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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 '14 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 '14 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 '14 at 18:33
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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 '15 at 21:52
  • @GregLee Yes, quite so. Missed out the predicate too! – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 4 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 0:11
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  • He = pronoun
  • went = verb
  • to = preposition
  • the = article
  • moon = noun

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