Notes from writing class - Prepositions
Disclaimer: This is a recurring and random series of posts. I'm currently enrolled in a basic writing/editing class and felt that my notes might be helpful to others. Please note, I am not an editor. I'm just an author trying to learn more about the craft to improve my own work, and sharing the things I learn along the way. Enjoy.
Ok, so what is a Preposition?
A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.
A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence.
OK, so that’s the hoity-toity definition. Think of it this way, it’s the “where” of an object.
The book is behind the shelf.
The jacket is hanging on the coatrack.
I read my book during lunch.
Check out this list of prepositions.
On to the next quick segment. I’m sure you’ve been told to never end a sentence with a preposition…right?
Well that rule doesn’t always stick in creative writing.
Think of the way we speak modern English:
Can I go with?
Where you at?
He wants to ask her out.
These numbers just don’t add up.
What did you do that for?
Now, remember I said creative writing. If you’re writing a technical paper then you need to stick to the hard fast rules. The difference with creative writing is the fact that we want a “voice” to show through. Usually a “modern” voice. With that in mind, it is OK to end your sentence in a preposition. Just be aware that it can sometimes be frowned upon so don’t use it to extremes.
One more quick segment on prepositions.
Sometimes (I’m so guilty of this) a preposition is not needed. “Of” is one of the biggest culprits of that.
Look at this sentence:
She jumped off of the bridge.
Is the “of” really necessary? Nope!
She jumped off the bridge. < - see, exact same meaning but no “of.”
She’s standing outside of the house.
Again, the “of” really doesn’t need to be there.
She’s standing outside the house.
Quick Tip: Do a word search and see how many you can find and remove in your manuscript.