School House Rock: Busy Prepositions

The little words called the busy "P"s . . . at, far, in, from, by, with, to, on, of, over, across and so many others.

The Preposition's job: "Connect noun or pronoun object to some other word in the sentence . . . and they never stand alone."

But what exactly is a Preposition?
The University of Ottawa Writing Center says:
A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.

A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence as in the following examples:

     The book is on the table.
     The book is beneath the table.
     The book is leaning against the table.
     The book is beside the table.
     She held the book over the table.
     She read the book during class.

In each of the preceding sentences, a preposition locates the noun "book" in space or in time.

A prepositional phrase is made up of the preposition, its object and any associated adjectives or adverbs. A prepositional phrase can function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. The most common prepositions are "about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below," "beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from," "in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since," "through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within," and "without."

Each of the highlighted words in the following sentences is a preposition:

     The children climbed the mountain without fear.

In this sentence, the preposition "without" introduces the noun "fear." The prepositional phrase "without fear" functions as an adverb describing how the children climbed.

     There was rejoicing throughout the land when the government was defeated.

Here, the preposition "throughout" introduces the noun phrase "the land." The prepositional phrase acts as an adverb describing the location of the rejoicing.

     The spider crawled slowly along the banister.

The preposition "along" introduces the noun phrase "the banister" and the prepositional phrase "along the banister" acts as an adverb, describing where the spider crawled.

     The dog is hiding under the porch because it knows it will be punished for chewing up a new pair of shoes.

Here the preposition "under" introduces the prepositional phrase "under the porch," which acts as an adverb modifying the compound verb "is hiding."

     The screenwriter searched for the manuscript he was certain was somewhere in his office.

Similarly in this sentence, the preposition "in" introduces a prepositional phrase "in his office," which acts as an adverb describing the location of the missing papers.
Got it? Great! Try this quiz to test your skills.


  1. This is a funny video. I am interesting of it. After I read the video and finish the quiz, I found I still do not understand what is the difference between preposition and verb. And after read the paragraph below, I found the answer by one example of the paragraph. The example is " The dog is hiding under the porch because it knows it will be punished for chewing up a new pair of shoes". In this sentence, preposition is "under" and "for" and verb is " hiding". The BLOG teacher me a lot, so I like it.

  2. The video was very interesting, but really didn't help me understand more about propositions. The tune was catchy and I started to sing along with it. After the watched the Video, I read the passage that helped me better understand what propositional phrases are. The passage had examples that were very helpful with teaching me how to use them.The passage said, "a proposition is a word that links nouns, and phrases to other words in a sentence." For example, the phone WAS ON the desk. I also learned that the word "BUT" is sometimes a prepositional Phrase. Overall the Blog was really interesting, and educational.

  3. I always love watching School House Rock videos, they've so entertaining and catchy for me, but I already knew what prepositional phrases were so it wasn't anything new or helpful. Also because in 6th grade and 8th we had to memorize all the prepositional phrases in alphabetical order and say them in front of the whole class. Even though I can only recite the A and B prepositions now, it was still kind of cool knowing all the prepositions. The video was still a good explanation though.

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  6. This is an amazing idea to know exact about preposition. English grammar is very important in sentence building so from such videos we can undrstand in best ways. I would suggest students to try this one and learn more.

  7. These tips are very useful to learn preposition online. Preposition is the important part of grammar and we should know how to use it sentence. check it
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