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I believe that the participle in the following phrase refers to the second noun (rubbish):

...possible sites with submerged rubbish

But I have some doubts. Could "submerged rubbish" be a participle phrase for "sites"? Or are "sites" and "rubbish" two independent parts in this sentence, connected by "with"?

In the phrase "the idea of putting rubbish into the harbour..", "putting" is a participle referring to "idea". So, I'm wondering, could it be the same case in the first phrase or not.

Could you please share your opinion on this?

Edited:

Thanks for the correction, "putting" is a gerund, of course!*

The second sentence is just another example of a relationship between a noun and a following preposition + modifier + noun. So, the question is if "submerged rubbish" functions as a modifier of "sites"? Or it complements "sites"?

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  • "Submerged rubbish" is a noun phrase with "rubbish" as head and the adjective "submerged" as modifier. The phrase is functioning as complement of the preposition "with".
    – BillJ
    Apr 14, 2022 at 12:58
  • Thanks @BillJ , my doubts have been cleared up now! Apr 14, 2022 at 13:28
  • @BillJ Do you agree with the comment below that "submerged rubbish" is an adjective describing "sites"? Apr 14, 2022 at 13:39
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    "Submerged rubbish" adds information about "sites", but it does not modify it; rather, it's a complement of "with." Note that it is a noun phrase, not an adjective.
    – BillJ
    Apr 14, 2022 at 14:19
  • @BillJ Ok, thank you! Apr 14, 2022 at 19:54

2 Answers 2

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possible sites with submerged rubbish

the idea of putting rubbish into the harbour

Yes, submerged describes rubbish.

No. submerged rubbish is a noun phrase and is the object of preposition with. The preposition phrase with submerged rubbish acts as an adjective describing sites.

In the 'habour' example, putting is a gerund. Again, the noun phrase putting rubbish into the harbour is the object of preposition of, and the preposition phrase of putting rubbish into the harbour acts as an adjective describing idea.

Edit

submerged rubbish is a noun phrase and used in this construction does not modify site. The phrase that acts as an adjective modifying site is the preposition phrase with submerged rubbish.

submerged rubbish functions as complement/object of with, not sites.

masterclass explains the use of prepositional phrases as adjectives.

Prepositional adjectival phrase: Many prepositions serve as adjective phrases that modify nouns. One such example is "the carpet on the wood floor," where "carpet" is the noun and "on the wood floor" is the modifying adjectival phrase.

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  • Sorry, yes, "putting" is a gerund! Sorry, if my explanation is a bit confusing. My point was to give the second sentence as another example of a relationship between a noun and a following preposition + modifier + noun. So, after all, "submerged rubbish" functions as a modifier of "sites"? You mentioned that it acts as an adjective. I thought that in the first sentence two nouns are independent of each other. Apr 14, 2022 at 13:38
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"submerged" is a participle, modifying "rubbish".

"submerged rubbish" is a noun phrase, and the object of the preposition "with". It is neither a modifier nor a complement of "sites". It is a complement of "with".

"with submerged rubbish" is a prepositional phrase. It modifies "sites".

"sites with submerged rubbish" is another noun phrase, composed of a noun "sites", followed by a modifying prepositional phrase.

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