A prepositional phrase is made up of a preposition and a noun phrase. We use prepositional phrases for many purposes, for example:

- as adverbials of time and place:

We will be back in a few days.
They drove to Glasgow

.- as a postmodifier in a noun phrase:

Helen is the girl in the red dress
We’ve got a new television with a thirty one inch screen.

- to show who did something:

The lion was killed by the hunter
I saw a wonderful painting by Van Gogh

- with double object verbs like give and get:

We gave five pounds to the woman on the corner.
They got a drink for me.

- after certain verbs, nouns and adjectives:

The book belongs to me.
I had an argument with my brother.
I feel sorry for you.

Exercise

Comments

Hi zagrus,

I cannot comment on your grammar book, of course, but the question of which preposition to use is a question of location, not activity. 'In' suggests inside the building or location; 'at' suggests a more general meaning of 'in the area' (which might be inside or just outside).

There is also a question of the definite article. With a number of institutions we use 'the' when we are visiting the building for some reason other than its primary purpose; we use no article when we are operating as part of the institution's primary purpose. For example:

I'm at/in school. [I am a pupil or teacher]

I'm at/in the school. [I am visiting the school as a parent or guest]

Other places which function in this way include the following: school, court, prison, hospital and university.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

"I could look out while waiting for sleep to overcome me." I'd like to know is this sentence grammatically correct or not because there we can see they use infinitive after preposition "for". But I think we must use "sleeping" there.Please help me with this problem.

Thank you.

Hi naaka,

'sleep' in this sentence is not an infinitive, but rather a noun. We can wait for something or someone to do something - in this case, I'm waiting for sleep to come, i.e. to fall asleep.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

"I'm at university studying engineering" I can't see any grammatically correct thing in this sentence. I feel like this. "I'm at university, studying engineering. Which I used a comma. Also I feel like this. "I'm at university and studying engineering". I'm relying your reply.

Thank you a lot.

Hello naaka,

I would say that using a comma in this sentence is not necessary but is, in my opinion, generally better stylistically. Your second alternative is fine, as would be 'I'm at university and am studying engineering' or 'I'm at university and I am studying engineering'.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Would you please tell whether this sentence is correct grammatically. He is looking forward to Christmas morning to see the joy on his mother's face. I think we need "ing" after "see".
Thank you,

Hi shadyar,

In 'look forward to', 'to' is a preposition. Since verbs that following prepositions go in the -ing form, 'to seeing' would indeed be correct. I'd suggest changing the order of the sentence a bit: 'He is looking forward to seeing the joy on his mother's face on Christmas morning.'

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi.
Does this sentence sound correct?
When a man and a woman walked a dog, it kept looking up at them.

thank you as always!

Hello greyish,

Without a context there is a certain amount of guesswork involved, but I'd say the sentence should be:

When the man and woman were walking their dog, it kept looking up at them.

The problem with 'a' is that it suggests that the dog, the man and the woman are just a random individuals found somewhere, whereas I suppose that they know one another! We would use the past continuous if it was a particular instance (one walk on a certain day) and the past simple ('walked') if it was a regular occurence (every time they take the dog for a walk).

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I have a question: do you say in the video or on the video?

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