A preposition (eg; of, with, at, from, into, during, until, etc.), is any word that can be used to introduce a preposition phrase. Prepositional phrase are phrases that are used as modifiers of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. For example, the sentence, She is a friend of mine uses the prepositional phrase of mine to modify the noun friend. The preposition phrase tells us more about the friend. As another example, the sentence, We went to Jamaica during the summer uses two prepositional phrases (to Jamaica and during the summer) to modify the verb went. This prepositional phrases say where and when we went.
The object of a preposition is a noun (or word/phrase acting as a noun) that works with a preposition to form a prepositional phrase. The object is being affected or referenced by the preposition. An object of a preposition follows the preposition itself, and the preposition acts as the bridge between the object and whatever part of speech the prepositional phrase is modifying.
Demonstration by some examples:
- “We heard the howling of wolves.” The noun wolves is the object of the preposition of. The word of connects wolves to the gerund howling. This prepositional phrase tells us more about the howling by stating who or what was performing the howling.
- “He slept until noon.” The noun noon is the object of the preposition until, which connects noon with the verb slept. This prepositional phrase tells us more about the verb slept by providing the time that the sleeping stopped.