TOEFL Structure Skill 2: Objects of Preposition


An object of a preposition is a noun or a pronoun that comes after a preposition such as in, at, of to, by, behind, and on to form a prepositional phrase.
                     The trip (to the island) (on Saturday) will last (for three hours)
This sentence contains three objects of prepositions. Island is the object of the preposition to; Saturday is the object of the preposition on; hours is the object of the preposition for.
An object of a preposition can cause confusion in the Structure section of the TOEFL test because it can be mistaken for the subject of a sentence.


To Mike ____ was a big surprise.


(A) really

(B) the party

(C) funny

(D) when

In this example, you should look first for the subject and the verb. You should notice the verb was and should also notice that there is no subject. Do not think that Mike is the subject; Mike is the object of the preposition to, and one noun cannot be both a subject and an object at the same time. Because a subject is needed in this sentence, answer (B), the party, is the best answer. Answers (A), (C), and (D) are not correct because they cannot be subjects.
The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about objects of prepositions.


A preposition is followed by a noun or pronoun that is called an object of the preposition. If a word is an object of a preposition, it is not the subject.

EXERCISE 2: Each of the following sentences contains one or more prepositional phrases. Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice. Circle the prepositional phrases that come before the verb. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).
Sentence Formatting

C 1. The name of the baby in the crib is Jack.

I 2. By the next meeting of the class, need to turn in the papers.

3. The directions to the exercise on page 20 unclear.

4. Because of the heavy rain throughout the night, the walkways are muddy.

5. During the week eat lunch in the school cafeteria.

6. In the morning after the concert was tired.

7. In the summer the trip to the mountains is our favorite trip.

8. In a box on the top shelf of the cabinet in the hallway of the house.

9. With her purse in her hand ran through the door.

10. At 1:00 in the morning the alarm clock on the table beside the bed rang.

Score: 0

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