Car (aka car-chan? XD) (carcarcarrot) wrote in linguaphiles,
Car (aka car-chan? XD)
carcarcarrot
linguaphiles

Argument over Constituency

To put it simply, my classmates and I disagree upon the constituency of the following bracketed phrase:
John would get [off the bus].

One party says that "get off" is a phrasal verb, so it should be [get off][the bus];
but another party says that "off the bus" should be a prepositional phrase, so it should be [get][off the bus].

We did some constituency tests (eg. "It was off the bus that John would get" and "John would get off the bus and on the boat.") but have different opinions towards the grammaticality of those sentences.  The sad thing is that, since we aren't native speakers of English, our judgment seems not-so-reliable.

Can anyone (native English speakers especially) please help?
Thanks in advance. :)

EDIT: sorry for the typo, i meant to ask whether "off the bus" is a constituent...
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  • 65 comments

  • Used to usage

    Sometimes I say sentences such as: "Didn't that bakery used to be a fish shop?" It occurs to me that it would be more grammatically consistent if I…

  • Sporadic dropping of object in American English

    "Does the sandwich come with?" [overheard at deli, asking does a reuben include sides of pickles or kraut, something of that nature without…

  • German etymological dictionary

    This is a slightly specific request, but I am looking for a German etymological dictionary... in English. Does such a thing exist? Many thanks in…