I just wanted to know if the underlined is an adjective phrase.

"Working for him doesn't interest me."

Can you please give me examples of an adjective phrase modifying a gerund?


specterEmotion: big smile
No, for him is a prepositional phrase. A gerund is a verb form. Although it is used as a noun, the phrases that are used with it are those that are appropriate for verbs. So a gerund is much more likely to be modified by adverbs.

Working faster than necessary doesn't interest me. [adverb of manner]
Working next Monday doesn't interest me. [adverb of time]
Working there doesn't interest me. [adverb of place]

Adjectives would be limited almost exclusively to possessive adjectives.

My working here has no effect on the productivity of the others.

Hi CJ,

Yes I know that 'working for him' is a gerund phrase. What I wanted to know is the prepositional phrase that I used--for him.

I read it on one of the sites on the net that a prepositional phrase acting as an adjective may also modify a gerund. Such examples are: Thinking of you is all I ever do, Arguing about religion could get you nowhere.

According to the author (sorry I dont remember his name), of you and about religion are prepositional phrases acting as an adjective.

I am aware that adverb phrase denotes time, place, frequency, manner, degree and so on.

Your vivid explanation would be appreciated.

thanks again,

specterEmotion: big smile
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What I wanted to know is the prepositional phrase that I used--for him.
You wanted to know the prepositional phrase that you used? I don't understand what you mean by this. We both can see that the prepositional phrase that you used is for him.

According to the author (sorry I dont remember his name), of you and about religion are prepositional phrases acting as an adjective.
I see. Then according to that theory I assume that that author would find that in your example for him also acts as an adjective. As you see from my answer above, I don't agree with this author. I'm inclined to analyze such prepositional phrases as adverbial because I think of the gerund as a verb form that takes all the complements that the same verb would take as a main verb.

For example, I would not consider for him, of you, or about religion to be adjectival in
I work for him.
I'm thinking of you.
We were arguing about religion.

And I see no reason why these prepositional phrases should change their function just because a different form of the verb is used.

We will need to wait for an answer from someone who subscribes to the same method of analysis as that author in order to get more insight into that point of view.


One of my grammar books authored by Prentice Hall suggests that a prepositional phrase acting as an adjective can modify a gerund not by its verb form but its function which is a noun.

"Worrying about the deadline prevented the writer from sleeping."

Maybe there's another way to further explain this.

Thanks again CJ.

SpecterEmotion: big smile
hi, the phrase (for him) is a prepositional phrase but it functions as adjective' so it can be an adjective phrase
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Hello, Specter. Emotion: smile

In your sentence "Working for him doesn't interest me," "working for him" is the subject and the rest is the predicate.

The subject happens to be a gerundive (or gerundial, as some call it) clause. Since this is a non-finite clause without its own subject, you have to analyse it in the same way you would a predicate with a conjugated verb as its head. Gerundive clauses may have objects (both direct and indirect), adjuncts, complements, etc. In other words, you can find in a gerundive clause the same type of modifiers you'd find in a predicate.

It's true that the gerund, in English, has nominal force and can be used in the place of a noun; yet, it is NOT a noun. It's still a verb form, and a non-finite one at that.

So once you have marked the entire clause as subject of the sentence, you can start analysing it internally. This is what you'll have (I'll type here first the syntactic function, then the category of the word/construction:

- working for him: subject / gerundive clause

- working: head of the subject / gerund

- for him: adjunct (or adverbial) / prepositional phrase.

- for: preposition (you don't specify function here in traditional analysis)

- him: object of the preposition / objective pronoun

It's not true that you can't call a prepositional phrase "adjectival phrase". Both are different, so your phrase will have to be either one or the other, but not both. Also, remember that "for him" is NOT modifying a noun, but a verb acting as a noun. A gerund is a verb.

If you want to call a phrase "adjectival", then it must have an adjective as its head. Nothing else will do. The following is an example of an adjectival (or adjective) phrase modifying a gerund:

- I don't like being so tall. ("being so tall" is a gerundive clause; it's the D.O. of "like" and the head, "being", is modified by the adjectival phrase "so tall". "So tall" is an adjectival phrase whose head is the adjective "tall", which is premodified by the adverb "so")

The bottom line is that usually (it'd might be inaccurate to overgeneralise and say 'always') a prepositional phrase as modifier of a verb will be an adjunt/adverbial of some kind.
And it seems obvious that if a phrase is prepositional, it can't possibly be adjectival at the same time. It would be similar to saying that the gerund is a verb and a noun, when it is only a verb. It may act as a noun, which is very different.

I hope it helps.

Good luck.