Explain the Adverbial and Adjectival Phrases
A prepositional phrase often tells us where, when, how, or why something happens in the sentence. When a phrase does this job, it is called an adverbial phrase. Adverbial phrases can be found at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.
1. Prudence Crandall caused an uproar in Canterbury, Connecticut.
Object of the preposition: Canterbury, Connecticut
Function of phrase: adverbial; indicates where Crandall caused an uproar.
2. She allowed a young black girl to train at her school.
Object of the preposition: school; "her" is an adjective indicating which school
Function of phrase: adverbial; indicates where she allowed the girl to train
3. This excitement happened in 1831.
Object of the preposition: 1831; the numerals name the year and are treated as a noun
Function of phrase: adverbial; indicates when the excitement happened
4. Newspapers responded with alarm when Crandall was arrested.
Object of the preposition: alarm
Function of phrase: adverbial; indicates how the newspapers responded
Prepositional phrases can also be used to modify nouns or pronouns. While a prepositional phrase explains a noun or pronoun, it is an adjectival phrase. It generally points out which or what kind of noun. An adjectival phrase usually follows the noun or pronoun it modifies.
1. Margaret Corbin is a hero of the American Revolution.
Object of the preposition: American Revolution
Noun modified: hero; indicates what kind of a hero
2. She became the first of several women to earn a disabled soldier’s pension.
Object of the preposition: women; "several" indicates how many women
Noun modified: first; indicates which "first" we are talking about