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  1. YAMATO2201's Avatar
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    #1

    He knows a lot about the town.

    I'd like to know the grammatical structure of the following sentence:

    He knows a lot about the town.

    I have come up with the following three possibilities (a), (b), and (c):

    (a)
    "knows" is an intransitive verb.
    "a lot" is the adverbial phrase modifying "knows".
    "about the town" is the adverbial phrase modifying "knows a lot".

    (b)
    "knows" is a transitive verb.
    "a lot" is a pronoun and is the direct object of the verb "knows".
    "about the town" is the adverbial phrase modifying "knows a lot".

    (c)
    "knows" is a transitive verb.
    "a lot" is a pronoun.
    "about the town" is the adjective phrase modifying "a lot".
    "a lot about the town" is the direct object of the verb "knows".

    Which is correct?

    My answer is (c).

    Please note:
    (1) "A lot" as it is used as a pronoun can be found in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
    (2) By an adjective phrase, I mean "a phrase functioning as an adjective". I use the term adverbial phrase in the same manner.

    I welcome any comments, opinions, and suggestions from non-native English speakers as well as from native English speakers.
    Last edited by YAMATO2201; 02-May-2017 at 08:30.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He knows a lot about the town.

    I like "a."

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: He knows a lot about the town.

    Yamato2201, you will notice that I have deleted your last two posts. If you read my comment on each one, you will see that they were deleted because they were unnecessary. At the bottom of every post, there is a "Thank" button. If you wish to show your appreciation for a post, click on that button. There is no need to write a post to say "Thank you".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. YAMATO2201's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He knows a lot about the town.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    I like "a."
    Thank you so much.

    Your answer implies that "knows" is an intransitive verb, but another native English speaker decides that "knows" is a transitive verb.

    There seems to be more than one way to parse the sentence in question.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He knows a lot about the town.

    Quote Originally Posted by YAMATO2201 View Post
    "a lot" is a pronoun and is the object of the verb "knows".
    "about the town" is the adverbial phrase modifying "knows a lot".
    This non-native thinks that 'about the town' is an adjectival phrase modifying 'a lot' if the latter is considered a pronoun.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He knows a lot about the town.

    Quote Originally Posted by YAMATO2201 View Post
    There seems to be more than one way to parse the sentence in question.
    Yes, there is. I gave my opinion above. By the way, "know" can be used transitively or intransitively.

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