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Using Prepositional Phrases as Verb Phrase Complements

Using Prepositional Phrases as Verb Phrase Complements

Traditional grammars notionally define prepositions as words that “link to other words, phrases, and clauses” and that “express spatial or temporal relations.” A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition plus another word, phrase, or clause that functions as a prepositional complement.

In grammar, a verb phrase complement is a word, phrase, or clause that completes the meaning of a verb or verb phrase. In addition to verb phrases, prepositional phrases most frequently function as verb phrase complements in English. Examples of prepositional phrases as verb phrase complements include the following:

  • He never abides by the rules.
  • She contributed to the project.
  • I disagree with your analysis.
  • Mothers sometimes gripe at their children.
  • Mick Jagger listened to the recording of the new song from The Rolling Stones.
  • The council objects to your hostility.
  • Will you reply to the message for me?
  • That woman vouched for you.
  • The reading of the will saddened me.
  • He enjoyed the washing of the stones.

Prepositional Phrases as Verb Phrase Complements

Prepositional Phrase as Verb Phrase Complement Grammar Tree

Prepositional Phrase as Verb Phrase Complement Grammar Tree

Verbs that require verb phrase complements in the form of prepositional phrases are most often referred to as prepositional verbs.

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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