1. I met him in New York.
  2. I met a beggar in New York.
  3. I met the beggar in New York.

What is the part of speech of 'in New York'? Is it an adjective phrase or an adverbial phrase? Or can it be both?

My explanation for #2 is as follows.

Where did you meet a beggar? I met a beggar in New York. If this is the answer to the question, in Sentence 2, 'in New York' is an adverbial phrase.

Which person did you meet? I met a beggar in New York. (This one means I met a beggar who was in New York.) In this cases, 'in New York' is an adjective phrase. There are many beggars in New York. And I met a beggar of all the beggars in New York.

What do you think about my explanation?


In all three of your sentences, a normal reading would understand "in New York" to be a statement about where you met the person. (Adverbial prepositional phrase.)

"I met a beggar in New York. He told me he was trying to raise money for a bus ticket home to Poughkeepsie."

"I met the beggar in New York. After getting to know him, we discovered that we had grown up down the street from each other in Dallas."

If you wanted to say that you met a beggar who calls New York home, you would say "I met a beggar from New York." This could have happened elsewhere: "While waiting to board the airplane in Newark, I met a beggar from New York."

If you want to say that you met one of that famous group of beggars who collectively inhabit New York, and who have formed some sort of group identity or mystique (The Beggars of New York) you might say "I met a Beggar of New York."

| improve this answer | |
  • And note that from New York would be adjectival. – SamBC Apr 14 '19 at 23:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.