"bring in" or "in his breakfast"?

“He was a wreck in the morning. He had not slept at all. They brought him in his breakfast.”
Is “in” between “him” and “his” an adverb or a preposition?

“They brought him his breakfast in” would be a univocal way to rephrase that.

p.s. At least I think so. Maybe I am just getting used to Denglisch :smiley:

  1. They brought in Carruthers his breakfast.
  2. They brought in breakfast to Carruthers.
  3. They brought Carruthers in his breakfast.

Are these sentences correct? Am I right in thinking that “bring” is transitive and “in” is an adverb?
If “in” is a preposition, you cannot move it as “for” in “looking for something” cannot come after “something.”

I was looking for a post office. ← I think this is correct. “look for” is a phrasal verb that is comprised of an intransitive verb and a preposition.
I was looking a post office for. <— I think this is incorrect because “for” is a proposition, not an adverb.

@eugrus - “They brought him his breakfast in” is a good attempt…but unnatural English, sorry. Unless one added something like “…in a basket”, “…in an attempt to bribe him”, “…in haste”, “… in bed”, et cetera.

#1 is incorrect.
Nothing wrong with the original, “They brought him in his breakfast”.

We can say something like, “He was looking for something for nothing”…

“I was looking for a post office” is correct. So is “I was looking for a post office for my friend”…^^

I don’t believe grammar can give an understanding of such sentences, not even hair-splitting grammatical gymnastics… ^^.

We know “They brought him in his breakfast” doesn’t literally mean he was physically inside his breakfast, of course. And yet it can have such literal meaning in, “We brought him in his casket” (or anything large enough to contain his body, dead or alive).
So how can grammar here explain the feeling or shades of nuance, anyhow?

Grammar study can only go so far toward understanding how language X is understood by natives.

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I also think that the language isn’t the Mathematics, and we (even native speakers) can’t explain some things like we were able to do in Mathematics. We have in the language some traditional things the keys of them were lost during the time, or we can have some things that are in their beginning and couldn’t be explained up to now yet.
The language is for me like a woman. We can love her, but we can’t explain some of her feelings or actions.
We should take them as they are.


Classification of Phrasal Verbs:

  1. An intransitive verb + an adverb —> intransitive (e.g., get up)
  2. A transitive verb + an adverb + OBJECT —> transitive (e.g., turn on the light)
    2a. A transitive verb + OBJECT + an adverb —> transitive (e.g., turn the light on)
  3. An intransitive verb + a preposition + OBJECT —> transitive (e.g., look for)
  4. A verb + an adverb + a preposition + OBJECT —> transitive (e.g. put up with)
  5. Others

Classification is the starting point for any inquiry.

Спасибо! :slight_smile: Then it’s probably Denglisch in fact :slight_smile:

What is about:

  • I’ve got your breakfast. May I bring it in?
  • Yes! Bring it in!

“They brought him in his breakfast.”
Is there a stress on “in” in this sentence?

“They brought him in his breakfast.”
bring someone in something
Is the word order unchageable? For example, is “bring in someone something” possible?

“They brought him his breakfast.”
As SanneT wrote, this “wouldn’t tell us whether he is inside or out in the garden.”
This can be changed to “They brought (his) breakfast to him.”
Is it possible to put “in” somewhere in this transformed sentence?

Phrasal Verb Stress
The Rhythm Rule

  1. I want to call him up.
  2. I want to call on him.

In the first sentence, “up” is stressed because it is an adverb. On the other hand, in the second sentence, “on” is not stressed because it is a preposition.
It is said that after a verb, generally speaking, adverbs are stressed while prepositions are not stressed. This is why I got interested in where the stress is put.

I’m sure you’ll ignore my comments and keep training for your Olympic grammar gymnastics medal… but here goes:

No offence, but I have one polite word for the so-called “grammar” article: фигня! ^^ As for the second link, articles ABOUT pronunciation won’t help - only listening to native speakers will really help.

I don’t believe grammar is at all helpful to understand what “they brought him in his breakfast” means, nor how it’s pronounced.

I’m wondering why you can’t accept that sometimes it’s best to go with: “We say it this way, because that’s the way it is!”, rather than trying to do grammatical gymnastics.

I mean, trying to work out whether your sentence involves ‘phrasal verbs’, ‘particles’, ‘prepositions’ et cetera is unhelpful to the learner, in my opinion. There’s no change in meaning here requiring some phrasal verb particle to be stressed, and all that garbage… The native speaker understands it perfectly in its context, and the sentence has a neutral stress pattern.

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I have edited the first sentence of my previous post. Does that count as ‘saying something again?’

“Poor old boy, go and lie down. I’ll send you in some aspirin. . . .”
He lay in his darkened room.

“I’ll send you in some aspirin”. Exactly! Good example of English, although only the elderly or British would say the “poor old boy” part, probably.

The poor old boy’s name is Humphrey Carruthers, and he was supposed to be in his early forties in the novel titled THE HUMAN ELEMENT by William Somerset Maugham.

In the story, Betty Welldon-Burns said that she would send Carruthers in some aspirin. Probably he was sent in some aspirin, but I doubt he took it.

I take “They brought him in his breakfast” to mean “They brought his breakfast in to him.” Without further context, the unanswered question is: in from where? and to where? From the context, I could only guess that they brought his breakfast to him, at home, in bed, probably from the kitchen.

To answer your question, in is a preposition here which forms a verbal phrase: to bring (something) in.
Some people would call in a particle here, but to me, it’s still just a preposition. Unlike Dutch or German, in English, as you well know, there are no verbs like ‘inbringen’ which can then be broken into particles. But of course you can think of it that way. In any case, it’s definitely not an adverb, and none of the words in the sentence carry any particular stress. But I digress…

They didn’t bring him in; they brought his breakfast in — to him. They brought him in his breakfast. It is a peculiar phrasing which can’t easily be explained.

“They brought him his breakfast” means “They brought his breakfast to him.” That could imply from anywhere to anywhere. From the kitchen to the dining table. From home to his workplace. From their kitchen to his home.

“They brought him in his breakfast” means “They brought his breakfast in to him.” In implies that he is in a specific place. In bed. In his bedroom. So they brought his breakfast in to him.

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