Questions about prepositional phrases.

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10
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3answers
1k views

Comma after introductory phrases

I am no native speaker and always confused about the comma in introductory phrases, in particular in prepositional phrases. Is there any hard rule when a comma must be set? If I make a google search ...
9
votes
3answers
54k views

“Consist in” vs. “consist of”

I would like to have this clear once and for all: What is the correct use of consist in / consist of? "Meditation consists in/of attentive watchfulness." "The body consists in/of cells." ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Using “to” versus “for” between two nouns (“key to success”)

Another user provided an example and I have added others: Key to exercise Key for exercise Answer to a problem Answer for a problem Bullet to a gun Bullet for a gun She bought ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

“Replace with” versus “replace by”

I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only ...
6
votes
2answers
283 views

On Paddington Station?

I was interested to read that Paddington Bear was found on Paddington Station, not in or at Paddington Station. I would never have chosen this usage (I speak Canadian English). I had a look at Google ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

“An” average of vs. “The” average of

When nouns such as average, total, sum, etc., are modified by a prepositional phrase, how do you choose between the definite and indefinite articles? I cited sentences 1, 3, and 5 below from various ...
5
votes
3answers
578 views

When can “very” modify a prepositional phrase?

In Hamlet, when Hammy Jr. asks Polonius whether a cloud looks like a whale, Polly replies, Very like a whale. In contemporary English, however, "very like ..." feels ungrammatical. You instead ...
5
votes
1answer
561 views

Is there a word for a verb which requires an adverb or prep. phrase in order to make sense?

Put is the one I'm thinking of. It is always transitive, but even with a direct object, it still makes no sense without an adverb or prepositional phrase. I put it somewhere. I put it on the ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a difference in meaning between “from the beginning” and “since the beginning”?

He’s been with us from the beginning. Is there a difference between from and since in the context of the above sentence?
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Is 'there' an adverb or a preposition? (Or something else entirely!?)

Most dictionaries seem to describe 'there' as an adverb. Oxford online dictionary definition Is this true? "Last year we went to Paris. We stayed there for three nights." In sentences like this ...
5
votes
3answers
151 views

On the part of speech of “now”

I recently had a conversation about the Spanish word "ahora", in which my conversant claimed that "ahora" is always an adverb, and never a noun. This lead me to investigate the part of speech of ...
5
votes
2answers
899 views

How to distinguish between positions of prepositional phrases?

Is there a name for where prepositional phrases are in a sentence? For example, is there a name to distinguish between the following sentences? There has not been a queen on the island. On the ...
4
votes
4answers
434 views

Up my street and down the lane [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do I travel “up” or “down” to London from north of the city? Except where there is obvious difference in elevation e.g. on a sloping road, how do ...
4
votes
3answers
490 views

Test for intransitivity of verbs?

Is it true that if any verb is immediately followed by a prepositional phrase, then it has to be an intransitive verb? As a counter example, I need a sentence which: (i) has only one verb, and ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

Is “nothing but birds and a few insects” singular or plural?

Nothing but birds and a few insects [was/were] to be seen. In the above sentence, should the verb agree with "nothing" or with "birds and a few insects"?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

When are the phrases “in motion” and “in movement” used?

When are the phrases in motion and in movement used? In motion is the most popular form based on a Google search, but in movement still has 3 080 000 results.
4
votes
5answers
80 views

“A threat to us people” or “a threat to we people”? [closed]

Which of these is correct: Global warming is a great threat to us people. Global warming is a great threat to we people.
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Near, near to and nearby. What's the difference?

Why isn't near, near to and nearby always interchangeable? They can precede the noun. I live nearby the railway station I live near the railway station I live near to the railway station ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

“'To'/'on' the contrary” in these sentences: is the difference very slight?

I was interested in the following sentences which appeared, respectively, in a news article titled “Can’t Park? Blame a Condo" and in a news article titled "Senator Simmons on the Negro", both in The ...
4
votes
2answers
956 views

Can a prepositional phrase be the direct object?

We're covering grammar in English I, and we just got to gerunds. In one of the exercises, I had the sentence "Pilgrims learned about planting crops from the Wampanoags." I'm supposed to find the ...
3
votes
3answers
125 views

What function does this prepositional phrase have in this biblical sentence?

From Mark 7:13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Although this sentence may be incomplete, I am wondering ...
3
votes
2answers
410 views

What's the most appropriate preposition to use with the word “status”?

Say I have application that tracks TODO items; each TODO item has a status, e.g. "Not Started", "In Progress", "Completed", etc. Which phrasing is the most appropriate to display in the application? ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between prepositional phrase and adverbial complement?

“I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason.” (Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird) When we say ‘prepositional verb’ and ‘adverbial complement,’ are they ...
3
votes
3answers
580 views

Using “connotation of” in an active manner?

How can I use the word connotation is a more active phrasing? Often, if I want to say an object that suggests magic, I may say "the object has a connotation of being magical". But this phrasing is ...
3
votes
3answers
80 views

Do I need an extra “about”, or does one suffice?

Consider the following sentence: I have a lot to talk about with John about his project. Since I can swap the position of the first about to make it 'I have a lot to talk with John about', then ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Version control “in revision” vs. “at revision”

Should a programmer use in or at as a preposition when referring to the version-control revision number? Example: Which is correct, fixed in revision 12345 or fixed at revision 12345? The ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

What preposition do we use with the adjective 'telling' when it means 'revealing'?

Example I: "How telling this is [of/about] the way international students continue to be perceived by their American peers on U.S. campuses?" Example II: "Public opinion is telling ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Is single-word “inbetween” becoming more acceptable? How far can it go?

I get the distinct feeling that "inbetween" occurs increasingly often as a single word, but I'm not at all clear on why it's used more in some contexts than others. What I can is see that in Google ...
3
votes
3answers
644 views

“Exchange emails with whomever you want to put me in contact [with]”

I realize the "never end a sentence with a preposition" rule is controversial these days, but let's assume for the sake of argument that it should be followed. What is the proper construction of a ...
3
votes
4answers
88 views

Half doesn't or half don't? [duplicate]

What’s the right version of these two? Half of the students doesn’t bother to show up. Half of the students don’t bother to show up. Or are both right?
2
votes
4answers
395 views

Preposition used after “do”

I am an English native speaker working as a teacher in Germany. When marking my pupils' essays I often encounter the phrase "to do something against something", which is as far as I know simply a ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Can we get this over with?”

I am confused about this sentence because it ends in a preposition, something that I thought was not really grammatically correct: Can we get this over with? In addition, I haven't found a ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Problems with usages of “of”

I do not understand some of usages. It's more of a sanity check than anything. even more of a hack I'd argue that a course in algorithm design would be of more utility in understanding how ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What are “up” and “down” in “up there” and “down there”?

"Up there" and "down there" are two of the most frequent expressions that I, myself, use often. I really don't know whether they are just expressions used to refer to a place to go ("I went down ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Meaning of “over in”

I read this sentence in a book: I just took part in a study over in the Psychology Department. Why do we add over in front of in the here?
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What kind of phrase is this? [manically across the stage]

In the sentence: At the beginning of the play, the entire cast dances maniacally across the stage. What kind of phrase is [manically across the stage]? Is it an adverb phrase, prepositional phrase or ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Adverbs, prepositions, nouns, “home”, and “about” [closed]

I'm confused about how the following sentences should be analyzed, in terms of which words are prepositions and adverbs, how the phrases break up, etc.: She was going home. She was home. She was at ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

A question about “to becoming” [duplicate]

Would this sentence be correct? Being scared is the first step to becoming free. The more I look at it, the less clear it becomes.
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Apart from + infinitive

A piece of news from the BBC reads as follows [emphasis in the original]: The UN has said very little on the matter, apart from to insist it is immune from legal proceedings. Now, I knew that ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Two verbal nouns with one/two prepositional phrases

I have a question on English style. Take the following sentence: Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to or rejection from the program. ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Usage of 'into' after 'penetrate'

Somehow I have difficulties telling which one is more correct They penetrate into the building OR They penetrate the building I've heard it being used both ways and I'd like to hear some thoughts on ...
2
votes
2answers
370 views

prepositional phrases strong enough to bring 'the' before the nouns they modify?

I was wondering if prepositional phrases alone were strong enough to bring the relative pronoun the before the nouns that they modify. Upon reading (2) do you feel the people is restricted or ...
2
votes
1answer
441 views

Is it preferable to generally use nested prepositional phrases or a hyphenated adjectival phrase?

I've recently run into some sticky situations involving how to write out complicated concept descriptions. Take this example: Which metrics are appropriate for evaluating the accuracy of a ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

When should the subject agree with the object of the preposition?

Quite often while I'm looking through research articles, I see sentences that start like this one: The tensile strengths of the composites changed... I generally change strengths to strength in ...
2
votes
2answers
332 views

“I've decided not to leave A.I. Town” versus “I've decided to not leave A.I. Town” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive Last month I decided to change my residence and shift to another town. After some days, due to some reasons, I cancelled my ...
1
vote
6answers
213 views

“I will go up to the stores”

What is the meaning of the following sentence, said from a person that is at home, and is going outside? I will go up to the stores.
1
vote
3answers
202 views

“compiled with gcc” vs “compiled in gcc”

"This program was compiled with gcc." "This program was compiled in gcc." "This program was written in C++." "This program was written with C++." Note: gcc is a widely used compiler ...
1
vote
1answer
257 views

Can the antecedent ever be in a prepositional phrase?

It seems like a basic concept, but I want to make sure. Can the antecedent ever be in a prepositional phrase? For example: Jill likes running with Julie. She is a good person. Does she refer to ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between these two sentences?

Consider these two sentences: "I gave him a pencil," and, "I gave a pencil to him." Is it correct that the important part of the sentence is placed at the end? When we want to emphasize the pencil ...
1
vote
4answers
81 views

Does one open a browser “on” a URL?

Can I say: It opens the browser on the URL [X] meaning that something is opening the browser with the URL [X] already typed in and loading?