I was recently asked to comment on this sentence by a student: I was elected by the class. What part of speech is 'by the class'?
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) I think that many teachers would like you to identify "by the
class" as a prepositional phrase ( a preposition + a noun).
(2) As Senior Member Freezeframe told you, it is being used as
an adverbial. That is, it modifies (belongs to) the verb "was
(3) As you know, that is a passive sentence. It probably comes
from the active sentence: The class elected me.
(4) The people elected her president. She was elected president
by the people.
Again, thank you.
We use parts of speech in morphology (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc), in syntax, we use sentence elements (subject, object, complements, etc.).
"by the class" is a noun phrase and it is also an agent