Consider phrases such as these:

  • "Joe from France"
  • "Transport of wheat"
  • "Walking to Berlin

Are there specific grammatical terms for a) the constituent that occurs immediately before a preposition and b) the constituent that occurs immediately after a preposition?


1 Answer 1


The word in front of a preposition can be the head that governs the prepositional phrase, but it doesn't have to be. Only the position after a preposition marks a special syntactic function; that is called a prepositional object or the object of a proposition, like Berlin, France, wheat in your examples.

  • 1
    Yeah, the front and back words are bracketed differently: [Joe [from France]], [transport [of wheat]], [walking [to Berlin]]. We say that the prepositional phrases from France, of wheat, to Berlin are constituents, in that they're complete units in themselves and modify as a unit.
    – jlawler
    Oct 8, 2013 at 19:46

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