26 February 2014
When we hear the word preposition, most of us would have a bewildered look on our faces. What is a preposition? How do we use it? When do we use it, and why is it important? These are common questions that people ask when it comes to this topic. We must first define what a preposition is, in order to better understand the uses of it, and the purpose behind it.
The definition for preposition is, “a word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause.” Prepositions express a number of relationships such as time, location, manner, means, purpose, etc. They are important when constructing sentences.
Example: “It is a container for peanut butter.”
In the example above, the preposition for shows the relationship between peanut butter, and the container. Following the preposition is a word or a phrase called the “object” of the preposition.
The word itself comes from an idea that the preposition is positioned before the noun. This is necessarily not true. There are some instances that a preposition will be positioned after the noun. Although it is positioned in front of the noun it is not wise since it makes the sentence sound funny and a little incomplete. Now let’s say that we start a sentence with a preposition, there is no “rule” saying that it is wrong to do so. For example, “After soccer, we go out for pizza.” Now this is a grammatically correct sentence. Notice how the sentence begins with a prepositional phrase. What is a prepositional phrase? It’s a modifying phrase that contains a preposition and its object. Many people ask whether it’s acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. For the most part, many of us were taught not to end a sentence with one. Mignon Fogarty, AKA “Grammar Girl”, said “I consider it one of the top ten grammar myths because many people believe it’s true, but nearly all grammarians disagree, at least in some cases” (Fogarty par.2).
Example: What did you step on?
Above is an example of a sentence that is ending with a preposition. The main point is that the sentence is not grammatically correct if you leave out the preposition, which in this case is the word “on”. It’ll sound incomplete without it. According to Fogarty, that a sentence that ends in a preposition is, “ok as long as the preposition isn’t extraneous” (Fogarty par.6).
Now there is an often heard of “rule” that a sentence should not end with a preposition. This rule is…