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Please may I ask if the word 'places' is considered an 'adverb of place'? Here is a sentence example:

The dog takes his bone places.

I have a student who has asked this question. As far as I know, the noun 'place' is not considered part of the 'adverbs of place' list. I have searched far and wide to make sure I am correct, but cannot find a definitive answer.

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    It can hardly be both a noun and an adverb, now can it? They are different word classes (parts of speech). It's a noun and its function is adjunct of place; in this case an informal way of saying "The dog takes his bone to places.
    – BillJ
    Apr 29, 2021 at 12:31
  • I'd normally expect places here to be introduced by a preposition (to), but that feels like just a stylistic choice. Don't ask me why we have to include some such preposition before work used in the same context, but we can't include a preposition if the dog takes his bone home. They all (places, to work, home) look like "adverbial" elements to me. Apr 29, 2021 at 12:31
  • @BillJ Thank you for your comment. Regarding 'place' not being able to be both a noun and an adverb, do you mean to say, in this sentence example specifically, that 'places' cannot be both a noun and an adverb? I know there are some words that are both nouns and adverbs - for example the word 'tomorrow' can be an 'adverb of time'. I am just wondering if 'place' is ever considered an adverb? Thank you!
    – lizzy_r
    Apr 29, 2021 at 13:19
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    It's important to distinguish word class (part of speech) and function. POS are noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition etc, while functions are subject, object, complement modifier etc. In your example "places" is a noun functioning as a modifier (in this case a locative adjunct). When you talk of 'adverb', I suspect you are talking of 'adjunct', which is often called 'adverbial'. Compare "We had breakfast in bed", where "in bed" is a preposition phrase (category) and "in bed" is an adjunct (or adverbial) functioning as a modifier. Does that clear things up?
    – BillJ
    Apr 29, 2021 at 13:32
  • Is this sentence found in the text of a well-known author or is it in a student's writing?
    – LPH
    Apr 29, 2021 at 13:55

1 Answer 1

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It depends of context and its, hm, placement in sentence)

You see, there is a word 'place', which can be noun in single form ('a place, the place'), noun in plural form ('places') and also it can be a verb. Verb, in its turn, can be used with nouns of first or second ('We place the new rug on the porch') and third person ('He places keys in his backpack') So to determine you just need to check - is a word 'place' a verb or a noun.

Let's take your example - "The dog takes his bone places'. Let analyze word by word:

  • the dog - okay, it's our main subject, it is a noun word;
  • takes - aha, its our subject's action, third person form, simple tense - so, it's 'take', done by third person - the dog;
  • his bone places - well, looks like it's a subject of noun action, it can't be the verb - so it's a noun.

Looks like in current sentence context 'bone places' - it's a couple or multiple holes, done by dog for hiding its bones.

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    Or it could be a simple elision of to as part of a prepositional phrase: The dog takes his bone (to) places.
    – Davo
    Apr 29, 2021 at 12:24

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