Preposition Phrase


A preposition phrase is made up of a Preposition Subject (the object the preposition connects to), the preposition, and the Preposition Object. Dictionary definitions are usually compressed, making them difficult to extract meaning.

The Preposition Subject may be:

                An action (a verb which changes a state (he put the money on the table)

A noun phrase

A clumped object (he put (the money on the table) into his bank account)

                A Verb Phrase

                A predicative adjective

                A clause

                A number (3 into 5)

                A participial

The Preposition Object may be:

                A noun phrase

A clumped object (he put (the money on (the table in his office))

                A Participial

                A clause

                A predicative adjective

                An adverb

A simple example:     

The Preposition Subject may not appear in the definition (a placeholder is inserted if so).

The Preposition Subject may be straightforward

(of eyes) bulge so as to appear to burst out of their sockets

Or it may be probabilistic

(especially of wrongdoing) blatant

The “especially” is taken to mean that in this case it applies to “wrongdoing” and its near synonyms – mischief, crime, misadventure.

If no definition seems appropriate, based on the Preposition Subject, the seemingly most likely definition of the most likely target will be chosen, clumping any prepositional phrases that get in the way.


With ORed prepositions

Some definitions have prepositions ORed with participial or adjectival phrases.

     of or characterized by victory   
    (of troops or equipment) of, belonging to, or in alliance with one's own forces


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