types of adverbs in a single and comprehensive list. They only suffice with six types which they refer to as “the main types of adverbs.” That creates discomfort for a serious learner of a language.

  5. Lisa P says:

    I am wondering which sentence is correct:

    I have signed up my daughter for this class.
    I have signed my daughter up for this class.

    • says:

      “Signed up” is a phrasal verb. Our post Phrasal Verbs explains that when you are using transitive phrasal verbs, some can be separated and some cannot. In a phrasal verb that can be separated, the object can appear either between the main verb and the particle or after the phrasal verb’s components. Since “signed up” can be separated, either sentence is grammatically correct.

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