What is the difference between an infinitive phrase and a prepositional phrase?


An infinitive phrase will begin with an infinitive [to + simple form of the verb while a prepositional phrase will begin with a preposition and end with a noun. Anything else?

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A syntactic category is a type of syntactic unit that theories of syntax assume. The traditional parts of speech (e.g. noun, verb, preposition, etc.) are syntactic categories, and in phrase structure grammars, the phrasal categories (e.g. noun phrase NP, verb phrase VP, prepositional phrase PP, etc.) are also syntactic categories. Phrase structure grammars draw an important distinction between lexical categories and phrasal categories. Dependency grammars, in contrast, do not acknowledge phrasal categories (at least not in the traditional sense), which means they work with lexical categories alone. Many grammars also draw a distinction between lexical categories and functional categories. In this regard, the terminology is by no means consistent. The one opposition (lexical category vs. phrasal category) and the other opposition (lexical category vs. functional category) are orthogonal to each other. The category types just mentioned (lexical, phrasal, functional) should not be confused with grammatical categories (also known as grammatical features), which are properties such as tense, gender, etc.


An adpositional phrase is a linguistics term defining a syntactic category that includes prepositional phrases, postpositional phrases, and circumpositional phrases. Adpositional phrases contain an adposition (preposition, postposition, or circumposition) as head and usually a complement such as a noun phrase. Language syntax treats adpositional phrases as units that act as arguments or adjuncts. Prepositional and postpositional phrases differ by the order of the words used. Languages that are primarily head-initial such as English predominantly use prepositional phrases, whereas head-final languages predominantly employ postpositional phrases. Many languages have both types, as well as circumpositional phrases.

There are three types of adpositional phrases: prepositional phrases, postpositional phrases, and circumpositional phrases. These three types are illustrated in the subsections that follow:

Prepositions (or more generally adpositions, see below) are a grammatically distinct class of words whose most central members characteristically express spatial or temporal relations (such as the English words in, under, towards, before) or serve to mark various syntactic functions and semantic roles (such as the English words of, for). In that the primary function is relational, a preposition typically combines with another constituent (called its complement) to form a prepositional phrase, relating the complement to the context in which the phrase occurs.

The word preposition comes from Latin, a language in which such a word is usually placed before its complement. (Thus it is pre-positioned.) English is another such language. In many languages (e.g. Urdu, Turkish, Hindi, Korean and Japanese), the words with this grammatical function come after, not before, the complement. Such words are then commonly called postpositions. Similarly, circumpositions consist of two parts that appear on both sides of the complement. The technical term used to refer collectively to prepositions, postpositions, and circumpositions is adposition. Some linguists use the word "preposition" instead of "adposition" for all three cases.


This article deals with the grammar of the Finnish language (the article "Finnish language" discusses the language in general and contains a quick overview of the grammar). For the ways in which the spoken language differs from the written language, see Colloquial Finnish. Unlike the languages spoken in neighbouring countries, such as Swedish and Norwegian which are North Germanic languages, Finnish is a Uralic language, and is structurally considered an agglutinative language.

A split infinitive is an English-language grammatical construction in which a word or phrase, usually an adverb or adverbial phrase, comes between the marker to and the bare infinitive (uninflected) form of a verb.

For example, a split infinitive occurs in the opening sequence of the Star Trek television series: where no man has gone beforeto boldly go. Here, the adverb "boldly" splits the full infinitive "to go". More rarely, the term compound split infinitive is used to describe situations in which the infinitive is split by more than one word: The population is expected to more than double in the next ten years.

Linguistics Syntax

In grammar, a part of speech (also a word class, a lexical class, or a lexical category) is a linguistic category of words (or more precisely lexical items), which is generally defined by the syntactic or morphological behaviour of the lexical item in question. Common linguistic categories include noun and verb, among others. There are open word classes, which constantly acquire new members, and closed word classes, which acquire new members infrequently if at all.

Almost all languages have the lexical categories noun and verb, but beyond these there are significant variations in different languages. For example, Japanese has as many as three classes of adjectives where English has one; Chinese, Korean and Japanese have nominal classifiers whereas European languages do not; many languages do not have a distinction between adjectives and adverbs, adjectives and verbs (see stative verbs) or adjectives and nouns]citation needed[, etc. This variation in the number of categories and their identifying properties entails that analysis be done for each individual language. Nevertheless the labels for each category are assigned on the basis of universal criteria.


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