Intransitive Verbs.

Hi my dear friends,We all know that the intransitive verbs cannot have any object (DO, IO, OP).Today, I studied about the intransitive verbs on English Club. Here is the link: saw a few examples about the intransitive verbs that it looks like they have objects of prepositions:1. He died AFTER a long illness.2. The president waved TO the crowds.3. He fainted AFTER lunch.4. They live IN london.We know that the nouns after the prepositions are usually the object of prepositions.Here is my question, please:Why has the page said that the above sentences doesn't have any object?Best wishes and thanks n advance,

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  • Dear Danny,

    Thank you very much and best wishes,
  • Dear Bijan, the prepositional phrase and an object of the preposition are not the same.

    ON THE TABLE is a prepositional phrase where TABLE is an object of the preposition ON.

    "We usually use "where, when, how" for knowing adverbs in a sentence". NOOOO! You shouldn't think so! It MAY be an adverb and MAY be not.

    Let's meet here (where?) tomorrow (when?).

    In this sentence HERE is an adverb, but TOMORROW is a noun.

    Let's meet at the movies (where?) tomorrow (when?).

    Both are not adverbs. AT THE MOVIES is a prepositional phrase, TOMORROW is a noun.

    If you can only ask HOW? you may be sure it is either an adverb or an adverbial.

    I usually drive rather fast.

    How often do you drive fast? (usually)

    How do you drive? (fast)

    Both USUALLY and FAST are adverbs.

    He left without saying "Bye".

    How did he left? (without saying "Bye")

    It is an adverbial.

    So, if you can ask HOW?, it is either an adverbial or an adverb.

  • Dear Danny,

    Thank you very much for spending time for students.

    I can get the difference between above phrases gradually.

    1. You told me about "on the table", it is prepositional phrase. It tells us WHERE an OBJECT is, so there is an OBJECT here.

    A- Can we say, Prepositional Phrase= Object Of Preposition?
    Because of having an OBJECT?

    B- We usually use "where, when, how" for knowing adverbs in a sentence.
    The book is on the table.
    Where is the book?
    On the table.

    B- Why cannot we say "on the table" is also an "adverb phrase" here?

    2. You have said that "Adverbial Phrase" tell us "HOW" the action was. They are the Modifiers of Action.

    Can we usually know "Adverbial Phrase" in a sentence with asking 'How"?

    Your above example:
    He was sitting in silence.
    How was he sitting?
    In silence.

    How = Knowing Adverbial Phrase.

    Thanks again and best wishes,
  • Dear Bijan, let me try.

    First of all, I'd like to say that a term PHRASE means either one or a few words that make sense together. It is not a full sentence. What phrase it is (noun, adjective, adverb....) depends on the main word in this phrase. If we omit this word, the phrase will change its meaning, it will define something different. For example:

    on the table

    It is perpositional phrase.It tells us WHERE an object is. If I delete ON, it will become a noun phrase and the meaning will change. THE TABLE tells us WHAT it is. So, a prepositional phrase in a preposition followed by some other words.

    Now, an adverb phrase and an adverbial phrase are two different grammar terms.

    An adverb phrase is a adverb (often together with some modifying words). For example:

    He was sitting very quietly.


    very quietly is an adverb phrase. The main word is quietly (an adverb), right? I can delete very and nothing will change. But If I delete quietly, the sentence will be senseless. So, in this sentence very is a modifying word.

    An adverbial phrase is a term for two or more words that play the role of an adverb in the sentence not being adverbs. But they stilll tell us HOW the action was. They are the modifiers of action. For example:

    He was sitting in silence.


    in silence is an adverbial phrase although it is also a prepositional phrase as it starts with the preposition. 

    And now, we are coming to the point! You should realize the difference between the parts of speech and the sentence parts. As a part of speech in silence is a prepositional phrase. But as a sentence part it is an adverbila phrase, i.e., the modifier of action.

    I hope, I clarified the difference between aan adverb and an adverbial phrases. But feel free asking more questions.

  • Dear Danny,

    Thank you very much.

    I got about modifiers of time, place, and action well, but sorry, I cannot get the difference between "adverb phrase", "adverbial phrase", and "the prepositional phrase".

    My problems are here:

    1. What are the differences between three above phrase?
    2. Are "adverb phrase" and "adverbial phrase" the same?
    3. What is the difference between "adverb phrase" and "prepositional phrase"?

    It looks like they are very close to each other, so it is difficult for a learner like me to understand the meaning of them.

    I will be very happy, if you clarify them with a few examples.

    Thanks in advance and best wishes,
  • Dear Bijan, I am glad I made some things clear. As to the questions you asked to those parts of the sentences, they are correct. Sure, if we can ask WHERE? it is a modifier of place, WHEN? is a modifier of time, HOW? is a modifier of action. There are no modifiers of action in your examples. Let me give you another example:

    I was lying still without opening my eyes.

    Both underlined expressions are the modifiers of action. Here, STILL means that I didn't move. TO LIE is an intransitive verb.

    Now, AFTER LUNCH, IN LONDON.... are not adverb phrases, there are no adverbs at all. In general, they are the preposition phrases.

    A modifier of action tells us HOW, IN WHAT WAY it was/is/will be. It is usually an adverb, an adverbial phrase or it may be a gerund phrase like in my example. It can also be a participle phrase.

    Well, if you go on asking, I will answer all your questions sooner or later

  • Dear Danny,

    Thank you very much.

    I agree with you that they are modifiers of time, place or action too.

    1. Thus, can we say they are adverb phrase (After lunch, in London and so on)?

    2. You said, "After a long illness, after lunch are the modifiers of time.", and also "To the crowd and in London are the modifiers of place."

    In accordance with your explanation, are my below questions correct, please?

    1. He died after a long illness.
    When did he die?
    After a long illness (modifier of time).

    2. The president waved to the crowds.
    Where did the president wave?
    To the crowds (modifier of place).

    3. He fainted after lunch.
    When did he faint?
    After lunch (modifier of time).

    4. They live in London.
    Where do they live?
    In London (modifier of place).

    In addition, what does "modifier of action" mean, please?

    Thanks in advance and best wishes,
  • Dear Bijan, as you know I am not an English teacher, but I revised grammar on purpose to be able to explain it to EC learners. Well, I didn't know there IS such a term as an object of the preposition. After reading your last comment I made a search and foud out what it is. Trust me, such a word combination sounds really strange and I was right. In this expression the word OBJECT is used in its direct meaning, i.e., a thing or a person.

    So, let me explain you what an object of the preposition means. Perhaps, you know what a preposition phrase is. It is a preposition followed by one or a few words. Here is one from your examples:

    after lunch

    Altogether it is a preposition phrase. The word LUNCH is an object of the preposition. It means that preposition AFTER relates to this word, nothing more. In other terms, we can say that AFTER is followed by a noun/a noun phrase LUNCH. I have to say that most of grammar books don't use the term an object of the preposition at all.

    Yesterday I told you about the direct and indirect objects. These terms define sentence parts and are very important in English grammar. The other word for them is a complement and I will use this word not to mislead you. So EC grammar page means complements and yes, intransitive verbs can't have complements.

    Answering to your second question, intransitive verbs can be followed by some preposition phrases like in your examples, but as parts of the sentence they are not complements, they are modifiers of time, place or action.

    Is it clear now?

  • Hi, dear Danny,

    First, thank you for your nice explanation, and also for spending time for students.

    Second, you said:
    "There is no term an object of a preposition. Such phrase is nonsense."

    Dear Danny, I read about 'object of preposition" in following website:

    Later, I read on English Club's grammar that intransitive verbs don't get any object (DO, IO, OP), and then I was confused.

    Please, you know that I am a learner here, and English grammar subjects are very complicated.
    Thus, I am confused about understanding some of English grammar subjects.

    In accordance with the above link, my questions are here, please:

    1. Is there "object of preposition" in English grammar or not?
    2. Can we use "object of preposition" with intransitive verbs or not (my above examples)?

    Thanks in advance and best wishes,
    Object of the Preposition Examples
    Object of the Preposition Examples
  • Dear Bijan, I understand what you wanted to say, but you are wrong in using some grammar terms.

     There is no term "an object of a preposition", such phrase is nonsense, excuse me. I will explain. A preposition is a part of speech like a noun, a verb, an adjective, etc. An object is  a sentence part like a subject, a predicate, an attribute. In a sentence only a predicate takes objects. An object may be preceded by a preposition, that is right, but in your example, the words following predicates are NOT objects.

    AFTER A LONG ILLNESS, AFTER LUNCH are the modifiers of time.

    TO THE CROWD, IN LONDON are the modifiers of place.

    Now, let me tell you about objects. There are  direct and indirect objects.

    A direct object is a noun phrase denoting a person or thing that is the recipient of the action of a transitive verb.

    An indirect object is a noun phrase referring to someone or something that is affected by the action of a transitive verb (typically as a recipient), but is not the primary object.

    Here are some examples:

    I am explaining you grammar.


    YOU is an indirest object, GRAMMAR is a direct object.

    I teach my students chemistry at my class.


    MY STUDENTS is an indirect object, CHEMISTRY is a direct object, AT MY CLASS is a modifier of place.

    Any other question?

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