We’ll learn more about this function in the Grammar.com section on prepositions. (Click here for the beginning of that discussion.) A preposition has one major role in the language: to stick a noun onto the sentence. That noun is the object of the preposition.
6. Object of the Preposition
Here’s our sentence again:
The professor, John Smith, is the noun expert, so yesterday he gave the class his views on the importance of learning to write papers clearly, his students feverishly taking notes on all he said.
In our model sentence, the noun importance is stuck to the sentence by the preposition on. The resulting prepositional phrase acts as an adjective modifying the word views.
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