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The nursery school is probably most correctly considered as an extension upwards of the family, rather than an extension downwards of the primary school.

About 'upwards/downwards' which do they modify; 'an extention' or 'of the family/of the primary school'?

Semantically speaking, I think both 'upwards' and 'downwards' modify the extention. But my dictionaries have 'upwards/downwards' only as an adverb...So I wonder if such an adverb can modify a noun...
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It modifies "extension". Upwards/downwards can also be adjective.
BokehUpwards/downwards can also be adjective.
Really? Where did you find the entry for the adjectival usage of 'upwards/downwards (NOT upward/downward)?
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An upwards spiral,
"Upwards" quotes and quotations,
The Upwards album,
Taka
BokehUpwards/downwards can also be adjective.
Really? Where did you find the entry for the adjectival usage of 'upwards/downwards (NOT upward/downward)?
upward/downward (especially in NAmE; according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
Bokeh

It modifies "extension". Upwards/downwards can also be adjective.

Actually, "upward/downward" is the adjectival form, while both "upward/downward" and "upwards/downwards" can be used as adverbs, and "upwards/downwards" as prepositions (according to the OED only ). None of my dictionaries regards "upwards/downwards" as adjectives.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/upwards
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=87439&dict=CALD

However, the OP might be interested in having a look at the usage of "upwards of" from the Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: upwards of
Variant(s): also upward of
Function: adverb
Date: 1683
: more than : in excess of <they cost upwards of $25>

or from the OED:

5. upwards of, at or to a higher level than; above.
8. upwards of, (rather) more than

Finally, to YL:

Yoong Liat
Taka
BokehUpwards/downwards can also be adjective.
Really? Where did you find the entry for the adjectival usage of 'upwards/downwards (NOT upward/downward)?
upward/downward (especially in NAmE; according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

please double-check the OALD (I'm leaving out the examples) -- they never say upwards/downwards can be used as adjectives, but the other way round: upward/downward can be used as adverbs.

upwards (especially BrE) (also upward especially in NAmE) adverb
1 towards a higher place or position:
2 towards a higher amount or price:
3 upwards of sth more than the amount or number mentioned:

downwards (also downward especially in NAmE) adverb
towards the ground or towards a lower level.

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TakaSemantically speaking, I think both 'upwards' and 'downwards' modify the extention. But my dictionaries have 'upwards/downwards' only as an adverb...So I wonder if such an adverb can modify a noun...
Hello Taka,

I would agree with you: "upwards" and "downwards" are adverbs here, to my mind, and qualify "extension". (I don't find this too troublesome a concept; "extension" is a deverbal noun, and roughly equivalent to the gerund "extending".)

All the best,

MrP
Just as I thought!

Thank you, MrP!