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Could somebody explain why 'of' isn't a preposition in this sentence.

(215 Posts)
Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 19:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeatandTidyTidyandNeat Mon 07-Mar-16 19:48:24

Are they wanting you to say that "of" is meaning "made from" in this context, so it's "under" and "beside" that the prepositions they want? It's fuddling my brain the longer I think about it TBH so hopefully someone else will come and explain it to us both!

Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 19:52:13

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dementedpixie Mon 07-Mar-16 19:52:15

Googling suggests prepositions explains where something is located so in this instance of isn't a preposition

Flossiesmummy Mon 07-Mar-16 20:08:31

"A preposition shows relation as in the street or at the station"

Google this line for a full poem of helpfulness smile

isthisabigdeal Mon 07-Mar-16 20:09:17

Why do you think the 'of' isn't a preposition?

A word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause, as in ‘the man on the platform’, ‘she arrived after dinner’, ‘what did you do it for?’.

I think that sentence has three prepositional phrases:

First "pile of books" with 'of' being the preposition used to relate the object 'books' to 'pile'.

Then "under the chair" with 'under' relating its object 'chair' to the 'pile of books'.

Finally "beside the window" with 'beside' relating its object 'window' to the 'chair'.

If the question has been set for a primary age child though, the answer they will be looking for is what the last poster said - i.e. the 'of' isn't a preposition because it doesn't indicate location in either place or time. This is a big simplification of prepositions (and technically incorrect) but used a lot at primary level.

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 07-Mar-16 20:10:26

I love of. In the right place.


isthisabigdeal Mon 07-Mar-16 20:10:43

Sorry missed out the "..." around the definition of pronoun at the top of my post.

spanieleyes Mon 07-Mar-16 20:12:47

I thought of was a preposition confused

Of is a preposition.

Of commonly introduces prepositional phrases which are complements of nouns, creating the pattern: noun + of + noun. This pattern is very common, especially to indicate different parts, pieces, amounts and groups:
eg piles of stones, capital of England

Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 20:18:18

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spanieleyes Mon 07-Mar-16 20:19:47

The book is wrong, we're rightgrin

isthisabigdeal Mon 07-Mar-16 20:21:10

Hmm, the book is wrong.

Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 20:22:52

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irvine101 Mon 07-Mar-16 20:27:41

Here it says:

There are around 150 prepositions in English, but we use them more frequently than other individual words. The prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English. Common prepositions include these words:
•about •above •after •against •as •at •before •behind •below •beside
•between •but •by •down •during •except •for •from •in •inside •into
•of •off •on •over •than •through •to •under •until •up •with

mrz Mon 07-Mar-16 20:31:22

"A pile of books" is a collective noun

thecatfromjapan Mon 07-Mar-16 20:34:29

I agree with the two posters. My brief experience in school suggests that many teachers are a little insecure about grammar, so it will be marked however the book suggests to mark it.
I'm dreading teaching grammar. I know I'm going to come across a lot of this and my inner pedant is going to be screaming.

irvine101 Mon 07-Mar-16 20:41:00

If even the native English speakers are confused, what about non English speaking parents like me? I am really hoping my ds get it himself, I can't help him!!!!!

Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 20:43:44

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combined02 Mon 07-Mar-16 20:43:50

mrz, I think "pile" is the collective noun; "of books" is the prepositional phrase, of which "of" is the preposition. Might be wrong though..

irvine101 Mon 07-Mar-16 20:50:14

One of the explanation on IXL says:

A preposition is a connecting word. It comes before a noun or pronoun and connects it to the rest of the sentence. The noun or pronoun that comes after the preposition is called the object of the preposition.

So, I still don't get it why of isn't.

Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 20:50:21

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Pippidoeswhatshewants Mon 07-Mar-16 20:52:42

Of is a preposition (see, for example, in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary here ).

BUT if your child is in primary school, different rules apply and grammar is significantly dumbed down. If you can live with the school book's definition just go with that. I have been that parent, and it didn't go down well even though relative and subordinate clauses are most definitely not the same .

thecatfromjapan Mon 07-Mar-16 20:53:01

But the 'of' is surely working as a preposition within that collective noun, MrZ?

Washediris Mon 07-Mar-16 20:54:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoboChic Mon 07-Mar-16 20:57:44

IMO dumbed down primary grammar is almost unintelligible.

The British Council website is good for clear, succinct explanations of grammar.

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