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Prepositional phrase

A prepositional phrase is, in languages with prepositions, a phrase whose head is a preposition. For example:

In languages with postpositions, the morpheme that corresponds to an English preposition occurs after its complement. (They could therefore be referred to as "postpositional phrases".) For example, Basque, Estonian, Finnish Japanese, Tamil etc would have literal translations of the above examples akin to:

Note that we treat "The X" as a single component in these examples.

Prepositional phrases generally act as complements and adjuncts of noun phrases and verb phrases. For example:

A prepositional phrase should not be confused with the object of a phrasal verb, as in turn on the light. Though they appear superficially similar, they are syntactically distinct constructions.

See also noun phrase, verb phrase, linguistics, transformational-generative grammar; structural linguistics, syntax, semantics.

1. Prepositional "to" as used here is semantically and syntactically different from "to" used as a verbal auxiliary in English infinitival constructions (see also infinitive).