When there are two adverb phrases of same kind, it is recommended to put the more descriptive one in the front.

But this people used and in between those adverb phrases.

My room was in the ship and on the 5th floor.

To me, this and seemed redundant to me. Since "in the ship" and "on the 5th floor" are adverb phrases (or are those complements) that modify "was", a to be verb, I thought it better to omit the word and.

My room was in the ship on the 5th floor.

But it sounds a little unatural. Is my sentence grammatically wrong? And if yes, why is that?

  • 2
    Since you offer judgements of naturalness, I assume you are a native speaker. As you say, they can be treated like any other adverbs, and don't need the and. However, that just means that both structures are available, so that one might be used to emphasize some contextual detail (like the fact, known to the speaker and addressees, that one has to go down five flights to get onto the boat in the first place, thus making the fifth-floor cabin ironic -- there the and would be good, and could even be stressed for contrast.) Oct 3 '15 at 18:36
  • Thank you so much. Also, I'm not a native speker, and that was the reason sentence 2 with no "and" sounded unatural to me, because of the order of adverb phrases. I prefer "on the 5th floor in the ship", but I thouht that in this case "in the ship" became an adjective phrase... Does keeping this sentence as it is,"in the ship on the fifth floor", sound perfectly natural to you?
    – Columbus
    Oct 3 '15 at 18:49
  • For some reason, the second adverb phrase always seems like adjective phrase to me...
    – Columbus
    Oct 3 '15 at 18:56
  • 1
    If in the ship modifies fifth floor, then it's an adjective phrase (really, a reduced relative clause). But if in the ship is a predicate phrase like on the fifth floor, then it doesn't really matter what order they appear in. One thing about this is a little odd -- the choice of floor instead of deck, which is what they're usually called on shipboard. That gave me pause, and I wondered whether it was by a non-native speaker. Oct 3 '15 at 19:10
  • 1
    How do you define 'redundant'? 'Pass salt!' conveys the intended message clearly enough; 'Pass the salt!' is more idiomatic. But 'Would you please pass the salt.' is less likely to alienate people. Oct 3 '15 at 20:57

These are both preposition phrases functioning as Locative Complements of the verb BE. Generally speaking you can add as many Locative Complements as you wish without using any co-ordintors such as and. You could always use and for emphasis if required, but without any special reason to do so, it's best omitted.

I agree that in the Original Poster's example, in the ship on the 5th floor is better, but this is an issue of style not grammar.

  • 1
    Thank you so much! I can add as many prepositional adverb phrases as I want, right?
    – Columbus
    Oct 3 '15 at 20:39
  • @Columbus Yes! - if you believe in adverb phrases that don't have adverbs in ;-) Oct 3 '15 at 20:40
  • @Columbus Some people do believe in them, but not me ... :) Oct 3 '15 at 20:42

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