Linking Verb followed with a Preposition Phrase

Discussion in 'English Only' started by totor53, May 8, 2012.

  1. totor53 New Member

    American English, Filipino English
    Good day everyone! This is actually my first time posting a thread in your website and i'm very thankful that i saw your site. Anyways i'm just having second thoughts with the kind of sentence pattern for this sentence:
    "He is in the classroom"

    Yeah, i know that the sentence looks easy but it is really not. I know that the words "in the classroom" in the sentence is a prepositional phrase and at the same time a compliment which is an adverb. And since in doing the sentence pattern there is always a rule that we will not include those prepositional phrases then if we are to choose the type of sentence pattern for this sentence it will be "S-V" but:
    - "is" is considered a linking verb so if "is" is a linking verb then the sentence pattern should be S-LV-C but the compliment there is a prepositional phrase which according to the rules should not be included...

    How will you explain this one? Please enlighten me...
  2. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Welcome to the forum, totor53.
    I don't understand your statement "there is a prepositional phrase which according to the rules should not be included..." Do you mean "should not be included in the analysis"? The sentence is indeed simple and its form quite common.
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    First, it's not an adverb, it's a preposition phrase. Many sorts of things are sometimes loosely called 'adverbials' - I think this is a bad name, because it is imprecise (it doesn't tell you what they actually are - adverbs or adverb phrases or prepositions or preposition phrases), and it is easy to confuse 'adverbial' with 'adverb'. Adverbs are single words, such as carefully, slowly, and soon.

    Second, a complement is always included. It is opposed to an adjunct, which is not needed. You can leave out a phrase if it is an adjunct, but the same phrase cannot be left out if it is a complement. After 'is', preposition phrases are complements:

    He is in the classroom. [complement - required]
    He is learning English in the classroom. [adjunct - optional]

    Normally, you can't say 'he is' as a sentence. (It can be said in answer to another one which contains the missing complement). 'Is' requires a complement, which might be a preposition phrase or an adjective phrase or a noun phrase:

    He is in the classroom. [PP complement]
    He is very clever. [AP complement]
    He is a teacher. [NP complement]

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