Which one?

1. Ways to express ‘which one’

The ways to help people know which object you are talking about:

  • Noun + ‘prepositional phrase’
  • Noun + ‘participle phrase’

2. Noun + prepositional phrase

Prepositional phrases use prepositions.

Prepositions include:
on, in, under, next to, by, with

To make a prepositional phrase:

  • subject + preposition + preposition’s object
SubjectPrepositionPreposition’s objectPrepositional phraseExample sentence
the childinthe cornerthe child in the cornerGive this cake to the child in the corner.
the womanbythe doorthe woman by the doorI was just speaking to the woman by the door, and she told me something interesting.
the manwiththe beardthe man with the beardEllis doesn’t like the man with the beard.

3. How to use the participle phrase

Participle phrases use …ing.

Examples of participle phrases are:
doing …, going …., sitting …

To make a participle phrase:

  • subject + participle + participle’s object
Subject…ingParticiple’s objectParticiple phraseExample sentence
the childsitting inthe cornerthe child sitting in the cornerI find the child sitting in the corner so annoying.
the womandrinkingthe winethe woman drinking the wineGraeme was once married to the woman drinking the wine.
the manspeaking tothe doctorthe man speaking to the doctorMolly plays badminton with the man speaking to the doctor.

4. Using prepositional phrases and participle phrases

Preposition phrases and participle phrases can be used together.

The preposition phrase usually comes first.

SubjectPrepositional phraseParticipal phrasePhrases combinedExample sentence
the childwith the lollipopsitting in the cornerthe child with the lollipop sitting in the cornerThis toy belongs to the child with the lollipop sitting in the corner.
the womanwith the long back hairplaying the pianothe woman with the long black hair playing the pianoThe most beautiful person here is the woman with the long black hair playing the piano.
the manunder the tablehiding from the policethe man under the table hiding from the policeDo you know the man under the table hiding from the police?

5. Adding adjectives

For more detail, add an adjective to the first noun.

The ugly statue with two heads.The fashionable girl with the blue shoes dancing on the dancefloor.
The really tall tree standing by the door.The cowardly man under the table hiding from the police.

6. Exercises

Using adjectives, prepositional phrases and participle phrases, describe ‘which…’ for things in the room around you (example: the orange folder next to the blue book sitting on the table).