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Preposition Uses

Recognize how prepositions function in clauses

Canyon explorer

ON THIS PAGE: Prepositional Phrase as: "Subject" ComplementAdjunctPrep PropertiesPrep ComplementsPrep Lists



A prepositional phrase only occurs in the subject position as a determiner in the subject noun phrase OR as a "false" subject before "be". (1) As a determiner, it adds identifying information by specifying a numerical range or a place or time. (2)  As a "false subject", it is moved forward for emphasis, displacing the "true subject" after "be".                                                            


Over twelve miles is the length of the path.   (P – over, NP = twelve miles)

Between five and six o'clock is the time when we climb.

(from…to, between X and Y, around, over, under, close to, up to, in excess of)

Under the canyon floor is the site where Devil's Cavern was formed.

Just above the head of the trail is the best view.

(after, before, under, over, ahead of, in the middle of)


PP be NP   =  NP be PP  (interchangeable elements )

In the morning is our appointment.   In the morning is the "false" subject.

Our appointment is in the morning.   Our appointment is the "true" subject.


A similar meaning may be expressed with a noun phrase or a locational preposition in which the noun is included (e.g., uphill, inside, upward, outdoors, here, north). The verb be is "specifying" as it is followed by a phrase that identifies the subject noun. Note that the elements before and after "be" may be interchanged without affecting meaning. Here, be has the "reciprocal property" [A=B and B=A].


Early morning is the best time to climb. (temporal "timing" noun phrase)


Underground is Devil's Creek.  (locational preposition)


Ten o'clock is our appointment.   

Our appointment is at ten o'clock.   (Add "at" to the NP after be verb.)


P – preposition; PP – prepositional phrase; N – noun; NP – noun phrase

¹ A prepositional phrase cannot function as the subject of a clause though it may occupy the subject position before "be", either as "specifying" or "ascriptive" BE —  In the morning is our trip. = Our trip is in the morning.  (In the morning is a "false subject").

2 The subject is the "causer" or agent—the person, thing, entity, or natural force that causes the action to occur.


The prepositional phrase limits a numerical amount (a cardinal number) in a range ("source" and "goal) with (from…to, between X and Y)From twelve to fifteen miles is the distance to San Francisco.   Between twelve to fifteen miles is the distance to San Francisco. Around [twelve miles] is the distance to San Francisco. The preposition "around" is a determiner to the subject noun phrase "twelve miles".  Or the prepositional phrase delimits an area: Just above the door is the place where we put the key. From San Francisco to Oakland is twelve miles.

copular verb – a verb that links the subject to the complement, also called a linking verb. Be has no particular meaning other than "equivalent to".

(Huddleston 5 §11, 7 §5.3).

Related page Locational Prepositons,





Prepositional Phrase as Complement

Adding information required to complete the meaning of the clause

Diagram of preposition complement





A preposition often functions as a complement; that is, the phrase completes the meaning expressed by the subject and predicate. (The clause sounds incomplete without the prepositional phrase.)


Jack is in the middle. (location)

Jack is on time.   (temporal expression)

He climbs in Antelope Canyon. (location)

Jack put / hangs his camera around his neck.

He begins / ends in the morning.   (temporal) 

He is out of his mind(expression)

Jack gave a map to me(recipient)

Jack bought the map for me(beneficiary)


The path down the canyon is fifteen-miles long. (modifies noun)

He is the person next to you. (modifies noun)

The head of the trail was far behind. (belonging)


He is excited about climbing. (in general–sport)

He was angry at what he saw.


Jack will go climbing later in the week. (Adv modifier)

Jack thinks differently from us.


Jack is one of the climbers who only uses his bare hands. (quantity)

Most in the group wear protective gear.


Jack got out of his wet clothes("double prepositions")

He wanted to get away from the noise


A similar meaning may be expressed with an adverb, noun phrase, adjective, or a modifying clause.                                                                                                                                                                  


We were midway.

He is here now.

He climbs here.

Jack put / hangs his camera here.

He begins / ends then.

Perhaps, he is crazy / very happy.

Jack gave me a map. 

Jack bought me the map. 


The path that goes down the canyon is fifteen-miles long.

He is the person who is next to you.

Jack's head hurt.  (apostrophe–possessive)


He is excited to climb(future activity)

He was angry to see what had happened


Jack will go climbing at the end of the week.

Jack thinks differently than we do.


Jack is an unusual climber who only uses his bare hands.

The majority wear protective gear.


Jack removed his wet clothes

He wanted to escape the noise


See Grammar Notes regarding  to him, (recipient of action) / for him  (beneficiary of action) / of him  ( modifier: origin, belonging to)

Other verbs that require a preposition as complement are verbs expressing change of location (e.g., went (go), fall, jump, depart, lift, etc.)  (put, spray, load, fill, pour, hang) and verbs expressing beginning and ending times .

Also see Verb + Preposition and Prepositions as Modifiers.




Action that moves in a direction.

Action that requires a location.

go   ~He went. He went away.

put   She put her bag on the table.

fall / tumble   ~He fell. He fell down.

hang   She hung her coat on the rack.

jump   ~He jumped. He jumped up.

pour   She poured the water into a glass.

lift   ~He lifted the child. He lifted the child onto the chair.

tie   She tied a scarf around her hair.

depart   ~He departed. He departed from SFO airport.

lay   He laid the baby down for a nap.

arrive, raise, leap, tumble

spray, lean, drop, set, lay



Action that requires mentioning time.

Verbs with specified prepositions.

begin   The race begins at noon.

stop   He stopped us from jumping.

end  The race ends at sunset.

forgive   He forgave her for her lie / for lying.

finish  The meeting finishes at 10 a.m.

refer   He referred to the book.

take place   The meeting will take place on Tuesday.

regard   They regard her as an authority on the subject

occurs  The reunion occurs in the summertime.

look   He looks after his son.

happens, start

prohibit from, excuse for, envy for, accuse of, entitle to, let off, prevent from, believe in  See Verb + Prep.


~borderline example in which the verb can be used alone if the context is understood.

Lists: Verb + Preposition (Alphabetical or by preposition)

Practices Verb + Prep PhraseVerb + Prep Phrase Practice 1, Verb + Prep Phrase Practice 2, Verb + Prep Phrase Practice 3, Participle + Prep Phrase





Prepositional Phrase as Adjunct

Adding optional, modifying information

Diagram of Preposition as Adjunct




Prepositional Phrase as Adjunct 


A prepositional phrase may also be an adjunct; that is, a modifying phrase not required by the subject and predicate to complete the meaning of the clause but adding extra, related information.


Jack explores with enthusiasm. (manner)

He descends canyons on occasion. (frequency)

He enjoys his hobby to a great extent. (degree)

He explores in particular because it's exciting. (focus)


Jack eats before/after he goes hiking.

Jack drinks a little water while/as he is hiking.

Jack drinks a little water during his hike.


Jack gets up early in order to go climbing.

Jack gets up early because he wants to start early.

Jack gets up early though he would rather sleep late.


For one thing,  the scenery is beautiful (ordering)

Besides that,  it's good exercise (adding)

In short, he is in love with this sport.   (summing)

For this reason, he take his friends.   (reason)

For example, he explores a new site every weekend.   (example)

By the way, he would like to invite you.   (aside comment)



A similar meaning can be expressed using anothers word such as an adverb, adjective, connective or modifying clause.                                                                                                                                        


Jack explores enthusiastically.   (manner)

He occasionally descends canyons. (frequency)

He greatly enjoys his hobby. (degree)

He explores particularly because it's exciting. (focus)


Jack eats. Later, he goes hiking.

Jack hikes and drinks a little water.

First, Jack hikes. Later, he rests.


Jack gets up early, so he can  climb canyons.

Jack gets up early, for he likes to start early.

Jack gets up early, but he would rather sleep late.


Firstly,  the scenery is beautiful (ordering)

Additionally,  it's good exercise (adding)

Briefly, he is in love with this sport.   (summing)

Consequently, he take his friends.   (reason)

Therefore, he explores a new site every weekend.   (example)

Incidentally, he would like to invite you. (aside comment)



Depending on the particular grammar system, before, after, when and while, because, though, in order to are described as conjunctions, adverbials, adverbial prepositions or temporal prepositions.  See Grammar Notes for terminology.

See Adjuncts for examples of adjunct elements.

See Connective Prepositions for general description.





Properties of Prepositions

How prepositions function in clauses


A Preposition 

The following are basic properties of members of the category Preposition.

A preposition serves as the head of its phrase and almost always takes a complement (a required element) such as a noun phrase, prep. phrase, gerund, or infin. clause.  Prep + ___ [N, NP, PP, Ger. AdjP, AdvP]


Jack climbs into canyons(N–noun)

Jack went over the edge(NP–noun phrase)

Jack explores inside of the canyons.   (PP–prepositional phrase)

Jack explores rather than sits around.   (INF–bare Infinitive)

Jack looks forward to climbing around. (GER–gerund)

Jack is outside. (P – preposition includes its complement "side")

Jack is resting awhile. (P – preposition includes its complement:  a- "for" while "a short time")

Look above(P – preposition includes its complement:  a- "on" bove "over")


A prepositional phrase is required to complete some (a specific few) transitive verbs such as be, put, begin, hang, place, lie, lay, sit, set.


Jack put it in his backpack. *Jack put it.

Jack's trip consists of two parts. *His trip consists.

Jack is outside of the cave.  *Jack is.

Jack is lying down.

Jack explained it to us.¹  ~He explained.



Jack paused on the trail under a tree.

Jack drank some water as he was thirsty.

Ahead on the trail, Jack saw a small cave. (introductory phase)

Ahead on the trail was a small cave = A small cave was ahead on the trail. (Identifying be has the "reciprocal property" [A=B and B=A]. "A small cave is the true subject, and "ahead on the trail" is the complement to "be". See "Be".

Most prepositional phrases accept modification by right ("exactly") or straight ("directly").

Jack climbed right into the middle("exactly")

He ate it right up. ("completely")

The sun was straight ahead. 

He was exactly between two walls. ("precisely")

He was smack in the middle of the two players(idiom – "exactly")

He hit the ball just / almost as high as she did.

He hit the ball clear out of sight(idiom – "moving to a distant point")

He hit the ball way over there(at some distance, in the direction indicated as "there" [a locational preposition]

(Huddleston 7 §5.2)

*not used / ~ more information is expected

property (N) — an essential or distinctive attribute or quality of a thing

Multiple prepositional phrases may occur in a series: He wants to park inside (1) instead of (2) on the side (3) of the road.

¹ See Ditransitive Verbs –to and Ditransitive Verbs –for  He thanked us for it.  (Huddleston 7 §2)

Related pages: 

Adverbs for Degree–Modifying a Preposition

Prepositions for Place,

Prepositions for Time.

Opinion Prepositional Phrases

Connective Prepositional Phrases

Pop-Q "Awhile v. While"




Prepositional Complements

Review words and structures that complete prepositions



A  preposition can be followed (completed) by a wide variety of structures.



He stopped at home(object-noun)

I'll go instead of him. (object pronoun [accusative])

He gave the picture to me 


He stopped at the end.  (object-noun phrase)

He sits in his chair.

He started in the morning  (P + determiner +N)

P + PP   "double prepositions"

Jack ran out of the house. Preps for Place

He took his laptop in place of his iPad.

He will go now instead of in the morning.  Rather than/Instead of

They delayed the hike because of the weather.

Jill went in place of me.

She stood in between us.


He felt disappointed instead of proud of himself.

They were excited rather than bored


He spoke timidly instead of competently.

bare infinitival (nonfinite clause)

We want them to be bold instead of be cautious.

infinitival (nonfinite clause)

It's better to continue instead of  (to) wait.

We'll continue rather than  (to) wait.

There is nothing left to do except  to wait.


(nonfinite clause)

He was excited about going home.

He went a text message in place of calling.

We prefer moving on instead of waiting here.

declarative clause (finite clause)

He said that it was regretful instead of that he was sorry.

closed interrogative (finite clause)
Yes-No Question

They told me I had given it a good try instead of whether I had succeeded.

open interrogative (finite clause)

Wh- Question

They told me where I had to go instead of when I had to go.

imperative / subjunctive clause (finite clause)

He asked that they be heard instead of that they be sent away. 

¹ The traditional description of a prepositional phrase is that it has an object noun as its complement. However, "prepositions allow a wide range of complement types."  Some prepositions such as instead of, except, or rather than accept a wider variety of complements than others. (Huddleston 7 §5.1 [21])  (Aarts 153)


Linguistic research and analysis has provided us with a more accurate and concise description of English grammar than the descriptions taught to us in school before the 1980s. Foremost, what a word is called (word category) is separated from what a word does (word function) in a clause. A word must share specific properties (functions) to be categorized as a Preposition, Adverb, Adjective and so on.  (See Function vs. Category.)

One result is that the category Preposition (capitalized) has been widened to include (1) words such as—before after, while, because, though, than, as. (Linguistic analysis determined that these words functioned more similarly to prepositions than to conjunctions, adverbs or other categories in which they had previously been placed.) (2) words formerly classified as adverbs, such as above, off, out, down, over, inside, which optionally take objects. These adverbs were analyzed to be more like prepositions (in which the object is understood) than like adverbs expressing such things as manner, frequency, degree and so on. 

Another result is that prepositional complements (structures that can follow prepositions) have been widened—at home (N), in the house (NP), out of the house (PP), in stead of later (NP+PP), after leaving (gerund), because we left (clause).  A clause may serve as the complement ("object") of a preposition..

(Huddleston "Prepositions vs. Adverbs" 7 §2.4) 


See Grammar Notes and Works Cited for sources.






Examples of preposition use (covered elsewhere in this website)

Locational | Temporal | Connective Prepositions –Cause & Effect | –Concession | –Condition | -Comparison



aboard (ship, bus, plane)






ahead of


amid / amidst

among / amongst

apart from


aside of



away from ²

¹connective preposition | ²composite or double preposition  | See Prepositions for Place, Preps w/o object.








as soon as¹

as long as¹











See Prepositions for Time (temporal modifiers)



Connective Prepositions–Cause and Effect





inasmuch as¹

due to

on account of

owing to


Also called—conjunctions, adverbials, subordinators or adverbial prepositions—of reason. See Because, Because of / Despite





despite / in spite of

even so¹

even though¹



regardless of


Also called—conjunctions, adverbials, subordinators or adverbial prepositions—of concession. See Because / Though.









Also called—adverbials, conjunctions, connectives, subordinators or adverbial prepositions—of condition. See If / Unless, If / Whether.


¹connective preposition

²composite or double preposition






(similar) to

(different) from


the same…as



See Like v As and Same…as / As…as




As complements to adjectives, participles or verbs



angry at 
angry at his friend.

afraid of 
The dog is afraid of you.

anxious about 
We are anxious about it.

bad at
He is bad at answering email.

capable of
He is capable of doing it well.

content with 
We are content with our progress.

different from 
This is different from that.

good at 
Eric is good at drawing.

famous for
She is famous for her art.

fearful of 
He was fearful of his father.

fond of
She is very fond of him.

guilty of 
She was guilty of the crime.

A "complement" is a word, phrase, or clause that complete the meaning of another element in the clause.

Note that the structure is analyzed as an adjective which selects a particular preposition as its complement. That is, the preposition does not "belong" to the adjective.  See Adjective w/ Preposition.



in advance of   (anticipation)
He's saving
in advance of an economic depression.

on behalf of 
They are cleaning the house in anticipation of your visit.

in charge of
He was in charge of the project.

in coordination with (conjunction)
The police are working in coordination with the fire department.

in cooperation with
They are working in cooperation with the government.

in the interest of 
The judge ruled in the interest of the child.

in exchange for
He'll do the work in exchange for getting a day off.

on the condition of
He agreed to speek on the condition of anonymity.

on the matter of
They'll be meeting on the matter of the security breach.

in spite of 
He jumped in spite of warnings.

in the event of
They are planing exit routes in the event of an earthquake.

in the name of
He withdrew his candicacy in the name of party unity.

Huddleston & Pullum "Expressions of the type for the sake of x, at odds with x" 7 §3.1




annoyed with
He is annoyed with you.

delighted about
He delighted about the news.

encouraged by
We are encouraged by them.

divorced from
He was divorced from her.

engaged in
We are engaged in our work.

finished with
He is finished with that work.

known for
He is known for his wit.

made from
It was made from old tires.

married to
He was married to her briefly.

overwhelmed by
She is overwhelmed by cats.

pleased with
They were pleased with him.

qualified for
He was qualified for the job.

Note that the structure is analyzed as an participle which selects a particular preposition as its complement. That is, the preposition does not "belong" to the participle. See Participle w/ Preposition.




agree about / on
We agree about one thing.

apologize for
He apologize to me for errors

blame for
He blamed me for the error.

care about
He doesn't care about it

dream of
She dreamed of traveling.

excel at
He excels at math.

forget about
Don't forget about your home.

insist on
They insist on more work.

keep from
It keeps me from relaxing.

laugh at
They laugh at him.

mess with
She won't mess with us.

talk about
Let's talk about the future.

Note that the structure is analyzed as a verb which selects a particular preposition as its complement. That is, the preposition does not "belong" to the verb.  See Verbs w/ Specified Prepositions.



Phrasal Verbs   Verb + Particle  (not a true preposition)

do over
He had to do over the work.

do without
I had to do without my car.

get on
Get on with your life.

get over
He got over his lost love.

get [through]
We got through the difficulty.

go at
The dog went at the cat.

go with
My pants go with my shirt.

let on
Don't let on what you know.

look into
The police will look into the complaint.

look over
Please look over the contract.

make out
He made out well in business.

make up
Jill made up a story.

Each of the above is a verb that combines with a preposition to form a new meaning—an idiom.  The meaning is figurative. See Preposition vs. Particle.

See Phrasal Verbs.





► Show Grammar Notes and Works Cited ▼ Hide Grammar Notes

Grammar Notes (Advanced)

Traditional and Linguistic Description




Traditional and Linguistic Description


Traditional grammar refers to the words in the lists above as adverbs because they answer the question "When?"  Additionally, an adverb, unlike a preposition, does not take an object as its complement.  Grammar terms are largely avoided!

"Adverbs modify verbs. Often they answer the question "When?"

"Adverbs are also used to express time of frequency.  Examples: tomorrow, today, yesterday, soon, never, usually, always, yet."  

"An important element of English sentences is the prepositional phrase. It consists of a preposition (PREP) and its object (O). The object of a preposition is a noun or pronoun." (Azar  440 A-3)  Prepositions take objects but adverbs do not.

after, because, though, if

adverb clauses (Azar 17.3-11)


Verbs with prepositions (Swan 416)

Prepositions: after particular words and expressions (Swan 448-50)


Current linguistic description includes temporal adverbs and temporal prepositions  in the same category—Preposition.

"they seem much less related to the verb and more like a preposition. A preposition can occur as a stand alone word or be complemented by a noun (an object) or a gerund." (Huddleston "Prepositions vs adverbs" 7 §2.4)

The category Adverb is reserved for modifiers more closely related to the verb—adverbs of manner, degree, frequency, focus.

to (to her) and for (for him)   The PP is not analyzed as an indirect object though it shares semantic similarities: the experiencer or recipient (to) beneficiary (for). An indirect object is (1) normally an NP , (2) required by the verb (3) the subject of the passive (4) positioned immediately after the verb. — Huddleston et al.

  • He gave me a ring. He bought me a ring.  predicate complement.indirect object (4 §2.2, 4 §4.3)
  • He gave a ring to me. He bought a ring for me. predicate complement. prepositional phrase (7 §6.2)

of  (John's bike /  the wheel of the bike)
preposition indicating: geographic origin, belonging, selection from a set, etc. (Huddleston et al. 7 §6.2, 5 §16.5.3)

to  (We gave John the bike./  We gave the bike to John.)
preposition indicating goal or recipient (Huddleston et al. 7 §6.2)

for (We bought John the bike./  We bought the bike for John.)
preposition indicating beneficiary, in favor of, duration, distance, etc.(Huddleston et al. 7 §6.2)

after, as, as soon as, before, once, since while

  • conjunctive prepositions (Aarts 157)
  • subordinator.adverbial clause (Biber
  • temporal adjunct.preposition (Huddleston et al. 7 §2.4, 8 §6.3)
  • conjunctions (Swan 29.1, 30.1, 73, 97, 411.6, 510)
  • subordinator. adverbial clause (Quirk 8.53, 15.28)

because, as, since, inasmuch as

  • conjunctive preposition. reason (Aarts 157)
  • subordinating conjunction (Biber 2.4.8)
  • cause-effect adjunct.preposition (Huddleston et al. 8 12.3)
  • conjunction (Swan 94, 72)
  • adverbial clause. reason (Quirk 15.45)

though, even though, although

  • conjunctive preposition. concession (Aarts 155)
  • circumstance adverbial. concession.subordinator (Biber
  • prepositions.concessive adjuncts  (Huddleston 8 §13.2);
  • conjunctions (Swan 49.1) 
  • adverbial clause (Quirk 15.39-40) 

even so, nevertheless, nonetheless, despite, regardless of, in spite of

  • adverb phrase nevertheless (Aarts 104); conjunctive preposition concession despite (Aarts 155); complex preposition (in spite of) (Aarts 78)
  • prepositions.concessive adjuncts  (Huddleston 8 §13.2)
  • discourse markers. (Swan 157.2)

if, whether, unless

  • conjunctive preposition. condition (Aarts 155)
  • adverb "circumstance adverbial:Contingency " (Biber 10.2,
  • condition adjunct.preposition    (Huddleston 8.14)
  • conjunction (Swan 257) 
  • adverbial clause (Quirk 15.39,15.41-2)

Functions: Subject – Subj; Predicate/Predicator – Pred; Complement – an element that is required by the subject or verb to complete the meaning of the sentence (e.g., object (DO) indirect object (IO), or predicative complement (PC) such as a required adjective, prepositional phrase, or adverb; Adjunct – an element not required by the verb, an optional element such as a modifier, a subordinate clause, or a supplemental clause; Supplements – clauses or phrases tacked on but not closely related the central idea of the sentence

Categories: N – noun; NP – noun phrase; V – verb; VP – verb phrase; Det – determinative; P – preposition; PP – prepositional phrase; Adv – adverb; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adj – adjective; AdjP – adjective phrase; Subord – subordinator; Coord – coordinator; Interj – interjection



Works Cited

  • Aarts, Bas. Oxford Modern English Grammar. Oxford UP, 2011.
  • Azar, Betty Schrampfer, and Stacy A. Hagen. Understanding and Using English Grammar. 4th ed., Pearson Education, 2009.
  • Biber, Douglas, and Stig Johansson, et al. Longman Grammar Of Spoken And Written English. Pearson Education, 1999.
  • Huddleston, Rodney D., and Geoffrey K. Pullum. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge UP, 2002.
  • Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2005.





Practice 1

Oldest Message in a Bottle

message in a bottle


Read the Context

A fisherman pulled a bottle out of the Baltic Sea near the northern city of Kiel last April. He opened the bottle and found a postcard rolled up inside. The postcard had a note written on it, but it was so faded that it was hard to read.

Careful inspection revealed that the post card was written and put into the bottle in 1913. The author, Richard Platz who was age 20 at the time, was walking along the seashore when he tossed it into the water.

The bottle and its note were taken to a genealogical researcher who was able to locate the grand-daughter of Richard Platz. The grand-daughter, age 62, never met her mother's father, but she was interested in the discovery of the bottle. Richard Platz died at age 54 in 1946, which was six years before she was even born!

No one knows why Richard Platz tossed it into the sea, where he expected it to go, or where it has been floating all these years.  It is thought to be the world's oldest message in a bottle, and it  certainly is a curiosity. —Scott Neuman

curiosity (N) — something that makes people curious, interested in knowing more

genealogical researcher — a researcher who locates members on family trees by researching public and privately held records (births, marriages, census records, deaths)

reveal (V) — show; let something become public

toss (V) — throw

Neuman, Scott. "100-Year-Old Message In A Bottle Plucked From Baltic Sea." the two-way. NPR. 8 Apr 2014. Web. 18 Nov 2014.





Which word, phrase or clause is the preposition / prepositional phrase?

  1. Check all that apply. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 1-10" button. 


A fisherman pulled a bottle out of the Baltic Sea near the northern city of Kiel last April.

He opened the bottle and found a postcard rolled up inside.

The postcard had a note written on it, but it was so faded that it was hard to read.

Careful inspection revealed that the post card was written and put into the bottle in 1913.

The author, Richard Platz who was age 20 at the time, was walking along the seashore when he tossed it into the water.

The bottle and its note were taken to a genealogical researcher who was able to locate the grand-daughter of Richard Platz.

The grand-daughter, age 62, never met her mother's father, but she was interested in the discovery of the bottle.

Richard died at age 54 in 1946, which was six years before she was even born!

No one knows why Richard Platz tossed it into the sea, where he expected it to go, or where it has been floating all these years.

It is thought to be the world's oldest message in a bottle, and it certainly is a curiosity.


One could argue that carbon-dioxide is a compound word or that it is a noun carbon modifying a particular type of dioxide (different from sulfur dioxide, titanium dioxide, uranium dioxide, etc.)







Practice 2


modern cave living


Read the Context

Cappadocia, in the center of Turkey, looks like a scene straight out of Star Wars.  People have lived there for thousands of years. Volcanic rock formations have been changed into dwellings. The insides of them are carved out and turned into living spaces. The cone-shaped dwellings look like homes where Anakin Skywalker might have grown up. (Star Wars main character)

It's hard to imagine how such a home could be comfortable, but one look within will prove that it is. The semi-soft rock can easily be carved away to form niches for storing things, benches for sitting or tables for eating.  The cone-shaped homes may have multiple floors with staircases rising from one floor to the next.

One family is kind enough to show their home to visitors. People are completely surprised at what they see inside. The home includes three bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms, several storage areas and a television room at the top. The family receives Internet access from underground cables. Beautiful rugs and blankets made of wool decorated the walls and sleeping areas. A wooden door and glass windows complete the cozy, warm and out-of-this world atmosphere.


atmosphere (N) — the particular feeling one gets in a place

carve (V) — cut a solid material so that it forms something

cone-shaped (Adj) — a 3-D circle the rises to a point; ice cream cone

dwellings (N) — places to live, homes

formation (N) — the act or process or forming a shape

niche (N) — small spaces carved into the wall such as a shelf or alcove


prove (V) — demonstrate, confirm, verify

scene (N) — the place(s) where the action of the movie occurs

semi-soft (Adj) — somewhat soft (can be carved, cut, scraped out)

stair cases (N) — a set or series of stairs, a flight of stairs

Star Wars — a movie series with space travel and unusual creatures

volcanic (Adj) — being formed from lava from a volcano





Identify the word form of the modifier highlighted in the sentence.

  1. Select your response from the list : locational (place), temporal ( time), source (origin), accompanied by (belonging to, related to), verb-preposition combination, adjective/participle-prep combination, prep. expression.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking each "check" or the "check 11-24" button.