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Posted: 29 November 2017 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Consider if you will the use of the word ”places” in the following sentences:

We’re going so many places within the next week that we’ll need a break after that.

I’ve been places that aren’t on the map. 

Some comments:

1/ In more formal English, we might expect a preposition to be used: to in the first sentence, and to or perhaps in in the second sentence.

2/ This form doesn’t work with the singular noun. I would not expect to hear, “I’ve been a place that’s not on the map.”

3/ This form doesn’t work with other, similar nouns, such as location or city. I don’t expect to hear, “I’ve been cities that aren’t on the map.”

4/ When I first thought about this, I thought that this usage would be limited to the verbs go and be. In that case, we’d probably consider there to be compound verbs “to go places” and “to be places” and leave it at that. Some judicious Googlation indicates that this form is also used with other verbs: travel, drive, stay, walk. Given this, perhaps it would be better to regard “places” as an adverb, here.

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Posted: 29 November 2017 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The Oxford Dictionary labels “go places” as informal when related to travel, but not “non-standard”. The examples are all idiomatic and easily understood. They all “sound right.”

‘We have gone places together, like the interchurch women’s gathering in Guelph, Ecumenical Decade: Churches in Solidarity with Women.’
‘I get to go places because I travel with my dad sometimes.’
‘We met in each others homes, went places together, prayed with each other, called each other and encouraged each other.’
‘I was the one who wanted to do all the travelling, go places, instead I’m stuck here watching the pennies and getting over-excited cos they’re putting a Diagnosis Murder film on Friday.’

Interesting that “going places” meaning “being successful” is treated in the same category.

It doesn’t label the part of speech. Is “go places” a phrasal verb? “To go places” a prepositional phrase? or an infinitive?

the OED, itself, treats them under the phrase: “to go places”

i. to go places. [under Phrases,with verb]

(a) To travel to or visit various places. Also with complement characterizing the places in question.

1871 Country Gentleman’s Mag. July 12/2 That 2444 have thought it best to go places where they may get more money for their labour.
1925 S. Lewis Martin Arrowsmith xx. 232 The habit of social ease, of dressing, of going places without nervous anticipation.
1962 Pop. Sci. June 83/2 The second car..sat in the garage..while we went places together in the No. 1 car.
2009 New Scientist (Nexis) 24 Jan. 57 Wheeled robots go places too dangerous for soldiers.


(b) colloq. (orig. U.S.). To be successful (esp. in one’s career); to make progress.

1931 Rushville (Indiana) Republican 7 Jan. 2/3 Salem, the little surprise team from the South.., seems to going places again.
1944 L. A. G. Strong Director 254 They were jealous because she’d made the grade… She was going places.
1975 J. Wambaugh Choirboys Epilogue 344 A recently promoted thirty-one year old whiz kid who they said was going places in the department.
1990 Creative Rev. Mar. 30 (advt.) If you’re interested in design that’s going places come and see us in our new building or request our company brochure.
2010 B. Agbaje Off Endz ii. 15 You are a grown man..who I thought was looking to go places..and you hang around lowlifes like that.

[ Edited: 29 November 2017 09:01 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 29 November 2017 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t think you could call it an adverb; you couldn’t say, for instance, “How did you go?” and get “Places” in response.

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Posted: 29 November 2017 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sort of like, “down the pub”.

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Posted: 29 November 2017 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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languagehat - 29 November 2017 08:01 AM

I don’t think you could call it an adverb; you couldn’t say, for instance, “How did you go?” and get “Places” in response.

On the other hand you couldn’t say, “How did you go?” and get “Very” in response, or “Weekly”, or “Everywhere”, yet those are adverbs. Places, if indeed it is an adverb, is an adverb about location, like “here” or “there”. I’m open to places not being an adverb but that doesn’t seem to be a good test.

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Posted: 30 November 2017 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Fair enough, but it still doesn’t feel like an adverb to me.  I don’t know how linguists analyze it, but The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language would be a good place to start.

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Posted: 30 November 2017 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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This from Collins English Dictionary:

6. adverb [ADV after v]
If you go places, you visit pleasant or interesting places.
[mainly US]
I don’t have money to go places.

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Posted: 01 December 2017 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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languagehat - 30 November 2017 05:49 AM

Fair enough, but it still doesn’t feel like an adverb to me.  I don’t know how linguists analyze it, but The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language would be a good place to start.

The CGEL thinks bush is an adverb as in ‘He went bush.’ meaning ‘he went into the bush.’

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Posted: 01 December 2017 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Huh, I guess it is an adverb.  You learn something every day!

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Posted: 01 December 2017 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I would swear in court that we had an extended discussion about the term “go bush”, with arguments about whether “bush” was an adverb, previously on this site or shortly before transferring from ezboard, but I can find no such thread.

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Posted: 02 December 2017 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Huh, I guess it is an adverb.  You learn something every day!

Not necessarily, places, can also be classified as a locative noun. Also, plural countable nouns don’t need determiners. Both sentences, as examples in the OP, are grammatically vague; therefore, there can be two or more possible interpretations on how the word is classified.

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Posted: 02 December 2017 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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languagehat - 01 December 2017 06:16 AM

Huh, I guess it is an adverb.  You learn something every day!

I still think bush is a noun in this sentence, a noun in the dative case.  But then who am I to argue with a real linguist of the caliber of Pullum or Huddleston?  But it doesn’t answer the question ‘you went how?’ Can an adverb answer the question ‘you went where?’

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Posted: 02 December 2017 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Not necessarily, places, can also be classified as a locative noun. Also, plural countable nouns don’t need determiners. Both sentences, as examples in the OP, are grammatically vague; therefore, there can be two or more possible interpretations on how the word is classified.

Are you quoting a scholarly source, or talking off the top of your head?  If the latter, I think I’ll take the word of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language over your speculation, thanks.

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Posted: 02 December 2017 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I still think bush is a noun in this sentence, a noun in the dative case.

Present Day English doesn’t have a dative case. The only cases for nouns in PDE are plain and genitive (to use CGEL’s terminology). If you mean that places is an indirect object, that isn’t right either. To go is intransitive and doesn’t take an object.

I would say to go places is a phrasal verb (and OED seems to say this too). Phrasal verbs are normally formed by a verb and either a preposition or an adverb. Places is clearly not a preposition, so it’s either an adverb or this is a rare phrasal verb that forms with verb and noun.

[ Edited: 02 December 2017 06:35 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 02 December 2017 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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That makes sense to me.

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Posted: 02 December 2017 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I found the thread I was thinking of; the reason searching did not turn it up was that the phrase used was “headed bush” rather than “went bush”.  Apparently (I haven’t read all the citation links) Geoffrey Pullum argues that “bush” is a preposition in that context. 

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/571/

also

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/4857/

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