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The budget proposes spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade, up from a baseline of 22.7 percent.

In the above sentence, is the part marked bold a prepositional phrase? If not, what is it? And what role does it play in the sentence?

Below is my Analysis of the sentence -

  1. budget - Subject
  2. proposes - verb
  3. spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade - Gerund Phrase, spending - Gerund.
  4. up from a baseline of 22.7 percent - prepositional phrase that modifies the Gerund Phrase.
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    I don't think "up" is a preposition here; it looks to me like an adjective that modifies "24.5 percent of GDP". The phrase seemingly looks like a relative clause, yet it has no relative pronoun. Could it be a reduced relative clause?
    – Kman3
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 1:40
  • I agree. The reduced clause is an adjunct. The part starting "from" is a prepositional phrase, containing another prep phrase starting with "of". Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 2:25
  • "... over the next decade, (which is) up from a baseline of 22.7 percent". The antecedent is the gerund object "spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P."
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 5:05
  • Thank you for answering. This does seem to be a relative clause reduced to an adjectival phrase.
    – pa1245
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 2:21

1 Answer 1

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The following sentence is very similar to your example about budgets and gross domestic product (GDP):

Sally's sweater was borrowed from Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick.

It is possible to convey the same message in more words:

  • Sally's sweater was borrowed from Herman Melville, who is the author of Moby Dick.
  • Sally's sweater was borrowed from Herman Melville. Herman Melville is the author of Moby Dick.

Many people do not want to write more than they have to.

Let us go back to your example about GDP and budgets. All of the following have the same meaning, but some of the passages of text use fewer words than others:

  • The budget proposes spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade, up from a baseline of 22.7 percent.
  • The budget proposes spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade, which is up from a baseline of 22.7 percent.
  • The budget proposes spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade. That is up from a baseline of 22.7 percent.
  • The budget proposes spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade, which represents an increase from a baseline of 22.7 percent.
  • The budget proposes spending 24.5 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade. The budget proposes spending more than the baseline of 22.7 percent.

Suppose that:

  • NP1 and NP2 are noun phrases
  • NP2 does not begin with a quantifier, such as "a"
  • V is a verb phrase
  • TAIL is any passage of text which ends in any end-of-sentence symbol, such as a full-stop.

If you have a text matching the following pattern:

NP1 V NP2 comma TAIL (PATTERN 1)

Then there often exists a string BEE in the set {"is", "are", "would be", "will be"} such that the following is equivalent to pattern 1:

NP1 V NP2 full-stop NP2 BEE TAIL (PATTERN 2)

For example, we might have:

The coins use copper, a malleable metal.
The coins use copper. Copper is a malleable metal.

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