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  1. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #1

    How come "below" is an adverb?

    I was referring to the dictionary for the meaning of 'below'.

    Below can be used in the following ways:
    as a preposition (followed by a noun): The lake is almost 900 feet below sea level.
    as an adverb (without a following noun): I heard someone calling from the street below.

    "below" is an adverb in the sentence '
    I heard someone calling from the street below.'. How come it is an adverb? here, 'the street' looks like a noun for me.

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    #2

    Re: How come it is an adverb?

    Is your concern that nouns can't be modified by adverbs?

    One grammar text book gives "below" as a preposition, not an adverb, in all its uses, transitive or intransitive.

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    #3

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    Please note that I have improved your thread title.

  2. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    Adverb modifies verb, adverb or an adjective.

    Adjectives modifies a noun.

    This is how I learned it.

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    #5

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    Generally (with just a few highly restricted exceptions), that is true. But adverbs can certainly modify noun phrases (as opposed to nouns), for example: "He ate almost the whole pie", where the adverb "almost" is modifying the noun phrase "the whole pie".

    And in your example, the locative adverb "below" is modifying the noun phrase "the street".

    Personally, I prefer to analyse "below" as a preposition in both its transitive use ("It's below the title") and intransitive use ("I'm going below").

  3. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    Below can be used in the following ways:
    as a preposition (followed by a noun): The lake is almost 900 feet below sea level.
    as an adverb (without a following noun): I heard someone calling from the street below.

    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d.../british/below

    macmillian dictionary speaks differently from your grammar book. Which one might be right?


  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    That's a more traditional approach. Some recent grammarians, such as Huddleston and Pullum in their Cambridge Grammar of the English Language have included such 'adverbs' in their preposition class.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 03-Aug-2016 at 11:46.

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    #8

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    As I said, you can consider "below" to be an adverb in your second example. The preposition analysis is somewhat controversial; if you are a student of English, you should probably stick with the adverb analysis.

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    #9

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?




    NOT A TEACHER


    I do believe that some books would explain that "I heard someone calling from the street below" is an ellipsis (missing words) of a "complete" sentence like:

    "I heard someone calling from the street that was below."

    NOTE:

    "Was" is NOT a linking verb there. It means something like "... from the street that existed below." (Thus, "below" is an adverb that modifies the "understood" verb "was.")

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: How come "below" is an adverb?

    Once you start on ellipsis, all sorts of things can be claimed. Why not say "I heard someone call from the street that was below the place where I was"? In that form, 'below is clearly a preposition.

    It's better to stick with the words we have, in my opinion. 'Below' is an adverb in the grammar I learnt at school, and a preposition in some more recent grammars. Learners who are obliged to label parts of speech would do well to follow the systems of their teachers and examiners.

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