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The Prepositional Phrase Modifier in English Grammar

The Prepositional Phrase Modifier in English Grammar

Prepositional phrase modifiers are words, phrases, and clauses that modify or describe a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition plus another word, phrase, or clause that functions as the prepositional complement. The two grammatical forms that can function as the prepositional phrase modifier in the English language are:

  • Adverb phrases
  • Adjective clauses

The following sections define and exemplify the two grammatical forms that can function as the prepositional phrase modifier in English grammar.

Adverb Phrases as Prepositional Phrase Modifiers

The first grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of prepositional phrase modifier is the adverb phrase. Adverb phrases consist of an adverb plus any modifiers such as another adverb. For example, the following italicized adverb phrases function as prepositional phrase modifiers:

  • You seem rather under the weather.
  • That painting is not unlike one I saw in New York.
  • Your drawing looks very much like a dog.
  • His directions are not very much like the original.

Adjective Clauses as Prepositional Phrase Modifiers

The second grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of prepositional phrase modifier is the adjective clause. Adjective clauses, or relative clauses, are subordinate or dependent clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction in the form of a relative pronoun followed by a clause. Only which adjective clauses can function as prepositional phrase modifiers. For example, the following italicized adjective clauses function as prepositional phrase modifiers:

  • Behind the machine shed, which is overgrown with weeds, needs mowed.
  • Between seven and nine, which is a reasonable time frame, is when employees must arrive.
  • After six, which is usually also after dinner, is a good time to call.
  • You must clean under the bed, which is covered with dust bunnies.

The two grammatical forms that can function as prepositional phrase modifiers are adverb phrases and adjective clauses.

Summary

Prepositional phrase modifiers in English grammar are words, phrases, and clauses that modify or describe a prepositional phrase.

Prepositional phrase modifiers is a grammatical function.

The grammatical forms that can function as the prepositional phrase modifier in English grammar are adverb phrases and adjective clauses.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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