Tag Archives: prepositional complements

English 362 Ch. 7: Prepositional Phrases – Phrasal Verbs

Hey pwips! Now that Olivia has gone over regular prepositional phrases, let’s talk about those pesky phrasal verbs.

Criteria for a Phrasal Verb

As we discussed in class, the best way to test if a verb is phrasal is to move it around the noun phrase.

We blew up the tree ——-> We blew the tree up

If the preposition can be moved around the noun phrase, it is phrasal. If the preposition cannot be moved, then it is an ordinary prepositional phrase with a Prep and an NP/PrepComp.

Why is it important to know if a preposition is phrasal or not?

A phrasal preposition is diagrammed differently from a regular prepositional phrase. A phrasal preposition does not have a PrepComp. This means that any NP after a phrasal preposition is not a part of the PrepPhr, and will most likely be a DO.

A PrepPhr with a phrasal preposition will only be composed of that preposition. The nodes will go as follows:

PredPhr-> PrepPhr -> Prep

The function of a phrasal preposition will often be AdvComp.