The Oblique Complement
Test for identifying oblique complements in English
- An oblique complement is a PP or an AdvP which behaves like a complement, i.e. it is
- semantically implied
- syntactically necessary
- cannot be used with a pro-VP form such as do so:
''John put a book on the shelf and Mary did so (*into the drawer), too.
- but: it does not fit the definition of any of the other grammatical functions.
- typical examples:
- a particular preposition is required by the verb: wait for, substitute with, rely on, talk to ... about ..., ...
- the verb requires a directional phrase, independent of how this is lexicalized: put s.th. [somewhere]obl.compl
Categories and structural position
- Oblique complements are always PPs.
- It is a sister of V and NP and dominated by a VP.
_S_ / \ / AuxP / / \ subj / VP / / / \ / / / obl.comp / / / | NP Aux V _PP__ /__\ | | /_____\ Pat will wait for Kim.
Read further on other grammatical functions:
- The Predicate
- The Subject
- The Direct Object
- The Indirect Object
- The Predicative Complement
- The Modifier