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Using Postpositions as Postpositional Phrase Heads

Using Postpositions as Postpositional Phrase Heads

Adpositions are 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, a postpositional phrase head is the word that functions as the head of the postpositional phrase. Only postpositions can function as postpositional phrase heads. Examples of postpositions as postpositional phrase heads include the following:

  • ten years ago
  • six minutes ago
  • seven acres apart
  • fourteen months apart
  • bad behavior aside
  • five miles away
  • the lack of evidence notwithstanding
  • the whole night through

Postposition as Postpositional Phrase Head

Postposition as Postpositional Phrase Head 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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