I was asked this question in chat, and honestly, I don't know the answer.

I came up with the example "For you to meet the king is a great honor" - but is "For you to meet the king" a true prepositional phrase? Just because it starts with a preposition , does that make it a prepositional phrase?

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Hi GG,

Yes, I think you can get into debate on what such a phrase is, and whether a preposition is being used as a preposition.

How about these? About five people came to the meeting. On Thursday sounds like a good time for a meeting. In the morning sounds like a good time for a meeting.

for you to meet the king is a for ... to ... clause. for is considered a complementizer in that context (according to some analytical methods), not a preposition.

But you can make a prepositional phrase a 'sort of' subject by pulling it to the beginning. The resulting sentences are 'pretty lame', however, and not all grammarians will likely agree that these phrases are true subjects, since the sentences can be analyzed as something like cleft transformations of an underlying sentence with a different 'true' subject.

In the office is where you'll find him. [You'll find him in the office.]
Before the war was when they met. [They met before the war.]
With great care was how they proceeded. [They proceeded with great care.]

Or you can cheat Emotion: smile

To the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf.
'Around the corner' is a prepositional phrase.


Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
CalifJimfor you to meet the king is a for ... to ... clause. for is considered a complementizer in that context (according to some analytical methods), not a preposition.

Here it is, not even 7:00 a.m., and I'm already learning something new! Thanks, CJ.
Thank you all very much. I was really stumbling on this.


PS - Like Philip, I love how much I learn here myself. I wish when I'd chosen my name at the very beginning, I'd chosen more wisely: Grammar Wanna-Be-Geek
OK. Hang on to your hats. According to Radford (Transformational Grammar) there are four complementizers in English: two noninterrogative, two interrogative.

noninterrogative finite complementizer: that (I expect that he will agree.)
noninterrogative nonfinite complementizer: for (I'm anxious for you to agree.)
interrogative finite complementizer(s): if (I don't know if I should agree.) (whether can substitute for if in this class.)
interrogative nonfinite complementizer: whether (I don't know whether to agree.) (if cannot substitute for whether in this class.)

And try not to get up so early, Philip! Emotion: smile

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("About five people" – not adverbial?)
about five people: about - adverb of degree.

And yet, as a preposition:

About five people is whom we talked. Emotion: stick out tongue

The subject of the sentence is actually an infinitive phrase "to meet." "For you" is a prepositional phrase, and, therefore, not the subject of the sentence. I was always taught that the true subject or verb in a sentence is never found within a prepositional phrase. Usually we do a study of verbals and verbal phrases that includes gerunds, participles and participial phrases, and infinitives. The infinitive "To meet" is comparable to the gerund "Meeting ...the king.."
Hope that helps.
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