I recently was asked this question by one of my colleagues, if this was an adverb or an adjective. While I figure it cannot be an adjective, I presumed it is an adverbial phrase. Would I be right to make that assumption?

Also, what are the rules/conditions/contexts in which one can or cannot use this phrase? Any known colloquial errors that are known?

  • It would typically be (part of) an adjunct. Got an example or two? – BillJ May 10 '19 at 18:02
  • Adverbs and adjectives are distinguished by their syntactic affordances. Without a sentence to appear in, it is impossible to tell what this phrase modifies, and therefore what syntactic role it has just by listing the words in it. – John Lawler May 10 '19 at 22:35
  • It was a going forward affair. That's an adjectival use of the phrase. (It sounds a bit odd, but it's syntactical.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 11 '19 at 9:34

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