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    #1

    Adjectives as prepositional objects

    Hi,


    'Eggs are graded from small to extra large.'


    Can an adjective be the prepositional object as in the above sentence, i.e., 'small' after 'from' and 'extra large' after to?

    Thanks

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

    The "from...to..." construction is not about prepositional objects. These two words are paired like "neither...nor..." or "either..or...". Usually adjectives do not function as prepositional objects. If I were forced to name this construction, I would call it a two-word split conjunction.

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    #3

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

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


    Hello, Vpkannan:

    I have found some information that may interest you.

    1. "This book is suitable for young and old."

    a. One book says that adjectives follow the preposition because it is an elliptical sentence.

    i. That is, sometimes native speakers do not say all the words.

    b. The book says that the complete sentence is "This book is suitable for young and old people."

    i. As you can see, the noun "people" is the object of the preposition.

    CREDIT: Walter Kay Smart, English Review Grammar (1940), 223.

    2. I did some googling. I found a few sentences such as this one:

    "Great summer dress. Fits from size small to size large."

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    #4

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

    Hi TheParser

    On the whole, it looks as if we can use adjectives also after prepositions when it makes sense, calling such sentences as elliptical sentences having the construct of 'preposition + (being) adjective' where 'being + adjective' makes the adjective a gerund / a noun phrase.

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    #5

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

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

    I do not know whether there is an understood "being" or not.

    I was just wondering whether we could say that the complete sentence is something like "The eggs are graded from size small to size extra large."

    As you can see, the noun after each preposition is "size."

    The adjectives ("small" and "extra large") modify "size."

    What do you think?

    (Maybe "size small" is a faster way to say "a size that is small"?)

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    #6

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

    TheParser, I would like to differ from you in the usage of 'size small' because adjectives generally precede nouns and are only used after nouns in special cases like indefinite pronouns, for example, as in 'anything bad' or certain expressions such as president elect, time immemorial, etc.

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    #7

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

    There are times, however, when an adjective follows a noun.

    You are trying to impose a rule that does not exist.

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    #8

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

    There are rules and there are always exceptions. For example, when talking about clothing sizes:

    - What size shirt do you wear?
    - I wear size XXL.

    We would never say "I wear XXL size".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Adjectives as prepositional objects

    Quote Originally Posted by vpkannan View Post
    when it makes sense
    Sense often over-rides grammar rules- we use things that makes sense first and foremost because language is about communicating meaning. Grammar is just a part of this, though the one that holds the centre together, but one we happily ignore when meaning requires it. Grammar rules are signposts rather than laws.

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