1

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?

3

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

Consider:

You are making new friends daily.

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

  • @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
  • 1
    @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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