could you analyse parts of speech of "at around 8 AM / 8 o'clock"?

We got these examples in this dictionary

around /əˈraʊnd/ adverb

We got home at around 8 o'clock. = (US) We got home around about 8 o'clock. [=it was approximately 8 o'clock when we got home]

I would say, in the phrase "at around 8 AM / 8 o'clock" in "I go to work at around 8 AM / 8 o'clock",

-"at" is a preposition

-"8 AM / 8 o'clock" is a noun

-"around" is an adjective

-& "at around 8 AM / 8 o'clock" is a prepositional phrase playing a role of an adverb

Also, American people will say "I go to work around 8 AM / 8 o'clock". In this case, I would say:

-"around" is a preposition


-"8 AM / 8 o'clock" is a noun


-"around 8 AM / 8 o'clock" is a prepositional phrase playing a role of an adverb

But I am not use because in the dictionary, it says "around" in this case is an adverb. But I think dictionaries is not a good place to identify what part of speech of a word is.


In the Merriam Webster link, there is this entry under adverb:

2 — used to indicate that a number, amount, time, etc., is not exact or certain

The price of dinner was around [=(chiefly US) about] $50. [around=approximately]

It lasted around [=(chiefly US) about] a century. [around=approximately

The repair should cost around [=approximately, roughly] $200.

We should leave in around 10 minutes. [around=approximately]

We got home at around 8 o'clock. = (US) [around=approximately]

We got home around about 8 o'clock. [=it was approximately 8 o'clock when we got home]

To go to work at around some [time on a clock] is an adverbial phrase. It goes with (modifies they say in traditional grammar) the verb go.

Each of the examples given in that Merriam Webster's Learners Dictionary is also adverbial.

At + [time on a clock] is used as an adverbial phrase as it states when "go to work" occurs.

The preposition at is used with expressions of time. The use of at is idiomatic in expressions of time and associated with adverbial usage.

  • It was about or around 8 o'clock =approximately modifies the time 8 o'clock.

Around or about is used in BrE and AmE and these examples from the BBC could be either:

We use around or about when we want to indicate approximate times:

When does his train get in? Around / About ten o' clock usually, but you can never be sure these days!

What time should I come? ~ Come about / around eight.

Approximately, expressed as around or about [a time on a clock or duration] is considered to be an adverb.

BBC English

Expressing a time in English

idiomatic usage in English is: at a time If a time is not definite, and is approximate, we can say: at around or about [some time].

  • at around eight o'clock means: at approximately eight o'clock. Approximately or around or about in these idioms are adverbs or adverbial. See below.

  • He arrived at around 8 o'clock.

    around modifies the adjective 8 [8 hours of or on the clock).

  • It is around 8 o'clock.

  • at around or around have the same meaning in time expressions.

You could say: that eight is an adjective modifying o'clock (eight hours of or on the clock), and around or about or approximately would be adverbs.

There are other interpretations possible, with at a [time] being viewed as a prepositional phrase. But there too: at around x hour(s) on the clock, it would still be an adverb modifying the hour: eight, two, three etc. o'clock.

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  • saying that "8" is an adjective will answer my question. I thought * is a noun in this case – Tom Jul 30 '18 at 3:35

Although there may be a special name for it, I believe that nowadays around could be called a preposition even when its complement is a number or a time, and the meaning is "approximately".

The word approximately is at its root a spatial term which we routinely apply to numbers and times, not just to locations. It is related to the word proximity.

around 8AM or "approximately 8AM" refers to an approximate time. So there's no reason why around 8AM could not be the complement of at in its temporal sense:

I go to work at around 8AM.

In my personal opinion, parts of speech are only labels, and labels don't really give you an understanding of a thing, not unless they're descriptive, not merely arbitrarily adopted conventional names.

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