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110. A Preposition is a word used with a Noun or a Pronoun to show its relation to some other word: as,

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Note 1: Prepositions, with the Nouns or Pronouns with which they are used, form Prepositional Phrases, which are Adjective (98) or Adverbial (104) in use.

Note 2: The Noun or Pronoun with which the Preposition is used is called the Object of the Preposition. The Preposition shows the relation between its Object and the word that the phrase as a whole modifies: as, " On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow." (On shows the relation between arch and glow.)

Note 3 Besides Nouns and Pronouns, Prepositions may have as objects: (1) Adjectives or Adverbs used as Nouns; (2) Infinitives (46), Gerunds (56); (3) Prepositional Phrases; (4) Noun Clauses (76).

Note 4: The Participial forms, regarding, concerning, notwithstanding, during, are usually regarded as Prepo


Note 5 Prepositional Phrases sometimes serve as Predicate Adjectives: as,

"A man convinced against his will

Is of the same opinion still."

Note 6: Some combinations of words are best explained as Phrasal Prepositions: in case of, out of, as to, according to, as for, etc.

Note 7: In, up, down, when not used as Prepositions to

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express relation, are Adverbs of Place: as, "They went in to Hezekiah, the King."

Exercise 87. In the following sentences, find the words used as the objects of prepositions:—

1 Beyond all streams Clitumnus

Is to the herdsman dear.
2 Along their path fresh garlands
Are hung from tree to tree;
Before them stride the pipers,
Piping a note of glee.

3 Such sober certainty of waking bliss
I never felt till now.

4 A fever in these pages burns;
Beneath the calm they feign,

A wounded human spirit turns
Upon its bed of pain.

5 For thou art of the morning and the May;

I, of the autumn and the eventide.

6 And near the sacred gate,

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With longing eyes I wait,

Expectant of her.


Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads.

8 I've heard bells tolling.

Old Adrian's mole in,

Their thunders rolling

From the Vatican.

9 And thus, with eyes that would not shrink,

With knee to man unbent,
Unfaltering on its dreadful brink

To his red grave he went.

10 Riding from Coleraine

(Famed for lovely Kitty),
Came a Cockney bound
Unto Derry city.

11 Among the universities of America there is none which has sprung up of itself, like Bologna or Paris or El Azhar or Oxford, none founded by an Emperor, like Prague, or by a Pope, like Glasgow.

12 Always he marched in advance, Warring in Flanders and France,

Doughty with sword and with lance.

13 They are satisfied with the world they live in, for they have found it a good world.

14 All night before the brink of death,

In fitful sleep the army lay,

For through the dream that stilled their breath
Too gauntly glared the coming day.

15 And down the weaver's croft I stole,

To see if the flax were high;

But I saw the weaver at his gate
With the good news in his eye!
16 The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him;
His father's sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.


As, at dawn, The shepherd from his mountain lodge descries A far, bright city, smitten by the sun,

Through many rolling clouds-so Rustum saw

His youth.

18 Walking in the beautiful gardens of those friends. with whom he had dined would be the choice of a man of sense; yours is to be fixed down to chess, where you are found engaged for two or three hours.

19 Excellent herbs had our fathers of old. 20 Not in vain, Confessor old,

Unto us the tale is told

Of thy day of trials;

Every age on him, who strays

From its broad and beaten ways,

Pours its sevenfold vials.

111. The Parsing of the Preposition should include the following points: (1) Naming the part of speech; (2) Telling between what words the preposition shows the relation (110).

EXAMPLE 1:-Break, break, break

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!

On is a preposition, showing the relation between the noun stones and the verb break.

EXAMPLE 2:— Drowned in yonder living blue,

The lark becomes a sightless song.

In is a preposition, showing the relation between the noun blue and the participle drowned.

Exercise 88. Parse according to the models given above the prepositions in Exercise 87.


The Object of a Preposition may be a Phrase or a Clause: as,

1 Perhaps she culled it from among the rest. 2 Thou sing'st of what he knew of old.

Exercise 89. In the following sentences, find the phrases and clauses used as the objects of prepositions:

1 No man was ever made utterly miserable, excepting by himself.

2 He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play. 3 No war ought ever to be undertaken but under circumstances which render all interchange of courtesy between the combatants impossible.

4 Tell her with steady pace to come

To where my laurels lie.

5 I am not sent but to the lost sheep.

6 Whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for

thirty days save of thee, O King, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

7 No desire can be satisfied except through the exercise of a faculty.

8 In how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

9 Excepting in barbarous times, no such atrocious outrages could be committed.

10 Should a leaflet come to hand

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Drifting nigh to where I stand,

Straight I'll board that tiny boat,

Round the whirlpool sea to float.

11 The blood of man should never be shed but to redeem the blood of man.

12 It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot.

13 I had not known sin but by the law.

14 And nigh to where his bones abide,
The Thames with its unruffled tide
Seems like his genius typified.

15 There is no record left on earth,
Save in tablets of the heart,
Of the rich inherent worth

Of the grace that on him shone.

16 To be truly happy is a question of how we begin, and not of how we end.

17 If I could find a higher tree

Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships.

18 Symonds, the heroic man of letters who banished himself to the higher Alps in order to live, just as Stevenson banished himself to Samoa, has a poem of how a father's love may control a father's grief.

19 The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought Leaped up from where she lay.

20 We will not speak of what we know.

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