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The side-passage door was fastened; I opened it with as little noise as possible. (Jane Eyre)

What do you call grammatically ‘as little noise as possible’ after ‘with’? I’m very confused because the phase is not a typical prepositional phase nor a noun phrase.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The entire phrase with as little noise as possible is an adverbial phrase of manner. It could be replaced with the single adverb quietly.

The portion following with is a disguised noun phrase. It could be rewritten as minimum noise. So as little ... as possible is an idiomatic expression that acts adjectivally to modify the noun noise.

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