Prepositional Phrases Help (page 2)

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Aug 22, 2011


1. (inside the carton) bottles are 2. (between the doors) newspaper is 3. (against the walls) cans were 4. (among all my classmates) friend is 5. (in the list) movies are

Another common error has to do with the placement of a prepositional phrase in a sentence. Which of the following two sentences is the more precise one?

    The boy ran down the stairs in the yellow boots.
    The boy in the yellow boots ran down the stairs.

The answer, of course, depends on whether the stairs are actually wearing yellow boots. If not, the second sentence is correct. What general rule can you conclude from this error? Place a prepositional phrase as close as possible to the word it describes. For example:

    The man was late for his train on the cell phone.

Logic tells us that the train was not on a cell phone, but the sentence is not that clear. How can you make it clear that the man is using a cell phone? Simply place the prepositional phrase where it belongs:

    The man on the cell phone was late for his train.

Prepositional Phrases Additional Practice and Answers


In each of the following sentences, put the prepositional phrases in the correct place.

  1. I did not see down the road a huge crash.
  2. The hamster belongs to Tommy with the shortest legs.
  3. That antique roadster is in the garage with 50,000 miles on it.
  4. The prospective voters on the table completed their registration for the election.
  5. You should hang on the wall some of your new artwork.
  6. The banana-nut bread smells wonderful in the oven.
  7. Ned, under the deck, lined up furniture and boxes.
  8. You probably received a letter about the dangers of contaminated water in the mail.
  9. We drove along the endless highway toward the setting sun in a red convertible.
  10. Remove the filter from the furnace with the pliers.


1. I did not see a huge crash… 2. The hamster with the shortest legs… 3. That antique roadster with 50,000 miles on it… 4. The prospective voters completed their registration for the election on the table. 5. You should hang some of your new artwork on the wall. 6. The banana-nut bread in the oven smells wonderful. 7. Ned lined up furniture and boxes under the deck. 8. You probably received a letter in the mail about the dangers of contaminated water. 9. We drove in a red convertible along the endless highway toward the setting sun. 10. With the pliers, remove the filter from the furnace.

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