Objects of Prepositions

Objects of prepositions are used when we know there must be an object after the prepositions.

"Objects of Prepositions" in the English Grammar

What Are Objects of Prepositions?

The object of a preposition is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase or clause that immediately follows the preposition and forms a prepositional phrase with it.

Objects of Prepositions: Structures

The following is a list of word classes that can appear after a preposition and function as its object:

Nouns as Objects of Prepositions

The object of a preposition is most commonly a noun that forms a prepositional phrase with the preposition. For example:

Someone left a message for Megan.

She was sitting up in bed.

Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions

Since the words that come after a preposition should function as an object, the pronoun used after a preposition must be an object pronoun. Therefore, pronouns such as 'he', 'she', and 'it' cannot be used as the object of a preposition.
Now check out the table of object pronouns:

subject pronouns object pronouns
I Me
You You
She Her
He Him
It It
We Us
They Them

He sat next to me and took a sip of his coffee.

They arrived after us.

Gerunds as Objects of Prepositions

Gerunds can function as objects of the preposition. Take a look at the examples below:

She busies herself with writing.

Skills can be improved by practicing.

Noun Phrases as Objects of Prepositions

If there is a 'noun phrase' after a preposition, the whole phrase is considered the 'object of the preposition'. For example:

I will go to mom's house after picking you up.

He did it with all the enthusiasm he could muster.

Noun Clauses as Objects of Prepositions

If a noun clause follows a preposition, the whole noun clause is considered the object of the preposition. Pay attention to the examples:

One cannot cooperate with people who aren't interested in teamwork.

I am not interested in whatever Alex says.

Asking Questions about Objects of Prepositions

When we want to ask about the object of a preposition, we use question words with prepositions. In these questions, the prepositions appear at the end of the sentence. Take a look at the examples:

Who did you play football with?

What are you talking about?

What factory are you working for?


Although starting a question with a preposition is not grammatically correct, it is a common practice, and the correct alternative is not commonly used.

To whom did you give the keys?

Instead of 'Whom did you give the keys to?'

With whom are you going to the movies?

'school' is the object of the preposition 'to'

Subject and Verb Agreement

The object of a preposition cannot be the subject of the verb. So keep in mind that the subject has to agree with the verb, not the object of the preposition.

A pack of cigarettes was on the table.

A pack of cigarettes were on the table.

Prepositional Phrase Modifiers

Adverb phrases, adjective clauses, and relative clauses can be used to modify a prepositional phrase. Check out the examples:

After nine, which is also after my conference, we can watch a movie together.

Take me to the house that was built.

How to Find the Object of a Preposition

The object of preposition always follows a preposition. So any noun, noun phrase, or pronoun that follows a preposition is its object. Check out the examples.

His brother waited for him in front of the cinema.

Look at the mouse. It is behind you.


'Objects of prepositions' are nouns, pronouns, gerunds, or noun phrases that are used after prepositions as their objects. To find an object of a preposition you only need to find the preposition, the noun or phrase after the preposition is the object.


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