What Is the Object of a Preposition? (with Examples)

What Is the Object of a Preposition? (with Examples)

The object of a preposition is the noun or pronoun governed by a preposition.

The object of a preposition is usually (but not always) the noun or pronoun immediately to the right of the preposition.

Examples of Objects of Prepositions

Here are some examples of objects of prepositions. In the examples below, the objects of prepositions are shaded, and the prepositions are in bold.
  • This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. (Neil Armstrong)
  • (The word a before man is a modifier. The object of a preposition is often accompanied by modifiers that precede it or follow it.)
  • The ants get in your ears when you are sleeping.
  • (The word your is a modifier.)
  • Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. (George Carlin)
  • (The words every and cynical are modifiers.)
  • Are those biscuits on the table for the dogs?
  • (Note: The words the before table and dogs are modifiers. Remember, the object of a preposition is the head noun (or pronoun) within the noun phrase or noun clause.)
  • Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. (Will Rogers, 1879-1935)
  • (In this example, the preposition relates to the noun clause the time we have rushed through life trying to save. The object of the preposition is time, which is the head noun. The word the is modifier. The clause we have rushed through life trying to save is also a modifier. It's an adjective clause.)

Objects of Prepositions Are in the Objective Case

The noun or pronoun governed by a preposition is always in the objective case. In English, this only affects pronouns. For example:
  • Go with her.
  • (The pronoun her is the objective case version of she.)
  • Sit near them.
  • (The pronoun them is the objective case version of they.)
  • You want me to talk to whom?
  • (The pronoun whom is the objective case version of who.)
Read more about objective personal pronouns.

See Also

Take a test on the object of a preposition What are prepositions? What is the objective case? More about who & whom More about subject-verb agreement What are noun phrases? What are noun clauses? Glossary of grammatical terms