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Four men were lying on the grass under the bridge.

What is the part of speech of 'under the bridge'?

Is it an adjective phrase which modify 'the grass'?

Or is it an adverb phrase modifying 'were lying'?

A: On which grass were four men lying?

B: They were lying on the grass under the bridge.

In this dialogue, 'under the bridge' is used as an adjective phrase modifying 'the grass'.

A: Where were four men lying on the grass?

B: They were lying on the grass under the bridge.

In this dialogue, could 'under the bridge' modify 'were lying'? Then it could be an adverb phrase.

Is my explanation plausible?

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    It's a prepositional phrase. – Jason Bassford May 14 '19 at 1:14
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"Under the bridge" can equally modify "were lying" and "grass".

The following would remove the ambiguity, referring to "were lying":

Four men were lying under the bridge, on the grass.

I cannot think of any nice way to link "under the bridge" to "grass" unambiguously:

Four men were lying on the grass. The grass under the bridge.


Regarding the "part-of-speech" question, I cannot help, unfortunately. @JasonBassford claims in a comment that it is a "prepositional phrase". I usually tend to trust him.

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