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  1. I'm good

  2. Chicago is on the northest tip of Illinois.

I'm confuse, in first sentence, "Good" as an adjective, modify subject "I", or linking verb 'IS". If "Good" modify subject "I", then what the matter about "ON THE NEAREST TIP" in the second sentence, as a prepositional phrase. Does it (On the nearest tip) work as an adjective, or as an adverb? It modifyes which (i.e. Chicago or IS)?

Thank you.

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'Good' is a somewhat tricky word to use as an example, as it can be used as an adjective or adverb. It is probably more common as an adjective ('I am [a] good [person]'), but it is also increasingly used informally as an adverb to replace words like 'well' or 'fine' ("I'm good, thanks" invariably is used to mean 'I'm fine').

Anyway - assuming you mean "I am good" as an adjective, and the sentence means "I am a good person", then "good" modifies "I". Who is good? I am.

According to the Grammar handbook you link to, 'on the northeast tip of Illinois' is an adverb phrase, based on their logic that adjective phrases always immediately follow the noun they modify. Adverb phrases, in contrast, follow the verb.

You are asking, in effect, how 'good' can be an adjective when it follows a verb, when that would be considered an adverb in a prepositional phrase. The reason is, "good" is not a prepositional phrase. It is simply an adjective. It is the preposition in the prepositional phrase which changes the 'rules', so to speak.

I'm not even sure the distinctions being drawn by the 'Writers Workshop' page are very useful. Consider:

  1. Chicago is on the northeast tip of Illinois.

  2. Chicago is a city on the northeast tip of Illinois.

The first, we are told, is an adverb phrase. The second is an adjective phrase. I'm happy to be enlightened by those that know better than I do about the usefulness of this distinction, but my initial reaction is 'so what?' The sentences are to all intents and purposes completely identical in meaning. In both cases, as @Mixolydian says, it is Chicago, the city, which is in effect being described, regardless of the precise grammatical distinctions.

  • I know after linking verb, I have to use adjective, not adberb. For example, I'm fine, not well (as Well is an adverb). Here, "fine", a single word not phrase, is an adjective. So, my question is that whether linking verb follow an adverb phrase(adverbial prepositionsl phrase, or an adjective phrase(adjectival prepositional phrase?? I know 1. on the nearest tip 2. on the nearest tip of Illinois both are adjective phrase(adjectival prepositional phrase),aren't they? Sorry for disturbing you. Thank you. – Mohammad Abul Hasem Feb 13 at 8:10
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In each of your examples the word/phrase behaves as an adjective.

"Good" modifies "I". The adverb "well" would be used instead of "good" if this were not an adjective (though in the sentence "I'm well," "well" actually means "in good health" - but that's not relevant. "I dance well" or "I speak English well" are examples of using the adverb "well" with the meaning "in a manner that is good").

"on the northeast tip of Illinois" modifies "Chicago". If it helps, here is a map showing the location of Chicago in the state of Illinois:

Location of Chicago in the state of Illinois

  • cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/prepphrases The "On the nearest tip", a prepositional phrase, modifies "IS". – Mohammad Abul Hasem Feb 12 at 20:37
  • ok. I mean, the whole phrase "on the northeast tip of Illinois," describes Chicago, as you can see from this image. I would think of it as being more like an adjective, but maybe it makes sense to say it could be thought of as an adverb - and it might be clearer if the verb phrase were replaced with something more specific: "Chicago is located on the northeast tip of Illinois. The prepositional phrase describes the "being located". – Mixolydian Feb 12 at 21:34
  • I know after linking verb, I have to use adjective, not adberb. For example, I'm fine, not well (as Well is an adverb). Here, "fine", a single word not phrase, is an adjective. So, my question is that whether linking verb follow an adverb phrase(adverbial prepositionsl phrase, or an adjective phrase(adjectival prepositional phrase?? I know 1. on the nearest tip 2. on the nearest tip of Illinois both are adjective phrase(adjectival prepositional phrase),aren't they? Sorry for disturbing you. Thank you. – Mohammad Abul Hasem Feb 13 at 8:06
  • You’re not disturbing me- no need to apologize. I am confused by what you’re asking, though. Are you asking what follows a linking verb, an adjective phrase or adverb phrase? To me it makes sense to say a linking verb like “to be” (“am”, “are”, “is”) is followed by an adjective phrase- because the phrase (“good”, “on the northeast tip of Illinois”, etc.) describes the subject (noun phrase like “I” or “Chicago”). One maybe could argue that these adjective phrases could also act like adverb phrases. But I think the important thing is that you understand that the phrase describes the subject. – Mixolydian Feb 14 at 4:36
  • Yes, I tried to ask in my comment that if linking verbs follow adverbs. And your answer is simply "No", isn't it? Thank you. – Mohammad Abul Hasem Feb 14 at 22:33

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