According to CaGEL* (e.g. p.636 ff), prepositions can take predicative complements, as in

[1] She worked as a waitress

[2] He passed for dead

[3] I took you for granted

[4] They left him for dead

[5] I love you as a friend

Now, I get how these are predicatives, but I'm uncertain as to how to analyse the PPs as wholes. I'm thinking they are complements in [1]-[4] and adjunct in [5] – is this correct? And, if so, what kinds of complement are we dealing with in [1]-[4]?

*Huddleston, R., and Pullum, G. K., 2002. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • I'd say they are all complements of the verbs – BillJ Mar 17 '19 at 11:03
  • @BillJ I'd say (1, 5) Are adjuncts. They pass the 'do so' test. She worked, and did so as a waitress, I love you, but do so as a friend Compare with: He passed and did so for dead, I took you and did so for granted, They left him and did so for dead. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Mar 17 '19 at 18:13
  • @Araucaria Mm, but I'd say it'd be possible to say, for instance, she stayed, and did so in her room, which would make in her room in she stayed in her room an adjunct too, so it seems that test doesn't quite work? Or am I missing something? Seeing that in her room in that example isn't an adjunct, but a complement, I mean? – Hannah Mar 18 '19 at 7:39
  • @BillJ Ok – but what kinds of complement, and how do you arrive at that conclusion? – Hannah Mar 18 '19 at 7:40
  • 1
    Oops. Yes, the comp must be in the original phrase. Doesn't work well with verbs that can be used with no complements either. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Mar 18 '19 at 8:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.