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Grammar Paper

1383 words - 6 pages

“The Claremont Hotel gym on 3rd street is reserved for NFL players playing in the Super Bowl.” When it comes to difficult and complex sentences similar to the preceding one, it is often difficult for me to distinguish whether a prepositional phrase is acting as an adverb or an adjective. In the introductory sentence, it is challenging for me to tell whether the prepositional phrase “in the Super Bowl” acts as an adverb of place for the verb “playing” or as an adjective for the noun phrase “NFL players”. Furthermore, complex sentences can make identify the function of the prepositional phrase even more challenging by adding multiple noun phrases and verb phrases in the subject and predicate ...view middle of the document...

Determining whether a prepositional phrase is embedded in a noun phrase or a verb phrase can be a daunting task. One clear way to determine if a prepositional phrase is embedded in a noun phrase is to check if the prepositional phrase is reduced from a relative clause. If a prepositional phrase is in a noun phrase, you will always delete the subject noun phrase (who, which, and that) and the verb “be” in the relative clause.
Example #1) Reducing a relative clause with the relative pronoun “who”
The boy who was from Indiana befriended my sister.
In this sentence, we can delete the relative pronoun who and the past tense be verb was. The sentence now reads:
The boy from Indiana befriended my sister. The prepositional phrase “from Indiana” is derived from the relative clause, and thus, embedded in a noun phrase “the boy from Indiana.” When a prepositional phrase is embedded in a noun phrase, it acts as an adjective because it is modifying the head of the noun phrase. In this case, the head of the noun phrase is “the boy.”
We can do the same thing with relative clauses containing the relative pronouns which and that:

Example #2) Reducing a relative clause with the relative pronoun “which”
The San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park which is in San Francisco.
We can reduce the relative clause to a prepositional phrase embedded in a noun phrase by deleting the relative pronoun which and the present tense form of the be verb is.
The San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The prepositional phrase “in San Francisco” is embedded in the noun phrase “AT&T Park in San Francisco.” The prepositional phrase, “in San Francisco”, acts as an adjective, describing the head of the noun phrase, “AT&T Park.”
Example #3) Reducing relative clauses with the relative pronoun that
Now we will use a relative clauses consisting of the relative pronoun that.
Pablo Sandoval caught the ball that was in the air for the third out.
Once again, we will delete the relative pronoun and the verb BE to reduce the relative clause to a prepositional phrase embedded in a noun phrase.
Pablo Sandoval caught the ball in the air for the third out.
The prepositional phrase “in the air” is embedded in the noun phrase “the ball in the air.” The prepositional phrase, “in the air”, acts as an adjective, modifying the head of the noun phrase, “the ball.”
There is a fourth type of prepositional phrase which can be reduced from a relative clause to a prepositional phrase embedded in a noun phrase. These prepositional phrases are derived from the relative clause “which is with” to form the prepositional head “with”. Similar to the three previous examples, we delete the relative pronoun and the BE verb from the relative pronoun to form the prepositional phrase.
Example #4: Prepositional Phrase with the preposition “with”
The TV Set which is with a 64 inch screen and four audio speakers is selling for $5,000.
We can reduce the relative clause to a prepositional...

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