Hi, I'm a new member on the forum. My name's Michal and I'm from Poland.

I've been learning descriptive grammar of Enlgish lately. Reading LONGMAN Grammar of Spoken and Written English, I've come across a couple of problems which are hard for me to overcome. I hope that you will help me with that Emotion: smile

A lot of my doubts arose after reading a short passage about Prepositional Objects in the book mentioned above. I'll quote it so you know better what I'm refering to.

"(...) Prepositional objects and indirect objects are alike in that they require a mediating element (a preposition or a direct object). The correspondence is particularly close with indirect objects and corresponding prepositional construction:

Indirect object
He [gave] Carrie a ring.
Prepositional object
Mr Evans [gave] it [to] me.

To stress the correspondence, it may be convenient the use the term oblique object (...)"

And here are my questions:
1) Does Prepositional Object always follow a Prepositional Verb or does it appear in other contexts? And what follows a Phrasal Verb?
2) What's the difference between Prepositional Object and Complement of a Preposition and which one is called 'Oblique Object'?
3) I always thought that Indirect Object stays an object in passive but the passage above shows that it becomes Prepositional Object in this case... Or maybe I just get it wrong???

Please, answer to these questions if you can because these things are haunting me all the time.
Thank you,
1 2
Welcome to English Forums!

It would be better if someone familiar with the Longman book responded to your question. I am not familiar with that book. Nevertheless, I will try to answer your questions.

1. An object of a preposition always follows a prepositional verb, yes. A prepositional verb is a combination of verb and preposition. The preposition is followed by its object. However, an object of a preposition does not only follow a prepositional verb. Prepositional phrases, that is, preposition and noun, can be found in other locations within a sentence. If the phrasal verb is intransitive, nothing need follow it. If it is transitive its direct object follows.

2. I believe that "Object of a Preposition" and "Complement of a Preposition" are simply two different terms which mean the same thing. According to the quote you provided from your book, the entity referred to by both of those terms would be an oblique object.

3. Neither example given is passive, so I'm uncertain what you are asking regarding the passive.

In my opinion, the standard terminology says that there are direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions. The object of the preposition "to" can be an indirect object and an object of a preposition at the same time. Otherwise the three categories are mutually exclusive.

Paul won the prize. ("the prize" is a direct object.)
Paul gave Mary the letter. ("Mary" is an indirect object. "letter" is a direct object.)
Paul gave the letter to Mary. ("Mary" is the object of the preposition "to" and is an indirect object. "letter" is again a direct object.)
Paul traveled to Italy. ("Italy" is the object of the preposition "to" but is not an indirect object.)
The man with the black hat drove his car into the garage. ("hat" is the object of the preposition "with". "garage" is the object of the preposition "into". "car" is a direct object. Note that "with the black hat" has an object of a preposition, but it is not positioned after a verb.)

I believe Longman wants to classify these different kinds of objects differently. He wants only two categories: direct objects (with the same definition as seen in the examples above), and oblique objects (any other kind of object).

Hello Cj,
Thank you for your answer!

Longman distinguishes 3 types of object: Direct, Indirect and Prepositional (I believe that the classification is the same in Quirk, isn't it?).

It looks to me that Longman also distinguishes "Object of a Preposition" from "Complement of a Preposition". It's not clearly said but I guess that "Complement of Preposition" is just a complement in a Prepositional Phrase, that is, a complement of a preposition as in "in the river". Prepositional Object, in turn, would be the object of a Prepositional Verb as in "He gave it to me". That's what I figure out from the whole thing. Do you think that such classification makes sense? Maybe somebody who knows the Longman book could confirm that?

As far as my third question is concerned, I seem to understand things now. Thanks for a great explanation and sorry for the mistake about the passive Emotion: wink

Can you tell me if my analysis of the following sentence is good?
"I would like to have another tea"
I - subject
would like to have - verb
another tea - direct object

Can there be any other interpretations of that?
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Can there be any other interpretations of that?
Yes, indeed, there can be other interpretations.

"I" is subject; "would like" is a verb phrase; "to have another tea" is a non-finite clause used as the direct object of "would like". The subject of this subordinate clause is implied "I". The verb of this clause is "have" and the direct object is "another tea".

Thanks again for your help! Emotion: smile
Dear CJ,

Please clarify the following. To use your own example, "into the garage" is a prepositional object. How does it differ from an adverbial modifier of place? Is "into the garage" an object or an adverbial modifier?

The man with the black hat drove his car into the garage.

Many thanks

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AnonymousTo use your own example, "into the garage" is a prepositional object.
You are mistaken. This is what I wrote above:
"garage" is the object of the preposition "into"
into the garage is not a prepositional object. It is a prepositional phrase, and it functions as an adverbial of directed motion.
The words and word groups of a sentence can be classified according to parts of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, etc.), or they can be classified by their function in the sentence (subject, direct object, adverbial modifier of place, etc.). So each word or meaningful word group can be classified in two ways. Therefore, it is not contradictory to say that into the garage is a prepositional phrase and an adverbial of directed motion.
hi! im stuart from olongapo city.......
To tidy up the last question (passive voice), indeed the indirect object most often changes to its prepositional form..
Mike gave me a present. (active)
Mike gave a present to me. (active)
The present was given to me by Mike. (passive)
It is very rare to find the passive indirect object; here is one example:
I reflected on all the love that was given me over the years.
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