Besides expressing the relationship between a part and a whole, recently I found another interesting use of preposition 'of':

Mr Harper's call for a rise in interest rates should not surprise us. When the national economy is growing fast, many economics analysts will claim that interest rates should rise to prevent a situation of boom and bust. Of greater surprise are his optimistic long-term projections for growth in the Australian manufacturing sector.

What is the significance of placing 'of' at the beginning of the sentence? Is it still used as a preposition in the sentence?

  • 1
    The passage states that Mr. Harper has done one thing which is not surprising, but something else he has done is a source of surprise. The phrase has been placed at the beginning of the sentence to emphasise it. Nov 24, 2017 at 9:46
  • 1
    A prepositional phrase may be used after be: The books are on the table. // Inversion is allowable: 'On the corner stood [/was] a large, impressive statue of the famous general' [pearsonlongman.com...grammar]. Similarly, 'Of greater surprise are his optimistic long-term projections ...'. In fact, 'of greater surprise' probably sounds more natural when fronted. Nov 24, 2017 at 11:48


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