The town is (located) 20 km southeast of city X

Is southeast an adjective being modified by of city X (an adverb phrase) and having 20 km (an adverb) modifying it?

Or is 20km an adjective modifying southeast (a noun) and of city X an adjective phrase modifying southeast?

Does having located change anything?

Please explain the word classes, phrases, and which is modifying which.

I am really confused with prepositions (space/time words). I know that a prepositional phrase can be either an adjectival or adverbial phrase.

  • Hello Alienxalienz and welcome to ELL! Unfortunately, you have asked many questions at once, which is off-topic on this site. Please decide which single aspect of that sentence you really want to know about, and edit out all the other questions. Your first two questions are really one, so that's fine, but asking about "located" is a separate question. We do not completely analyze entire sentences, as you ask us to do after that.
    – gotube
    Feb 27, 2022 at 5:37

1 Answer 1


You could construe "southeast" either as a predicate adjective (modifying "the town") or as an adverb (modifying either "is" or "located"). In either case, "20km" and "of city X" can both be considered to modify "southeast" (so they function adverbially).

All of that is true either with "located" or without it.

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