# Thread: Divided By..is this a preposition

1. ## Divided By..is this a preposition

I know prepositions can be made all the time, and most list are not 100% by any means.

Is "divided By" a preposition just like " in addition to" or "according to" are?

Obviously this would be used more in math, but I could only find this site confirming it.
English Prepositions | learn English prepositions

2. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

I guess there is a second question, how can you tell when such expressions are prepositions, solely by how they are used and their meaning within the body of the sentences?

Just curious, since no list exists to show one.

3. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar
I guess there is a second question, how can you tell when such expressions are prepositions, solely by how they are used and their meaning within the body of the sentences?

Just curious, since no list exists to show one.
I wouldn't call those prepositions. "divided by" is a participial adjective followed by a preposition. It's a prepositional phrase.

4. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by Raymott
I wouldn't call those prepositions. "divided by" is a participial adjective followed by a preposition. It's a prepositional phrase.
Sorry, but I must disagree with this analysis: a prepositional phrase is one introduced by, not ending with, a preposition (e.g. in the house, by the side, etc.)

In the underlined portion of e.g.

Twelve divided by three is four.

the subject, numerical noun 'twelve' (= 'the number twelve'), is postmodified by the participial phrase 'divided by three', whose head is the participle 'divided', postmodified in turn by the prepositional phrase 'by three'.

5. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by philo2009
Sorry, but I must disagree with this analysis: a prepositional phrase is one introduced by, not ending with, a preposition (e.g. in the house, by the side, etc.)

In the underlined portion of e.g.

Twelve divided by three is four.

the subject, numerical noun 'twelve' (= 'the number twelve'), is postmodified by the participial phrase 'divided by three', whose head is the participle 'divided', postmodified in turn by the prepositional phrase 'by three'.
Prepositions can be more than one word, and they can be created all the time. The word "OVER" can be a preposition. Therefore shouldn't "divided by" since they mean the same thing?

Ex: 12 over 4...... 12 divided by 4.

From what I have learned, 12 is the head noun, divided by is the preposition, divided by 4 is the prepositional phrase modifying 12. So everything told to me now is confusing since that orginal website says "divided by" is a preposition.

6. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar
Prepositions can be more than one word, and they can be created all the time. The word "OVER" can be a preposition. Therefore shouldn't "divided by" since they mean the same thing?

Ex: 12 over 4...... 12 divided by 4.

From what I have learned, 12 is the head noun, divided by is the preposition, divided by 4 is the prepositional phrase modifying 12. So everything told to me now is confusing since that orginal website says "divided by" is a preposition.
Can someone clarify this? can someone tell me then why these sites like posted above are calling "divided by" a preposiition if others believe it isnt? Thanks

7. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar
Can someone clarify this? can someone tell me then why these sites like posted above are calling "divided by" a preposiition if others believe it isnt? Thanks
I would not trust anything said about grammar on a website where 'divided by' is labelled a preposition. Yes, 'over' is indeed a preposition, but 'divided by' is not. Two different grammatical constructions, in this context, simply happen to result in a similar overall meaning.

8. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by philo2009
Sorry, but I must disagree with this analysis: a prepositional phrase is one introduced by, not ending with, a preposition (e.g. in the house, by the side, etc.)
Yes, of course you are right. My main point was that "divided by" is not a preposition. I should have stopped there.

9. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by Raymott
Yes, of course you are right. My main point was that "divided by" is not a preposition. I should have stopped there.
Okay, but isn't true that new contructions for compound prepositions are made everyday...so this begs the question...if it means the same as "Over", acts the same as a preposition, then why is it not one?

Kinda like if an adjective gets used as a noun, then in the case of that word, it is defined as a noun. Many words can be both. I don't understand why "included by" is a preposition, listed all the time, and "divided by" is not, what is the difference?

THis is confusing, what is the rule? How can you tell one construction for acting as a preposition versus one that is if they mean the same, i guess that is what i am asking?

10. ## Re: Divided By..is this a preposition

Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar
Okay, but isn't true that new contructions for compound prepositions are made everyday...so this begs the question...if it means the same as "Over", acts the same as a preposition, then why is it not one?

Kinda like if an adjective gets used as a noun, then in the case of that word, it is defined as a noun. Many words can be both. I don't understand why "included by" is a preposition, listed all the time, and "divided by" is not, what is the difference?

THis is confusing, what is the rule? How can you tell one construction for acting as a preposition versus one that is if they mean the same, i guess that is what i am asking?
The meaning of a string of words is a matter of semantics. Denoting something as a preposition is a question of syntax.
There is no rule that prevents two syntactically different phrases from having the same semantic value.
A beautiful woman = A woman of beauty. "beautiful" is an adjective; "of beauty" is a prepositional phrase, with a preposition and a noun.

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