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In this sentence

Go home.

what is the precise part of speech of "home"?

When I was in school, I was taught that "home" would act as an "adverbial noun". That is, its function in the sentence is that of an adverb, but its function is ordinarily that of a noun.

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4 Answers 4

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home is, internally, a noun, and externally a locative complement of Go.

CGEL classifies it as an "intransitive preposition" since it acts externally as if it were a preposition phrase: to home. I suggest, however, that this is to confuse internal structure and external function; on the analogy of CGEL's treatment of noun phrases, I regard this use as a fused-head construction in which the head preposition is tacitly subsumed in its object.

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  • So why is it ok to say "go home" but not "go beach" or "go mountain"? What kind of "locative complement" can "go" take? Why isn't it an adverb since "home" is commonly listed as an adverb as well as a noun? This answer isn't very helpful unless you have CGEL to hand.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 1, 2022 at 9:20
  • @StuartF Why? Basically, because English! It's an idiom, which defies converntional classification. Classifications reflect use, not the other way around. Dictionaries list it as an adverb because they restrict themselves to the traditional word classes and don't recognize a difference between complementary locatives and modifiers. Apr 2, 2022 at 10:23
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I like how this question is answered on the "English with Nab" site, as it gives other examples to show how "home" acts as an "adverb of place" like "South" (Go South) or Down (Go down). Like "South", "Home" can also be used as a noun (Go to the deep South. Go to his home.)

Reference: https://englishwithnab.com/go-home-or-go-to-home/

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"Go" is an intransitive verb and hence does not have an object. Where are you going? <- In this sentence, "where" is an adverb modifying the intransitive verb "go". Likewise, in the sentence "Go home now", "go" looks like a transitive verb. That is contradictory to the premise that "go" is intransitive. Wait a minute. A word could belong to different parts of speech, depending on the context of the sentence. In the sentence "go home now", "home" describes "go", and hence, "home" is an adverb modifying the verb "go".

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    Mar 31, 2022 at 20:42
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The sentence "Go home" is a command, an imperative sentence-- a sentence in the imperative mood. The subject of imperative sentences is the implied "you" [or the person's name to whom you are directing the command]: You go home. Thus, the subject is the implied (personal pronoun) you. The verb is go. And the object is home. Home is a noun used as the object of this sentence.

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  • To say that home is "the object of this sentence" implies that go is a transitive verb. It isn't, so home cannot be a direct object, nor even an indirect object.
    – Andrew Leach
    Feb 7, 2018 at 1:17

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