In the American regionalism,

"Give it here!"

(i.e. Pass that thing my way -> in my direction -> Give it to me)


  1. What part of speech is the word "here"? That is, is it a pronoun, adverb, preposition, or what?

  2. Is the word "here" occupying the indirect object slot of the ditransitive verb?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 27, 2018 at 20:48

3 Answers 3


Here is a preposition. Notice that it takes the place of a preposition phrase, not a noun.

  • Give it to me.
  • Give it here.

Here is not an indirect object in the sentence. It is a locative complement.

[ Note: In the nineteenth century, many grammarians thought 'prepositions' were words that came before nouns. This started to change about ninety years ago. Most modern grammarians now understand 'prepositions' as a grammatical class of word. These words, like verbs for example, can sometimes occur before a noun, but sometimes before a verb, before preposition, before a clause - or before nothing at all! In the Original Poster's example we see the preposition here occurring with no object. There is no extra word after this preposition.

For an introduction to the grammar of prepositions see: A Student's Introduction to English Grammar Huddleston & Pullum 2005 - or for a simpler introduction: Oxford Modern English Grammar Aarts 2011 ]

  • 2
    Even though here can be substituted for a prepositional phrase, it is never a preposition itself. There is no object to the "preposition". It is clearly an adverb. Nov 28, 2014 at 17:26
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    @TRomano In post-Jespersen grammar, it's an intransitive preposition. It has no object. In ye olden days, people'd call it an adverb instead because of an arbitrary requirement that prepositions be transitive, which unfortunately makes a bit of a theoretical mess. (Imagine if we called intransitive verbs "adverbs" despite their lack of similarity to other adverbs!)
    – user230
    Nov 28, 2014 at 18:49
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    +1, but now you've done it! :D . . . This thread might end up getting migrated to ELU, where it can get answered by those high-rep-SWR-users who can't identify a grammatical subject.
    – F.E.
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:08
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    @snailboat: thank you for the post-Jespersen terminology. I will read up on intransitive prepositions. It's puzzling to me that they decided to keep the name 'preposition' when these words can be in front of nothing. Nov 28, 2014 at 21:32
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    @FumbleFingers I highly recommend the section on prepositions in the Huddleston and Pullum book in the link in the comment above. It's very interesting and even if you end up disagreeing with it first time round, you'll have a clear picture where other folks are coming from on this! :) Nov 29, 2014 at 12:57

I would say in the idiomatic expression "Give it here" "here" in connection with "give" is element of a compound verb. Traditional grammar would call it adverbial particle, I often say compound particle/element.

I can't imagine that all speakers use this expression as it has a strong similarity to German Gib's her meaning Give it to me. This use of here as compound element is slightly different from its use as adverb of place. German differentiates and has two words: her and hier.

In traditional grammar "here" is an adverb of place. It is no prepositon as it is not connected with a noun. And it is no pronoun, it does not stand for a noun.

  1. What part of speech is the word "here"? That is, is it a pronoun, adverb, preposition, or what?

I'll pass, thanks.

  1. Is the word "here" occupying the indirect object slot of the ditransitive verb?

No. No matter whether we call it an adverb or an intransitive preposition, it still fits the same kind of slot that an adverb or a preposition can fill in this sentence. It's an adjunct, not an argument. It's not filling the same slot as the "me" in "Give me it."

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