Unit Nine

Modifying Nouns with Prepositional Phrases

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Prepositional phrases, groups of words beginning with prepositions like in, on, near, of) with, about, at, to, for, and from, can also modify nouns. Prepositional phrases have many purposes.


They often tell place:


We bought a house in the country.

The keys on the desk are mine.

She owns the cafe near the railroad station.


But they often give other information as well:


Everyone knows the dangers of smoking.

I bought a car with a sunroof.

She wrote a novel about evil politicians.


In this unit, you will use prepositional phrases to modify nouns. Like other modifiers of more than one word that you studied in Unit Eight, prepositional phrases come after the nouns they modify:


EXAMPLE:       The dance club admits everyone.

                           The dance club is for teenagers.

                           Everyone is between 18 and 21.


SOLUTION:        The dance club for teenagers admits everyone between 18 and 21.


Just as you did in the exercises in the previous unit on adjective modifiers, try crossing out repeated words and forms of the verb be in the sentences containing the prepositional phrases; then place the prepositional phrases after the nouns they modify in the base sentence.




Exercise One  The Great Outdoors

In this exercise, the nouns you should modify are underlined. Create one sentence from each set of sentences, placing the prepositional phrases after the nouns they modify. As you did in the adjective modifier unit, cross out repeated words and forms of be in the sentences containing prepositional phrases.


EXAMPLE:     Brian rarely leaves his home for trips.

His home is in the city.

The trips are in the wild.


SOLUTION:      Brian rarely leaves his home in the city for trips in the wild.


1 .  A group persuaded my cousin Brian to join them on a camping trip.

      The group was of outdoorsmen.

      My cousin Brian is from New York.

      The trip was to Yosemite National Park.







2.   They rented a car, set out for Yosemite, and got caught in traffic.

      The car was with a rack.

      The rack was for their camping gear.

      The traffic was from San Francisco.








3.   When they finally arrived at midnight, they found a campsite.

      The campsite was for backpackers.

      The campsite was next to a stream.







4.   His friends hung their bags in a tree, but Brian hid his pack in his tent.

      His friends' bags were of food.

      Brian's pack was of candy bars and romance novels.




5.   Throughout one night, Brian heard strange noises and felt strange lumps.

      One night was of terror.

      The noises were outside the tent.

      The lumps were under his sleeping bag.






6.   When they awoke the next day, they discovered they had chosen a campsite.

      The campsite was under a pine tree.

      The campsite was next to a sleeping bear.






7.   After cooking breakfast, the group went on a hike.

      The breakfast was of freeze-dried eggs and applesauce.

      The group was of tired campers.

      The campers were in shorts and t-shirts.

      The hike was to the top of a waterfall.






8.   The trail was crowded with experienced hikers.

      The trail was beside the waterfall.

      The hikers were in raingear.






9.   While his drenched companions hiked ahead, Brian returned to the campsite, grabbed his pack,

      and moved to a motel.

      His pack was of romance novels and candy bars.

      The motel was with a swimming pool and a restaurant.

      The motel was on the outskirts of Yosemite.






10. Anyone prefers a roof, a floor, and a restaurant.

       Anyone is in his right mind.

A roof is over his head.

A floor is under his feet.

A restaurant is within walking distance.







Exercise Two  Global Warming

In this exercise, you will again practice using prepositional phrases to modify the underlined nouns. Plan your solutions by crossing out repeated nouns and forms of the verb be in the sentences containing prepositional phrase modifiers.


EXAMPLE:    A radical shift is under way and human dependence is at least partly to blame.

                                    The shift is in the Earth's climate.

                The dependence is on fossil fuels.


SOLUTION:     A radical shift in the Earth's climate is under way, and human dependence on fossil fuels is at least partly to blame.


1.   Heat enters the atmosphere and warms the surface.

      The heat is from the Sun.

      The surface is of the Earth.







2.   Carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap the heat, causing global warming— rising

      temperatures and rising levels.

      The temperatures are in climates.

      The climates are throughout the world.

      The rising levels are of oceans.







3.   The burning is the main source that produces greenhouses gases.

      The burning is of fossil fuels.

      The source is of human-caused carbon dioxide.







4.   Currently, emissions are expected to double in the next 100 years unless people take action.

      The emissions are of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides. The people are throughout the world.






5.   Already there are signs.

      The signs are of far-reaching ecological effects.






6.   Glaciers, the Greenland ice cap, and the ice shelves are shrinking.

      The glaciers are in the Swiss Alps.

      The ice shelves are of Antarctica.






7.   We are also witnessing the growth.

      The growth is of El Nino.

      The growth is in strength and frequency.






8.   Most scientists think that a rapid change will produce more frequent and severe droughts and

      floods, widening epidemics, and greater loss.

      The change is in the Earth's climate.

      The epidemics are of infectious diseases.

      The loss is of biological diversity.






9.   Scientists are studying alternate forms, including fuels made from fermented grasses, solar panels, and vast networks.

      The forms are of energy.

      The panels are on rooftops.

      The networks are of wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, and big heat exchangers.






10.  Fortunately, there is no shortage.

       The shortage is of solar energy, the primary alternative.

       The alternative is to fossil fuels.