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  1. Newbie
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    Unhappy Regarding pharsal/prepositional verbs objects

    I have this one doubt that's been bothering me for a while since I started analysing sentences: Is the prepositional object of the preposition of a phrasal verb the object of the same phrasal verb? Take, for instance, "to put off the meeting" where "put off" is the phrasal verb and "the meeting" is the object of the preposition "off" of the phrasal verb. When it comes to underline clause constituents like subject, direct object, adjunct, disjunct, etc. what do I underline as the verb? Is the prepositional phrase included within the pharsal verb? Or should I underline the prepositional object as a direct object since there is no prepositional object as a clause constituent? I mean, since the prepositional object complements the phrasal verb I think it's correct if I mark it all as phrasal verb.

    What about the phrasal verb "drag into" as in "Do not drag me into this discussion!" where "me" is the direct object of the pharsal verb and "this discussion is object to the preposition "into"? Does this pharsal verb have two direct objects? Or is "me" and indirect object?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding pharsal/prepositional verbs objects

    Not every verb followed by a preposition is a prepositional/phrasal verb. In many cases the verb is intransitive and is followed by a prepositional phrase. In those cases, the following noun would be the object of the preposition. When there is a real prepositional/phrasal verb, verb plus preposition is considered a unit, because of the idiomatic meaning. If this unit takes a noun, it is a transitive phrasal verb, and the noun is the direct object of the phrasal verb.

    See more here:

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding pharsal/prepositional verbs objects

    The answer to your question depends on why you need to know. If you are having to parse sentences for examinations in your country, then you will need to follow the 'approved' system.

    In 'I prefer to put off the meeting', I consider 'the meeting' to be the direct object of the phrasal verb 'put off'. However, in some systems of analysis, 'the meeting' is the direct object of the verb 'put', and 'off' is an adverb.

    I don't think there is any real justification for thinking of 'drag into' in your second sentence a phrasal verb.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 09-Mar-2014 at 23:57. Reason: Minor typo

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