He went off the road to avoid colliding with another car.

What is the function of the phrase "with another car"?

  • 1
    In English we say to collide/colliding/a collision with something. "With" expresses the idea of two things coming together, in this case, it is two vehicles coming together in a collision.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 28, 2023 at 9:03
  • If you're asking about the grammatical function of the with PP, it's complement of the verb "colliding".
    – BillJ
    Sep 29, 2023 at 6:41
  • Colliding is gerund so used as a noun in this case , with pp, is adjective phrase. Right or wrong please tell me. Oct 2, 2023 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


He went off the road to avoid colliding with another car.

with another car is a preposition phrase. It is adjectival and modifies the gerund-participle colliding.

  • 1) Preposition phrases can be adjectival when they modify a noun or pronoun, for example "the cat in the hat". In this case, it is modifying the participle colliding, so it's an adverb preposition phrase. englishgrammar101.com/module-7/prepositions/lesson-5/…. 2) In this sentence, colliding is not a gerund, it's a participle. A gerund generally describes an activity "He likes swimming" whereas a participle describes an event.
    – JavaLatte
    Sep 28, 2023 at 9:30
  • It would be adjectival in "He went off the road to avoid a collision with another car." But avoid can be followed by a noun, a participle, or a noun in the objective case plus a participle.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 28, 2023 at 15:17
  • A preposition phrase but not a modifier. Its function is that of complement of "colliding".
    – BillJ
    Sep 29, 2023 at 6:43
  • @JavaLatte The with PP is licensed by "colliding" and thus is a complement, not a modifier.
    – BillJ
    Sep 29, 2023 at 7:31

Collide comes from Latin collidere, which itself is constructed from (a tweaked version of) the prefix com-, meaning with or together. Thus collide with another car isn’t too different from chat with another guest: both colliding and chatting are activities that involve two parties.

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