An object of a preposition is a noun or a pronoun that comes after a preposition, such as in, at, of, to, by, behind, on, and so on, to form a prepositional phrase.

( After his exams ) Tom will take a trip ( by boat )

This sentence contains two objects of prepositions. Exam is the object of the preposition after and boat is the object of the preposition by.

An object of a preposition can cause confusion in the Structure section of the TOEFL test because it can be mistaken for the subject of a sentence.

Example :

With his friend  …………  found the movie theater.

(a)    has

(b)   he

(c)    letter

(d)   when


In this example you should look first for the subject and the verb. You should notice the verb found and should also notice that there is no subject. Do not think  that friend is the subject; friend is the object of the preposition with, and one noun cannot be both a subject and an object at the same time. Because a subject is needed in this sentence, answer (B), he, is the best answer. Answers (A), (C), and (D) are not correct because they cannot be subjects.


Thefollowing chart outlines the key information that you should remember about objects of prepositions :


A preposition is followed by a noun or pronoun that is called an object of the preposition. If a word is an object of a preposition, it is not the subject


TOEFL EXERCISE Skill 2 : Each of  the following sentences contains one or more prepositional phrases. Underline the subjects  once and the verbs twice. Circle the prepositional phrases that come before the verb. Then indicate if the sentence are correct ( C ) or incorrect ( I ).

  1. ————- The interviews by radio broadcasters were carried live by the station.
  2. ————- In the last possible moment before takeoff took his seat in the airplane.
  3. ————- At the neighborhood flower shop, flowers in quantities of a dozen or a half dozen can be delivered for free.
  4. ————- The progressive reading methods at this school are given credit for the improved test scores.
  5. ————- For the last three years at various hospitals in the country has been practicing medicine.
  6. ————- In the past a career in politics was not considered acceptable in some circle.
  7. ————- Shopping in the downtown area of the city it has improved a lot in recent years.
  8. ————- At the building site the carpenters with the most experience were given the most intricate work.
  9. ————– For the fever and headache took two aspirin tablets.
  10. ————– The report with complete documentation was delivered at the conference.

Answer  Exercise Skill 2 :

  1. Correct
  2. Incorrect
  3. Correct
  4. Correct
  5. Incorrect
  6. Incorrect
  7. Incorrect
  8. Correct
  9. Incorrect
  10. Correct

Refrensi : ” Longman Preparation Course For The TOEFL TEST – THE PAPER TEST-, PHILIPPS”