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    #1

    Prepositional phrase or Adverb phrase?

    I'm tad confused the use of prepositional phrase and adverb phrase.

    For example: In the year Mary Anna, although she was suffering from cancer, wrote a book of poetry.

    What should the type of phrase 'In the year' be? It looks like a prepositional phrase since there is 'in' in that phrase, but it functions like an adverb as it modifies the actions of writing the book.

    Any idea? My idea could be wrong, sorry if it confused you:).
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 23-Nov-2015 at 15:01. Reason: Removed italics from all but the quote.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Prepositional phrase or Adverb phrase?

    A prepositional phrase is a structure. Its function can be adverbial.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Prepositional phrase or Adverb phrase?

    Many grammarians today call a phrase headed by a preposition a preposition (no -al) phrase. As Mike noted, its function can be adverbial. An adverb phrase is one headed by an adverb, e.g., very intelligently.

    Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted system of labelling for phrases.

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    #4

    Re: Prepositional phrase or Adverb phrase?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Ms. Meredith:

    I was just wondering: Did you copy that sentence correctly?

    If we remove "although she was suffering from cancer," we get:

    "In the year Mary Anna wrote a book of poetry." That does not seem to be a correct sentence.

    Do you mean something like "In that year, Mary Anna wrote a book of poetry" or maybe "In the year 2013, Mary Ann wrote a book of poetry"?

    In any case, I believe that, for example, "In that year" would be labeled by many secondary school teachers as a prepositional phrase. As you said, many teachers would probably say that it is being used in an adverbial sense to modify the verb "wrote."

    (On the other hand, I believe that some grammarians would even say that "in that year" is being used in an adverbial sense to modify the whole sentence. They point out that "in that year" is mobile. That is to say, it can change position: "Mary Anna, in that year, wrote a book of poetry": "Mary Anna wrote a book of poetry in that year.")

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Prepositional phrase or Adverb phrase?

    The sentence would be better with a comma after "year". If that were there, the sentence would have virtually the same meaning as your sentence with "in that year".

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    #6

    Re: Prepositional phrase or Adverb phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by paige meredith View Post
    I'm a tad confused about the use of prepositional phrases and adverb phrases.
    See above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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