Monday, August 23, 2010

Introducing Prepositions

Prepositions indicate relation, especially location. They are usually followed by a noun (sometimes an article like "the" will be in between). Prepositional phrases are not part of the "core" of the sentence.

Take a sentence:

King Lear was aweary of the business of his kingdom, and wished only to end his days quietly near his three daughters.
The core or kernel of the sentence is actually a compound:

  • King Lear was aweary (Subject/Linking Verb/Predicate Adjective -- describing something about him).... AND (a linking word called a conjunction)
  • (He) wished to end his days (Subject/Verb Phrase/Direct Object)....
Now let's look at the whole sentence again -- I'll put the prepositional phrases in parentheses and I will put all the nouns into bold font:

King Lear was aweary (of the business) (of his kingdom), and wished only to end his days quietly (near his three daughters).
Prepositions begin the prepositional phrase and show relationship, so you can see that here they are: of, of, and near.

To can be a preposition, but when it is followed by a verb as it is in the sentence, it is part of the verb phrase.

Now here's the next sentence:

Two (of his daughters) were married (to the Dukes (of Albany and Cornwall)); and the Duke (of Burgundy) and the King (of France) were both suitors (for the hand)( of Cordelia), his youngest daughter.
Do you see how it works? Here the prepositions are: of, to, of, of, for, of.

To here is followed by a noun, not a verb, and shows a relationship. So it is a preposition.

The basic core of the sentence, again a compound sentence, is:

  • Two... were married, and the Duke and King were ... suitors.....
The first part is simple Subject/Verb Phrase (were married) and the second part is Compound Subject/Verb/Predicate Nominative (suitors, "renaming" the Duke and King).

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