I have some free advice for you.

Does "for you" modify "some free advice "? Or it modifies "I have some free advice" ? Which one is correct? Is "for you " a post-positioned modifier or a sentence adverbial?

| improve this question | | | | |

An interesting sentence.

Syntactically, for you might be understood either

  • as an adjunct modifying free advice (‘I have free advice which is intended for you’), or
  • as a complement of the adjective free (‘I have advice which is free for you’).

To my mind, however, semantics trumps syntax here. The clear meaning of the sentence is an announcement of impending action: ‘I am going to give you some free advice’. In that context, for you is a preposition phrase expressing the Indirect Object of the action.

This can be justified syntactically (if you need to justify it) by understanding have advice in a benefactive rather than a possessive sense.

| improve this answer | | | | |

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.