Creating an account only takes 20 seconds, and doesn’t require any personal info.

If you’ve got one already, please log in.🤝

Prepositional complement

From Teflpedia

A prepositional complement is a complement of a preposition; these are used within prepositional phrases.

Meaning[edit | edit source]

In English, prepositional complements contribute meaning in combination with the preposition, and the meaning of the complement can indicate the semantic function of the preposition. Compare the different meanings of It was built by the builder (by as a preposition of agency) v. It was built by the river (by as a preposition of place).

Form[edit | edit source]

In English, various complements can be licensed by prepositions, including:

Complement Example Notes
Nothing (linguistic zero) I’m going out. In traditional grammar, prepositions used like this are (mis)analysed as adverbs.
A objective noun phrase I’m going to the park.
A predicative complement er…
An adverb phrase I hadn’t met her until recently.
A pronoun She’s not as tall as me. Pronouns should be in the objective case.
A subordinate clause I love pizza because it’s tasty. In traditional grammar prepositions used like this are (mis)analysed as subordinating conjunctions.
A second prepositional phrase She ran out of the room, A prepositional phrase licensed like this cannot license a third.

Further reading[edit | edit source]