"Give that here, Malfoy," said Harry quietly. Everyone stopped talking to watch.
Malfoy smiled nastily.
"I think I'll leave it somewhere for Longbottom to find - how about - up a tree?"
"Give it here!" Harry yelled, but Malfoy had leapt onto his broomstick and taken off. He hadn't been lying, he could fly well. Hovering level with the topmost branches of an oak he called, "Come and get it, Potter!"
Harry grabbed his broom.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

The highlighted part looks like a predicative complement. Is this right?


Nope. Level with is an abbreviated form of on a level with here and acts as a compound preposition, like next to.

So what you have is a prepositional phrase acting as an adverb modifying the verbal adjective hovering. Hovering where? - level with the branches.

  • Isn't level an adjective, in the same way it is in "She drew level with the police car."? – kiamlaluno May 29 '13 at 14:39
  • @kiamlaluno The distinction between adjectives of position and motion is often pretty arbitrary. In a level playing field level is unambiguously an adjective; but the car drew level? In any case, level with acts as compound preposition; consider the paradigm above the branches, below the branches, level with the branches. – StoneyB on hiatus May 29 '13 at 15:00
  • I asked because the sentence I quoted is one of the examples for level used as adjective. – kiamlaluno May 29 '13 at 15:22
  • 2
    @kiamlaluno Adverb is a garbage category, but I have no hesitation in calling the bare use of level in drew level adverbial: drew ahead, drew forward, drew back, and the use with with in drew level with as a compound preposition. – StoneyB on hiatus May 29 '13 at 16:05
  • I got what you meant; I was wondering why the dictionary would use that as example of using an adjective when the word follows a verb that is not a linking verb. – kiamlaluno May 29 '13 at 17:48

"Hovering level with the topmost branches of an oak" means "Hovering at the same level as the topmost branches of an oak."

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