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What parts of speech are in this sentence:

He went to the moon.

I’m confused about part of speech to assign to “to the moon”.

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  • Well, to is a preposition, so...
    – Wlerin
    Sep 28, 2014 at 10:29
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    Parts of speech are traditionally words, not phrases, so in a traditional analysis to the moon is not a part of speech. In some more modern analyses, it is a Prepositional Phrase (PP)
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 28, 2014 at 11:40
  • The sentence has the same structure as He went to London. He went + where-to. The where-to indication consists of the preposition to and the noun group the moon.
    – rogermue
    Sep 28, 2014 at 18:33

3 Answers 3

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He went to the moon.

In terms of the different parts of the sentence, there are the functions that different words and phrases are carrying out, functions such as Subject. There is also a question of what types of words and phrases are doing these jobs, for example Nouns and Verbs.

In terms of the jobs or functions that the words are doing. The structure of the sentence is as follows:

  • Subject He, Predicator went, [Locative] Complement to the moon.

The parts of speech and types of phrase here are as follows:

  • He Pronoun, went Verb, to the moon Preposition Phrase.

The verb GO here selects a Preposition Phrase headed by the Preposition to (the verb GO and the preposition to have special relationship). The complement of to is the Noun Phrase the moon.

[Some people will label to the moon here an Adverb or Adverbial clause. It is not. Adverbs cannot usually function as the complements of Verbs].

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    Yes, but also "he" and "the moon" are noun phrases; "went to the moon" is a verb phrase; "to" is a preposition; "moon" is a noun; "the" is a determiner.
    – Greg Lee
    Oct 4, 2015 at 21:52
  • @GregLee Yes, quite so. Missed out the predicate too! Oct 4, 2015 at 22:42
  • I think the prepositional phrase can be considered adverbial, since the direct object of 'go' is null (self), and there is really only two ways to store predicate info: 1) as a relation under the subject (a verb or adverbial), and 2) as a referent of a relation (object).
    – AmI
    Dec 24, 2015 at 0:08
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He went to the moon.

  • he = subject
  • went = verb
  • to = preposition
  • the moon = object
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  • Note that 'to' is a highly "overloaded" word. In this case it would be less ambiguous by using the word 'unto'.
    – AmI
    Dec 24, 2015 at 0:11
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  • He = pronoun
  • went = verb
  • to = preposition
  • the = article
  • moon = noun

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