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    #1

    To the south are foothill plains and foothills of the XX mountains.

    Hi all,

    I find this structure:

    To the south are foothill plains and foothills of the XX mountains.

    I wonder why prepositional phrase acts like a subject and whether this structure is correct in all cases.
    Thank you in advance.


  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: To the south are foothill plains and foothills of the XX mountains.

    "Foothill plains" do not exist. They are logically impossible. Plains are flat by definition and foothills are a kind of hill.

    You might have said, for example, "to the south lie the foothills of the XX mountains and the river delta". This grammatical structure is correct. Phrases that include a preposition may be noun phrases and in that case they may serve as subjects or objects of sentences.

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    #3

    Re: To the south are foothill plains and foothills of the XX mountains.

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    "Foothill plains" do not exist. They are logically impossible. Plains are flat by definition and foothills are a kind of hill.

    You might have said, for example, "to the south lie the foothills of the XX mountains and the river delta". This grammatical structure is correct. Phrases that include a preposition may be noun phrases and in that case they may serve as subjects or objects of sentences.
    Thank you.

    So can I use, for example:
    Inside the cave are stalagmites that look like a curtain ?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: To the south are foothill plains and foothills of the XX mountains.

    Quote Originally Posted by xReindeer View Post
    Thank you.

    So can I use, for example:
    "Inside the cave are stalagmites that look like a curtain"?
    Yes, you can. Note that I have added quotation marks to your example sentence. It's helpful to do that because it makes it easier to mark out the sentence you are querying and means that when you put that final question mark (which belongs to "Can I use") it doesn't look as if you're trying to make your sentence about the stalagmites into a question.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: To the south are foothill plains and foothills of the XX mountains.

    "To the south" is not the subject. It is a modifying prepositional phrase. The actual subject is "foothill plains and foothils".

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