Can 'instead of' be followed by a prepositional phrase? I find in the dictionary that 'instead' is an adverb while 'instead of' is an preposition. Grammar books say that prepositions should be followed by noun phrases, pronouns, or gerunds. However the following excerpt puzzles me, which is from a passage written by L. G. Alexander, a prominent British educator in teaching English: All at once it was night. The track was grassy and even in daylight showed up hardly at all against the moor, so it was difficult to keep on it now. If only I had been a smoker with matches always to hand, or if my torch had been in my pocket [*instead of in the suitcase,*] I could have walked with more assurance. The part I bracket is where I want your attention. Perhaps I would say 'instead of the suitcase', but is 'instead of in the suitcase' proper grammar-wise?
Nov 14, 2017 5:07 AM
Answers · 4
Interesting question. It's correct and natural. Perhaps we could analyze it as short for "instead of being in my pocket." We can use this structure to change prepositions, for example, "... in my pocket instead of on the table."
November 14, 2017
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