Objects of Prepositions

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

Intermediate
"Objects of Prepositions" in the English Grammar

What Are Objects of Prepositions?

The object of a preposition is a noun or pronoun or a noun phrase or clause that comes immediately after that preposition and together forms a prepositional phrase.

Objects of Prepositions: Structures

After a preposition, we can have these types of grammatical functions as objects:

  1. Nouns as Objects of Prepositions
  2. Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions
  3. Gerunds as Objects of Prepositions
  4. Noun Phrases as Objects of Prepositions
  5. Noun Clauses as Objects of Prepositions

Nouns as Objects of Prepositions

The object of a preposition is most commonly a noun that together with a preposition forms a prepositional phrase.

Someone left a message for Megan.

She was sitting up in bed.

Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions

Since the word(s) after a preposition should work as an object, the pronoun after prepositions has to be an object pronouns. So, the words such as he, she, it, etc., cannot be used as the object of the prepositions. Now check out the table of object pronouns:

subjective pronouns objective 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. Gerunds consist of the main verb + ing. Take a look at the examples below:

She busies herself by writing.

Skills can be improved with practicing.

Noun Phrases as Objects of Prepositions

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

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' comes after a preposition, the whole noun clause is considered the 'object of the preposition.'

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 questions with prepositions. In these questions, we put the prepositions at the end of the sentence.

Who did you play football with?

What are you talking about?

What factory are you working for?

Tip!

Though it is not grammatically correct to start a question with a preposition, but it is a common way. And The correct way is not used often.

To whom did you give the keys?

With whom are you going to the movies?

Subject and Verb Agreement

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

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.

A bar of chocolates was on the table.

A bar of chocolates were on the table.

Prepositional Phrase Modifiers

An adverb phrase, adjective clause, or relative clause can be the modifier of 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 building that was burned.

How to Find an Object of a Preposition

The object of preposition follows a preposition so any noun, noun phrase, or phrase that follows a preposition is the object of it. Check out the examples.

His brother waited for him in front of the cinema.

Look at the mouse. It is behind you.

Review

'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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