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Using Prepositional Phrases as Noun Phrase Modifiers

Using Prepositional Phrases as Noun Phrase Modifiers

Traditional grammars define prepositions as words that “link to other words, phrases, and clauses” and that “express spatial or temporal relations.” A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as the prepositional complement.

In grammar, a noun phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. Prepositional phrases frequently function as noun phrase modifiers in English. Examples of prepositional phrases as noun phrase modifiers include the following:

  • The woman in the purple sunglasses stole a banana.
  • Someone with a grudge to settle broke several windows of the chemistry building.
  • Twelve mice without tails scurried away.
  • A passenger near the front asked the conductor to stop the train.
  • Her daughter likes the little boy by the fence.
  • The ball under the table belongs to the dog across the street.
  • My English teacher encourages my passion for reading.
  • Your love of spaghetti with ketchup seems strange to me.
  • His fear of falling to his death prevents him from bungee jumping.
  • She suffers from an intense fear of small dogs.
  • The author of the famous book died a terrible death at a young age.
  • The leader of the pack destroyed his motorcycle in a freak accident.

Prepositional Phrases as Noun Phrase Modifiers

Prepositional Phrase as Noun Phrase Modifier Grammar Tree

Prepositional Phrase as Noun Phrase Modifier Grammar Tree

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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