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What is the grammar of the above sentence? Is "to a dollar" a prepositional phrase? Does it function as an adverbial or adjectival phrase?

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  • Edited to incorporate secondary question in comments below.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 17:17

1 Answer 1

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It is the same as "There are 5 fingers on my hand". "There" is dummy subject, the verb is the 3rd person plural form of "be". "100 cents" is the complement, and "to a dollar" is a prepositional phrase, which is being used adverbially. Compare "There are 100 cents in my pocket", here "in my pocket" is clearly an adverbial, modifying "are", indicating where the 100 cents are. Comparably, "to a dollar" indicates what the 100 cents make. It's adverbial, but it's not the clearest example.

The word "to" is used idiomatically. The word "in" may also be used, "to a dollar" seems more typical of US dialects; "in a dollar" might be more common in Britain.

It means a dollar is made up of 100 cents.

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  • What's the function of "to a dollar" in the sentence?
    – Diamond
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 15:52
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    The same as "on my hand". It is a prepositional phrase, saying what the 100 cents make.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 15:58
  • What is its grammatical function? Is it an adverbial?
    – Diamond
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 16:54
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    adverbial, add more info to the sentence.
    – towry
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 1:08

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