You are meeting friends at the cinema all the time.

Is "all the time" a preposition structure or a noun structure?

"all the time" means always do something.

I think "all the time" is a preposition structure which omits the preposition "for". If "all the time" is a noun structure, how can it modify other parts of the sentence? Can a noun structure function as an adverb?


I would call it an adverbial structure. In your example, it describes when you are meeting friends at the cinema.


You are making new friends daily.

There, daily is an adverb. In your sentence, the phrase all the time is functioning the same way.

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  • @J.R.What are the traits of an adverbial structure? It seems that "all the time" is a noun structure.The noun structure is : determiner+ adjective+noun. "all"is a predeterminer, "the" is mid-determiner, and "time" is a noun. – user48070 Sep 5 '13 at 9:38
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    @user48070 - all the time is an idiom; it means "frequently" or "very often" or "regularly". Consequently, the word time doesn't really function as a noun in the expression all the time. – J.R. Sep 5 '13 at 10:14

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