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    Using P-words as Particles

    Using P-words as Particles

    P-words are defined as prepositions and adverbs that no longer perform prepositional or adverbial functions. P-words are function words, which are defined as words that perform definite grammatical functions but that lack definite lexical meaning.

    In grammar, a particle is a function word that expresses a grammatical relationship with another word or words. Particles appear within three constructions in English: phrasal verbs, quasi-modal verbs, and determiner phrases. P-words are the only grammatical from that perform the grammatical function of particle in English. Examples of p-words as particles include the following:

    • throw up (phrasal verb)
    • squirrel away (phrasal verb)
    • lay in on (phrasal verb)
    • ought to (quasi-modal verb)
    • used to (quasi-modal verb)
    • had better (quasi-modal verb)
    • none of the (determiner phrase)
    • all three of the (determiner phrase)
    • many of the (determiner phrase)

    P-word as Particle in Phrasal Verb

    P-word as Particle in Phrasal Verb Grammar Tree

    P-word as Particle in Quasi-modal Verb

    P-word as Particle in Quasi-modal Verb Grammar Tree

    P-word as Particle in Determiner Phrase

    P-word as Particle in Determiner Phrase Grammar Tree

    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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