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
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.