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How can we differentiate between an adverbial phrase and a prepositional phrase?

1. I saw the movie on Friday.

2. Holmes is on the bed.

In 1st sentence, it is clear that "on Friday" is qualifying "saw" and is an adverbial phrase. But in the second sentence, "on the bed" is also qualifying "Holmes". But usually such phrases are regarded as prepositional phrase. So, how could be differentiate between the two.

Is it possible for a clause to be both (adverbial phrase and prepositional phrase) at the same time?
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But in the two examples you clearly distinguish between them, don't you? So what's your problem?

Yes, you do it through the meanings of «Friday» and «bed», not through the bare structure...

I saw him on the bed
I saw him in bad mood.
A prepositional phrase is a phrase that begins with a preposition and continues with a noun phrase which is called the object of the preposition.

Anything adverbial means acting like an adverb.

There is nothing contradictory about these ideas. A prepositional phrase can act like an adverb, and so it may be an adverbial phrase.

on Friday acts like an adverb of time; on the bed acts like an adverb of place.
The preposition on is used figuratively in the first example, literally in the second.

CJ
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So, it means that both the phrases "on Friday" and "on the bed" are both prepositional and adverbial phrase.
yes
I think "on the bed" does not qualify Holmes but the verb "be", in the neaning of "being at a certain place and time. Hence it would be an adverbial phrase.
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The problem here is that Example 2 is special because of the type of process envolved (process of being), so it is explained by MAK Halliday (An Introduction to Functional Grammar, 1994, p.130) as being a case of a "circumstancial process". The circumstantial element "on the bed" is an attribute that is being ascribed to the entity "Holmes" through the use of the relational process "to be". According to the author we have a prepositional phrase which functions as Attribute. The circumstantial relation is thus determined by the preposition:

1. Holmes is on the bed.
2. Holmes is with his mother.
AnonymousThe problem here is that Example 2 is special because of the type of process envolved (process of being), so it is explained by MAK Halliday (An Introduction to Functional Grammar, 1994, p.130) as being a case of a "circumstancial process". The circumstantial element "on the bed" is an attribute that is being ascribed to the entity "Holmes" through the use of the relational process "to be". According to the author we have a prepositional phrase which functions as Attribute. The circumstantial relation is thus determined by the preposition:1. Holmes is on the bed.2. Holmes is with his mother.
You do realise that you're responding to a post that's some six years old?

In any case, functional grammar is far too controversial for this website; it's never been formally adopted as a coherent and viable grammar of English.

BillJ
It may be six years old but it's still of use to me now.
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