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The Logic of Prepositional Phrases:

What Prepositional Phrases Can Add to a Text

      The words in prepositional phrases can answer a number of different questions about the words they modify. 

What kind of? Which? What? Whose?

     Many prepositional phrases help to describe or  identify the word that they modify:

The seeds of apples are small. [What kinds of seeds are small?]
The boy in the blue coat won the race. [Which boy won the race?]
One of the fish got away. [One what got away?]
She is a friend of my sister. [Whose friend is she?]
Where? How Far?
     Some prepositional phrases indicate where things are or where they happen.
The tree in the back yard was hit by lightning.
She took a nap on the couch in the living room.
"On the couch" explains where she took a nap. Some phrases can answer more than one question. "In the back yard" tells both which tree and where it is. "In the living room" explains both which couch, and where it is. 

When? How long?

They left after dinner.
At seven o'clock, he was sleeping.
They played soccer for four hours.
Why?
Because of the rain, they went inside.
Sam made a sandwich for lunch.
How?
The Johnsons went to Hawaii by boat.
He cut the string with a knife.
She became a good swimmer by practicing.
He walks to school with his sister.
It was sent by an angel.
Under What Conditions?
The twins walked home in the rain.