I know this is an adjectival prepositional phrase:

  • I like the girl next to him.

And I know this is an adverbial prepositional phrase:

  • I went to the store.

But what is the term for this? It's a prepositional phrase that involves a verb that modifies a noun:

  • I want him to run.

I want him to run.

"To" is not a preposition here but a subordinator that serves as a marker of to- infinitival clauses.

"Want" is a catenative verb and this is a catenative construction where the subordinate infinitival clause "to run" is catenative complement of "want". "Him" is the direct object of "want" and the understood (semantic) subject of "run".

"Him" is called a 'raised' object because the verb it relates to syntactically is higher in the constituent structure than the one it relates to semantically.

Incidentally, I would say that in your other two examples "next to him" is a PP modifying "girl", and "to the store" is a PP serving as complement of "went".


That's what is called "infinitival to" and it's not consider a preposition.

  • It's more specific than just a to-infinitive, because it's a to-infinitive that modifies a noun. I found the answer though. It's a attributive verb/gerundive.
    – abcjme
    Nov 22 '18 at 3:16
  • 2
    Your analysis is incorrect. The verb want can take a clause as a complement, in this case an infinitive clause. The to-infinitive is not modifying any noun, nor is it modifying the pronoun 'him' in your example.
    – Moss
    Nov 22 '18 at 4:16

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