|Sentence Diagramming: Flashcard 19|
Prepositional phrases used as predicate adjectives must be distinguished from prepositional phrases that modify linking verbs. In the sentence "We are still at the beginning of robot evolution", the prepositional phrase at the beginning of robot evolution is adjectival. To be a predicate adjective, a prepositional phrase has to indicate a quality or characteristic (an attribute) of the subject and not a physical place where the subject happens to be. At the beginning of robot evolution meets this requirement. Also, a prepositional phrase that functions as a predicate adjective can usually be replaced by a simple adjective; for example, in the sentence "She is in a good mood," in a good mood can be replaced by happy. At the beginning can by replaced by neophytic. On the other hand, in the sentence "Matt is in his room," the prepositional phrase in his room is adverbial because it is purely positional; it does not indicate a quality or characteristic of Matt.
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The phrase "nothing to do" is easy to diagram. Just show that the infinitive to do modifies nothing. But how does one diagram "nothing to work with" (after all, one canít diagram an objectless preposition)? This noun phrase is an elliptical form of nothing with which to work; however, this phrase is also elliptical. It cannot be diagrammed because which is a relative pronoun and must appear in a relative clause. Instead it makes sense to expand nothing to work with to nothing with which one is able to work. Now we have a relative clause (with which one is able to work), with nothing as the antecedent of the relative pronoun which, and this of course can be diagrammed.
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Like: In the sentence "He slept like a log," one can construe like a log as an adverbial prepositional phrase modifying the verb slept. Susan Emolyn Harman would argue that this like can also been seen as an adverb because like is able to be compared (more like, most like); in this case, log would be an adverbial objective. Because it is unnecessarily complicated and moreover involves a questionable use of the word like, one should not consider like a log an elliptical subordinate clause (the full clause being like a log sleeps).
In the sentence "He looked like a person who had been run over by a truck," like a person is a prepositional phrase functioning as a predicate adjective. Harman would prefer to call like a predicate adjective, with person as an adverbial objective.
Near: In a sentence like "They are already near the door," near can be understood as a preposition or as a predicate adjective. In the former case, door would be the object of a preposition, in the latter case an adverbial objective. In "They slept near the edge of the canyon," near can be construed as an adverb or a preposition.
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Where can be a pronoun as it is in the following sentence, in which it is used as the object of a preposition.: "Where was the smoke coming from?"
As you make your way through these flashcards, you may wish to refer to a section of my website that deals with terminology, www.german-latin-english.com/diagrammingterms.htm.
|On the right is a diagram of the sentence "Where they are from, the crops are in bad shape because the farmers have no animals to plow with." The sentence contains three prepositional phrases. The first prepositional phrase, from where, belongs to a noun clause that functions as an adverbial objective: where they are from. Where, normally an adverb, is here a pronoun. The second prepositional phrase, in bad shape, functions as a predicate adjective. The third prepositional phrase modifies the unexpressed verb is; it consists of the preposition with and its object, the unexpressed relative pronoun which. The elliptical relative clause can be rendered as with which they are able to plow. The antecedent of the unexpressed relative pronoun is animals. Because is a subordinating conjunction; the clause that it introduces extends to the end of the sentence.||In diagrams, prepositional phrases used as predicate adjectives are placed on pedestals, as are noun clauses used as adverbial objectives. Unexpressed words are represented by x's. Flashcard 20: additional uses of infinitives and infinitive phrases.|