Connect
To Top

Using Verbs and Verb Phrases as Prepositional Complements

Using Verbs and Verb Phrases as Prepositional Complements

Verbs are traditionally defined by notional grammars as “words that denote an action or a state of being.” A verb phrase is a grammatical structure that consists of a verb functioning as the head of the phrase plus any auxiliary verbs, particles, modifiers, complements, and objects.

In grammar, a prepositional complement is a word, phrase, or clause that directly follows a preposition and completes the meaning of the prepositional phrase. Although nouns including pronouns and noun phrases most frequently perform the function, verb phrases in the form of present participles sometimes function as prepositional complements in English. Some grammars refer to present participles that perform nominal functions as gerunds. Examples of verbs and verb phrases as prepositional complements include the following:

  • The students are having problems with solving the assigned equations.
  • My professor strongly believes in consulting librarians with research questions.
  • Can we talk about planting a garden this summer?
  • The publisher thanks you for writing the introduction to the book.
  • My grandparents have been looking at selling the lake house.
  • Your little sister took care of watering the garden while we were on vacation.

Verb Phrase as Prepositional Complement

Verb Phrase as Prepositional Complement 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.

More in English Verbs

  • Grammatical Aspect

    Grammatical aspect is the grammaticalized expression of the temporal structure of an action or state. Temporal structure roughly relates to duration....

    Heather JohnsonJune 20, 2018
  • ESL Recipe Lesson Plan: Practice the Imperative Mood

    Many English language learners hope to function fully and completely in the English language. Learning to follow and write recipes is...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 25, 2018
  • English Auxiliary Verbs

    Auxiliary verbs are a subcategory of English verbs that provide additional semantic or syntactic information about the main verb in the...

    Heather JohnsonMarch 1, 2016
  • Ambitransitive English Verbs

    Verbs are traditionally defined as “words that describe actions or states of being.” Main or principal English verbs may be either...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 25, 2016
  • Attributive Ditransitive English Verbs

    Traditional notional grammars define verbs as “action or state of being words.” Transitive verbs in English grammar are main verbs that...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 23, 2016