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  1. The country’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the ban was illegal, and gave the Knesset, or parliament, until March 1st to amend the law to allow gay couples to commission surrogacies domestically. ( The Economist.)
  1. British courts have given the government until the end of July to come up with a new plan to cut air pollution. ( The Economist).

I encountered the first sentence and then found another one.

It seems to me that the writer is treating PP "until March 1st" as an NP, the construction being "give somebody some time". Because this is the first time I have encountered this usage, I want to know

  1. Are there any other PPs that can be used this way. For example, can we say,

I will give you from Monday to Wednesday to finish the job. ( using the time expression "from...to..." as direct object).

  1. Can we use other verbs that take PPs as an object,

You will have until next Monday to finish the job.

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    I assume that PP means prepositional phrase. The problem is that expression like "until [date]" is not a PP. It is an adverbial phrase and here does function like a direct object. There is no preposition. To give someone some period of time to do something. – Lambie Feb 6 at 19:15
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The country’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the ban was illegal, and gave the Knesset, or parliament, until March 1st to amend the law to allow gay couples to commission surrogacies domestically. ( The Economist.)

British courts have given the government until the end of July to come up with a new plan to cut air pollution. ( The Economist).

Let's be simple and let's not waste our efforts to no avail.

  1. The language is not a math.
  2. The verb is "give" and there is no direct object in your examples.
  3. After 'until' comes 'March 1st' and 'the end': nouns came.

I am now describing what I learned from a TOEFL test book.

Prepositional phrase functions as 1. adjective 2. adverb

If you come across prepositional phrases, they are adjective or adverb, for the most part.

Your examples look simply to me like: 'give A (time) until when'

It's very clear to me it's 'time' that was omitted.(Language is not a science, any person can omit something if it's not making any confusion.)

Conclusion as follows.

'until March 1st' and 'until the end of July', both of them, are prepositional phrases as adverbial phrases which modify give, the verb.

ps. Please do not overuse something like PPs or NPs. I feel it's kind of confusing.

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+25

A prepositional phrase may act as a noun.

In these cases, there is usually a noun in front of the prepositional phrase that is implied or understood, but not written.

(The spot) in front of the class is a stressful place to be.

The most stressful place for me is (the spot) in front of the class.

Source https://www.englishgrammar101.com/module-7/prepositions/lesson-6/prepositional-phrases-as-nouns

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    "englishgrammar101.com" is not a credible source, much less authoritative. – Eddie Kal Feb 8 at 21:20
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These are PPs, not NPs. Some people, especially those who learn traditional prescriptive grammar, think that a subject is always an NP or an object is always an NP.

In some special cases, a PP can be an object too. See The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 647.

PP as a subject - (Before the end of the week) would suit me better.

PP as an object - We must prevent (under the desk) from getting too untidy.

We asked where to put it, and the man recommended (above the front door).

They won't consider (after Christmas), of course, to be soon enough.

Just because a PP is functioning as a subject does not mean that it has become an NP. Whether the clause is an NP or PP is determined by the head,, for example, a noun phrase contains a noun head and a prepositional phrase contains a prepositional head. Each and every phrase may have a wide variety of functions.

Look at the different functions that a PP may have.

He is (in the room) - complement.

She had slept (in the attic) - modifier or an adjunct in clause.

(Under the mat) is the place where we used to leave the key for the boys - subject.

British courts have given the government (until the end of July) to come up with a new plan to cut air pollution - object of give.

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  • in the room is not a complement, it modifies is, the verb(here 'is' means exists), 'in the attic' modifies slept as an adverb. – Brandon Feb 11 at 6:16
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    Lol, explain what a modifier is. – Modern English Feb 11 at 7:43
  • Thanks for directing me to the part in CGEL, which helped a lot. – Robby zhu Mar 12 at 7:03
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These are noun phrases that have disappeared by ellipsis

"to give" combined with a period of time is an idiom. It is formed by leaving out the direct object - this phenomenon is known as ellipsis.

In linguistics, ellipsis (from the Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission") or an elliptical construction is the omission from a clause of one or more words that are nevertheless understood in the context of the remaining elements. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsis_(linguistics)

Paraphrases

The country’s Supreme Court... gave the Knesset, or parliament, [a period of time lasting] until March 1st to amend the law to allow gay couples to commission surrogacies domestically. ( The Economist.)

British courts have given the government [a period of time lasting] until the end of July

We understand that the direct object of "gave" is a period of time.

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  • They are not noun phrases. They are prepositional phrases. Wikipedia is not an authentic source. A phrase should be determined by the head. Explaining it using the logic of ellipsis is valueless. We can put "the area" in the sentence "Under the desk is a sensible place to leave the key". We can immediately say the same thing using "The area under the desk is a sensible place to leave the key". Simply because of the face that we can add "the area" here does not mean that "under the desk" is a noun phrase – Modern English Mar 16 at 13:24
  • A good explanation is that under the desk is a PP functioning as a subject. – Modern English Mar 16 at 13:25

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