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It occurs me that in such sentences as

He is far from happy.

However, just as the critics are not of one mind in their criticism, so they are far from united on what to do.

the preposition from is followed by adjectives. Since prepositions by definition are placed before nouns/noun phrases, I wonder if far from is a unique case. Are there other similar cases? I can't think of any.

Is this simply an omission of being? Does this omission occur with other prepositions?

  • I know of no definition of preposition that says they must be placed before nouns or noun phrases. (Unless you are talking about the myth that you can't end a sentence with a preposition.) Where have you read such a statement? – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 17 '18 at 17:13
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    @JasonBassford No, I am not talking about P-stranding. That's a totally separate issue. "Prepositions show direction, location, or time, or introduce an object. They are usually followed by an object—a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun." And it is my goal for this question to learn more about the exceptions to that usually. – Eddie Kal Nov 17 '18 at 17:17
  • @JasonBassford I probably should've included this in my question, but an explanation of why from here is an adverb and its function in those sentence would make a great answer as well. – Eddie Kal Nov 17 '18 at 17:23
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    Prepositions can take a wide range of complements in addition to NPs, including predicatives. In this case the AdjPs "happy" and "united on what to do" are predicative in that they relate to the predicands "he" and "they". Compare also "I took him for dead" – BillJ Nov 17 '18 at 17:24
  • @BillJ Very helpful. So is it safe to assume "from" is a preposition here? – Eddie Kal Nov 17 '18 at 17:25
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There are many similar constructions in English, where a preposition doesn't take a noun object: "take for granted", "next to useless", "close to perfect".

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