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Using Postpositional Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

Using Postpositional Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

Notional grammars define adpositions as words that “link to other words, phrases, and clauses” and that “express spatial or temporal relations.” In addition to prepositions, the second type of adposition in the English language is the postposition. In contrast to prepositions that precede a prepositional complement, postpositions follow a postpositional complement.

In grammar, an adjunct adverbial is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies an entire clause by providing additional information about time, place, manner, condition, purpose, reason, result, and concession. In addition to prepositional phrases, postpositional phrases frequently function as adjunct adverbials in English. Examples of postpositional phrases as adjunct adverbials include the following:

  • My husband and I bought our house six years ago.
  • The best friends lived a mile apart.
  • The baby cries the whole night through.
  • My uncle traveled fourteen miles away to meet the new president.
  • The evidence notwithstanding, the consensus is that the jury will not reach a verdict.
  • Here and there chains and nets may upset the stability of the submarine, hydroplanes notwithstanding.

Postpositional Phrase as Adjunct Adverbial

Postpositional Phrase as Adjunct Adverbial Grammar Tree



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.


Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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