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In researching the classification of verbs that are accompanied by other words that may be adverbs or prepositions it seems like some sources favor prepositional verbs as a sub-category and others separating these two separate categories; where phrasal verbs are accompanied by adverbs and prepositional verbs are only accompanied by prepositions.

Further, it seems that neither of these includes verb constructs that are used to form infinitives, as in "it is going to be sunny on Saturday?" Is that correct?

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    Does this answer your question? Constituency tests needed to differentiate between phrasal verbs and verb + prepositional phrase constructions Note that CGEL rejects the term 'phrasal verb'. Others do too. I do principally because the term is ill-defined; different grammarians (never mind say EAL teachers) use the term in conflicting ways. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 26 '20 at 18:19
  • For an overview of the 'phrasal verb' problem (the naming, not yet the detailed analysis of multi-word verbs!) see Claridge: Multi-word Verbs in Early Modern English. (There's also a lot of analysis of modern examples, which takes hundreds of pages). – Edwin Ashworth Sep 26 '20 at 18:37
  • @EdwinAshworth Thanks for the reference. I am not certain it totally answers my question other than confirms that opinions on this vary greatly. For example, I found that the Cambridge Dictionary (online) seems to provide a description that suggests phrasal verbs are a valid classification (though I admit I don't know how this relates to CGEL) and further distinctions them from prepositional verbs and phrasal prepositional verbs. But others include examples that seem to be verb+inf-verb combos (like go to sleep) which don't seem to fit this category. – tangosquared Sep 26 '20 at 23:23
  • @EdwinAshworth - I am sometimes amazed that we seem to learn how to speak English adequately (i.e. to make ourselves understood) without all these thorny questions. But as my interest is in parsing spoken language into understanding, they don't go away so easily. – tangosquared Sep 26 '20 at 23:26
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    @EdwinAshworth - Yes, I agree. It is wrong to think of language as a static, totally self-consistent structure Words and their usage enter and leave the language or are changed all the time. Grammar is more a way to try to apply structure to encourage better consistency of understanding but may be why natural language understanding is so elusive. – tangosquared Sep 29 '20 at 18:42