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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • Malayalam
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jun 2015
    • Posts: 1

    What rules govern the ordering of prepositional phrases in a sentence?

    When writing a sentence, I sometimes get stuck with the order of prepositional phrases if there happen to be a couple of them in a series. I cannot seem to place them next to the part they intend to modify, which ruins the sentence. I googled this particular problem and watched a few YouTube tutorials, which, unfortunately, has confused the matter further. I want to keep it simple and find out whether there's a way to get it right.
    Another problem I have with them is that I sometimes cannot decide whether they should be punctuated or not, to make things clear.

    Just to give an example
    There was a great interview... 1) of Mary about her book 2) in NYT 3) by John

    I cannot put these phrases into their correct order, and punctuate if or where necessary.
    Please help. Thanks.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,864

    Re: What rules govern the ordering of prepositional phrases in a sentence?

    I would use interview with and the NYT. I would probably switch 2 & 1, though it's not essential. John without the surname doesn't seem to fit IMO.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Wales

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 574

    Re: What rules govern the ordering of prepositional phrases in a sentence?

    (Not a Teacher. BrE first language speaker)

    I agree with Tdol. Personally I don't think either names work without surnames, unless your readers know instantly who Mary and John are.

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