Chapter 3: Diagramming the Prepositional Phrase

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun. The whole phrase functions as either an adjective or an adverb.

Learn more with these awesome sentence diagramming exercises! The answers are at the bottom of the page. Don't peek until you've tried them!

If you'd like more guidance on prepositions, see these pages: prepositional phrases, What is a preposition?


3.0 Diagramming Prepositional Phrases (Adjectives)

When these function as adjectives, they modify nouns or pronouns. These all modify the subjects.

Directions: Put the preposition on a slanted line under the noun that it modifies (in this case, the subject). Put the object of the preposition on a horizontal line after it.

Do you remember the adjective questions? They'll help!

Example: The blue birds in the trees were chirping.


It's your turn! Diagram these sentences.

1. The flowers in the garden are growing.

2. The rock on the cliff fell.

3. That dog across the street has been barking again.

4. Did the green box with the blue lid fall?

5. The lovely, scented candle on the table burned continually.


3.1 Diagramming Prepositional Phrases (Adverbs)

When these function as adverbs, they modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs.

Directions: Put the preposition on a slanted line under the word that it modifies. These all modify the verbs. Put the object of the preposition on a horizontal line after it.

Check out the adverb questions for some help.

Example: The rabbit hopped through the pretty garden.



It's your turn! Diagram these sentences.

1. Has Lucy been reading at the library?

2. I ran around the absolutely beautiful city.

3. Those blue birds chirped endlessly into the night.

4. The plane flew above the puffy, white clouds.

5. Who has been sleeping in my bed?


3.2 Adjectives Part 2

It's time for one more round of prepositional phrases acting as adjectives! Adjectives can modify any noun or pronoun.

In section 3.0, they all modified the subjects. In this section, they will also modify the object of the preposition of another prepositional phrase. Cool!

Directions: You already know how to diagram these! Just make sure to put the phrase under the word that it modifies!

Example: The blue birds in the trees above my house were chirping.

In the trees is modifying the noun birds.

Above my house is modifying the noun trees.


It's your turn! Diagram these sentences.

1. The hairy dog sat in the corner of the room.

2. The cookie dough is in the back of the fridge.

3. I shop at the grocery store on Main Street.

4. Which of the pages in this book ripped?

5. Can you fit between the roots of this tree?


3.3 Diagramming: Putting It All Together

Directions: Diagram these sentences using everything that you have learned so far!

1. The rusty shovel with the blue handle sat in my garage.

2. These three puppies in the basket on the wood floor have been whimpering since this morning.

3. Every candle in the little house on Main Street burned brightly throughout the night.

4. In April, the cool rain falls on the soil.

5. In May, the plants in Cathy's garden grow very quickly.


Check Your Answers

3.0 Answers


3.1 Answers


3.2 Adjective Phrases II
3.3 Putting It All Together

Get these answers in the book!

Diagramming sentences is an effective and engaging way to learn or teach grammar.

You'll learn grammar and diagramming with these short, simple lessons and exercises, and you'll find all of the answers in the back so that you can easily check your work.

When you're done with this book, you'll possess a powerful tool for using and understanding language.

You'll be able to write with clarity, and you'll actually enjoy grammar.

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