My notes tell me that prepositional phrases are noun phrase preceeded by a preposition. So my doubt is... If you consider this sentence

the flower in the pot Is it also a prepositional phrase when a noun phrase precedes the preposition itself?

  • 1
    No: your example the flower in the pot, is a noun phrase where the noun "flower" is modified by the preposition phrase "in the pot".
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:15
  • Thankyou so much for answering. So is it always accepted as noun phrase if a noun precedes a preposition? Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:18
  • Yes, because the preposition phrase is part of the noun phrase; it modifies the head noun, and is thus a dependent of it. When the noun follows the preposition, the reverse is true - it is a preposition phrase where the noun is a complement of the preposition, a dependent of it.
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


In this case the preposition phrase in the pot acts as a modifier to the noun flower, just as an adjective does: it tells you where the flower is.

So what you have here is a noun phrase (NP the pot) inside a preposition phrase (PP in the pot) inside a noun phrase (NP the flower in the pot)!

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thankyou so much... I'm glad you know IC Analysis... Would you please tell me what "have been cursing my luck" would be? I can't mark it verb group since an NP also is involved. So is there a specific name? Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:25
  • 1
    @ShonimaNandakumar It depends on what 'flavor' of grammar you're using; terminology is very fluid these days. I'd call that a predicate, which would be paired with a subject, but many (perhaps most) grammarians call it a VP. That name is derived from "verb phrase" but it's pronounced "Vee-Pee" and it represents verb-with-its-internal-dependents. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:35
  • Go on @StoneyB, step up to the plate and give the OP the full catenative analysis (à la CGEL) !!. Btw, like you, I'd call it a VP (or part of one).
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:38
  • Remain steadfast, SB, and refuse to bow down to CGELism. Only give the complete CGEL treatment if you add other flavours for balance. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:43
  • Okay I'll impart this knowledge to my teacher because she wasn't sure about it either. Thanks for that. Do you know about Phrase Structure Analysis? I kinda have a doubt but I know I'm asking too much :) Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 16:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.