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Thread: Prepostion help

  1. #1
    stressin Guest

    Default Prepostion help

    Is this preposition an adj modifier or adv modifier?

    According to the afternoon paper, the police looked into the sources of the reporter's information.

    does that refer to the predicate verb "looked" ?

    Also, is "looked into" an idiom?
    If I understand correctly, to test an idiom, you should do a mobility test, so... into police looked? But I don't understand how that works... because "Up we jumped" and "Up we made" both don't seem to make sense to me... although we made up would be considered an idiom... is there any alternative methods on identifying idioms?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It's modifying everything, which makes it a kind of sentence adverbial.

    If the words together have a meaning that is not the same as their spearate dictionary definitions, then it's an idiom. Here, it is an idiom as police investigations would involve listening,speaking, etc.

  3. #3
    stressin Guest

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    Thank you tdol! that makes sense!

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    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    You're welcome.

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    Default Re: Prepostion help

    Quote Originally Posted by stressin
    Is this preposition an adj modifier or adv modifier?

    According to the afternoon paper, the police looked into the sources of the reporter's information.

    does that refer to the predicate verb "looked" ?

    Also, is "looked into" an idiom?
    If I understand correctly, to test an idiom, you should do a mobility test, so... into police looked? But I don't understand how that works... because "Up we jumped" and "Up we made" both don't seem to make sense to me... although we made up would be considered an idiom... is there any alternative methods on identifying idioms?

    Thanks in advance!
    I agree with TDOL. The prepositional phrase is definitiely an adverb. Whether it modifies the verb or the sentence is difficult to say.

    In my opinion, the test for a phrasal verb is to look at whether it has a literal meaning.

    She looked into the hole in the ground. (literal - she gazed into the hole)
    She looked into the matter. (phrasal verb/idiom - she investigated the matter) :wink:

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