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Prepositions Exercises

1. The bear was caught in a steel trap.

2. He studied till noon.

3. He went by rail to the house of his father.

4. Some toil for glory, some for their fellow-men.

The words in, till, by, to, of, and for, in these sentences are prepositions, and with the following nouns, form phrases; they also show certain relations between their objects and the words which the phrases modify.

In the first sentence in shows a relation of place between trap and was caught

In the second sentence till shows a relation of time between noon and studied.

In the third sentence by shows a relation of means between rail and went; to, a relation of place between house and went; of, a relation of possession between father and house.

In the last sentence, the first for shows a relation of purpose between glory and toil, the second for shows a relation of purpose between fellow-men and toil.

The most common relations shown by prepositions are, place, time, means or agency, purpose or end, separation, opposition, substitution, and possession.

A preposition is a word which, with the following noun or pronoun, forms a phrase, and shows the relation of its object to the word whose meaning the phrase modifies.

Point out the prepositions and the phrases in the following sentences, and name the kind of relation shown in each case.

1. I spoke to him.

2. The dog saw John and James coming and barked at them.

3. He is a man of great wisdom.

4. Admiral Dewey came from the Philippines in the Olympia.

5. The boys studied until they were tired out.

6. He gave his life for his country.

7. William Lloyd Garrison used all his influence against slavery.

8. The weak man gives fair words instead of good deeds to his country.

9. Every word that he speaks has been fiercely furnaced In the blast of a life that has struggled in earnest.

10. Heaven is not gained at a single bound; But we build the ladder by which we rise From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies, And we mount to its summit round by round.

11. Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them, Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her missal, Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the earrings Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom, Handed down from mother to child, through long generations.

By a study of these sentences we see that a preposition generally precedes its object.

The following sentences show exceptions to this rule:

1. From peak to peak, the rattling crags among.

2. What did you come for?

3. Peter is the name that he answered to.

4. Your hasty speech I take no account of.

Some words, originally present participles, are now used as prepositions; as, considering, touching, regarding, respecting, excepting.

Write sentences illustrating the use of each of these prepositions.

Sometimes two or more words are used together as a preposition; as, according to, on account of, as to, as for, from under. Prepositions made up in this way may be called compound prepositions.

Write sentences using the above compound prepositions.

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