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    #1

    function of "by far"e

    Dear teachers,

    How should I analyse "They are by far the best"? The pattern of the sentence is SVC or SV(A)C? Should it have 3 elements or 4? i.e.

    They + are + by far the best OR They + are + by far + the best?

    by far the best:

    Parts of speech:


    by= preposition
    far = adverb
    the = article / determiner
    best = superlative adjective

    Form 1: "by far the best" = prepositional phrase or adjective phrase?

    Function 1: "by far the best" = complement ?
    (Can a prepositional phrase function as a complement, i.e., a predicate adjective?)

    or

    Form + Function 2: by far = prepositional phrase = optional adverbial / the best = adjective phrase = complement ?


    Thank you for your help.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: function of "by far"e

    Sometimes the best way to analyze a sentence is to rearrange it.

    Your base sentence is "They are the best". That is subject - verb -article - predicate adjective. Now what do we do with "by far"? It is an adverbial prepositional phrase that modifies the adjective "best".

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    #3

    Re: function of "by far"

    Hello MikeNewYork,

    Yes, I do think that the adverb phrase "by far" modifies "the best". So should I consider it as part of the predicate adjective and divide the sentence into 3 elements?

    Wish you a merry Christmas

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: function of "by far"

    You can consider it attached to the predicate adjective. Merry Christmas to you!

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    #5

    Re: function of "by far"

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Wish you a wonderful evening.

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