# Thread: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

1. ## What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

I am particularly interested in how the word 'plus' is a preposition. In the example, "Two plus three equals five", according to my dictionary, plus is a preposition. How? Seems more like a conjunction.

And isn't the entire phrase "two plus three" the subject of the sentence, since that is what is equal to five? It is both the two and three together.

Thanks for the help in advance. I appreciate the explaination.

2. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

Plus is a preposition in the sense that "plus three" is a phrase that modifies the subject of the sentence "two."

I agree that it seems like a conjunction and that "two plus three" could be considered a compound subject for the sentence.

I guess all models have their weak points and here I see one. The professional teachers may have some more insight.

3. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

Okay, so I guess I somewhat understand that Plus is a preposition.

But now a bigger question, what is the subject or 'thing' in the sentence that is equal to five in the sentence "two plus three is five"?

ISn't it still "two plus three"?

Obviously, two is not equal to five. Nor is three. But it is "Two plus three" that is the thing equal to five, so it must be the subject of the sentence right?

4. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

I am not a teacher.

I would say don't confuse logic or math with grammar.

If "plus" is a preposition, then "two equals five" is the sentence, stripped of its modifiers.

Think about it. If we said "two and three are five" we would have a compound subject. Note the "are" for the plural subject.

5. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

what? That makes no sense.

How can the sentence be two equals five?

At the end of the day, everyone knows two plus three, is what is equal to five. So isn't that a subject then?

And why can't we have a compound subject that acts as one? There are many times in writing we say two things as one.

6. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

I am telling you that in terms of grammar, "two" is the subject of "Two plus three equals five."

If "two plus three" was a conjunction, then it would be plural and we would say "Two plus three equal five."

But we don't.

"Two and three are five" -- "And" is a conjunction, "two and three" is the subject.

"Two plus three is five" --- "Plus" is a preposition, "two" is the subject.

Again, don't confuse grammar with logic. "The sky is yellow" is a perfectly grammatical sentence. So is "squirrels have feathers."

That doesn't make them true or logical.

7. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

Here is why I don't get it, see the two definitions of Plus:
definition of plus from Oxford Dictionaries Online

plus - Dictionary definition and pronunciation - Yahoo! Education

Both say the opposite, and the second definition even says it is a conjunction, with a singular verb(See usage). That is why I don't get it. Logic should follow the grammar.

IF I said, "the dog of mine is running away"-subject is the dog
IF I said "Two plus three is five"- subject is more than just two.

How come the varying definitions? Is it one of those words that isnot concrete in it postion?

8. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

I am not a teacher. I looked the word up and saw it was indeed considered a "preposition" in the way we are using it.

Maybe other dictionaries and grammarians categorize it differently. Remember, systems of describing parts of speech are models that attempt to describe language. They are not perfect.

It is clear that our choice of verbs indicates that the subject of the sentence is singular. So "two plus three" is not a plural subject. "Two and three" is plural.

So "plus" must not function in this example in the same way that "and" would.

I can't say it any other way without belaboring the point. Don't confuse grammar with mathematics. "Two equals five" is a perfectly grammatical sentence.

9. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar
Here is why I don't get it, see the two definitions of Plus:
definition of plus from Oxford Dictionaries Online

plus - Dictionary definition and pronunciation - Yahoo! Education

Both say the opposite, and the second definition even says it is a conjunction, with a singular verb(See usage). That is why I don't get it. Logic should follow the grammar.

IF I said, "the dog of mine is running away"-subject is the dog
IF I said "Two plus three is five"- subject is more than just two.

How come the varying definitions? Is it one of those words that isnot concrete in it postion?
(The value of) two and/plus two is five. -- The conjoins are 'two' and 'two'. Conjunction.

10. ## Re: What are prepositions? How is Plus a preposition?

Corum,
So plus can be both a preposition and a conjunction is what you are saying .

In this specific example, it is working as "AND" in the sentence to join 'two plus three" and that is why it is the subject.

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