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Ory's writing notes: Prepositions Part 2, Problems and Tricks.

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 251

In the last part, we learned that Prepositional phrases can be used as an adjective, adverb, or noun. There are some rules about where you can place these phrases at.

A prepositional phrase that modifies a noun (an adjective prepositional phrase) follows the noun.

Example: The girl with the red dress danced.

A prepositional phrase that modifies an adjective or adverb must also go after that words they modify.

Example: The danced gracefully in high heels. (Modifies gracefully)

Example: I am fast as a deer. (Modifies fast.)

A prepositional phrase that modifies a verb can be moved in the sentence just like how an adverb modifying a verb would normally.

Example: With great speed, I ran.

Should the above rules be broken, the meaning of your sentence can be drastically changed as the prepositional phrase will modify whatever part of speech you place it after.

The girl with a blue dress drove the car. (Girl has the girl dress) vs. The girl drove the car with the blue dress. (The car has the blue dress).

There is a rule about never ending a sentence with a preposition, however, this is more of a guideline than a rule; also, Dialect comes into play here. There is a joke about how people from Chicago always end their sentences with a preposition. I personally feel that if I talk like that normally, my narration and dialogue will reflect this, but this is something to keep in mind.

Here is a list of prepositions that get people into trouble.

Beside: Means Next to.
Besides: In addition to.
Between: Is used with two things.
Among: Is used with three or more things.
There is no such thing as "Should of." It is always "Should have."
Angry WITH: you are referring to a person.
Angry AT: you are referring to a thing.
There is no such thing as "different than". The words are you looking for is "Different from."

Now, onto commas (,) !!!

My comma usage is horrible, so some super important shit for me.

The rules are simple. If an adjective Prepositional phrase is restrictive (Meaning that the phrase is vital in making sense of the sentence) you don't need commas.

Example: The man with the glasses and red shirt is the killer. (Without this phrase you would not know which man the speaker was talking about.)

If an Adjective prepositional phrase is nonrestrictive (Meaning that the phrase is NOT vital in making sense of the sentence) you DO need commas.

Example: Bernie, with his wild hair, gave a great speech. (Since Bernie is named, we don't need to know that his hair was wild.)

Also, if an adverb phrase starts a sentence you need a comma.

With the wrath of a thousand drunken-Irish-men, Scott attacked!

There is an exception that if the phrase is shorter than three words you can get rid of the comma. (I personally don't do this. The reason I put the comma is so the reader stops and just takes a second to think about what he or she just read.)

Okay, now that we've gone over the rules and problems that can occur with prepositional phrases, let's cover the cool things you can do with them!

The two things you can do are:
1. Layer them (and give you writing a nursery-rhyme type of feel to your writing.)
2. Add motion to your verbs.

Layered example: Up the mountain, over the bridge, across the river, and through the city, we danced!

To add motion a verb you just do (Verb + Preposition/Prepositional phrase). [Depending on how you use the preposition this can be an Idiomatic Verb.]

Example: We climbed up the mountain.

Thoughts: Layering Prepositions and Idiomatic verbs are two of my favorite writing tools. In my current project, I use a fair amount of Idiomatic verbs. As for Layering Prepositions, I do a lot of layering in Chapter 1, due to the fact I wanted to give the chapter a nursery-rhyme-like feel to it. Like all tools, however, overusing it can cause the reader to become tired of it.

This ends my notes and thoughts on Prepositions and puts me at the halfway mark of completing my journey to gain a better understand of the English Language for the purposes of Imagery.

Next, I will be looking at Conjunctions and Interjections.
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