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"To" as an adverb??

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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"To" as an adverb??

Postby pdh0224 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:45 am

Dear teacher,

But none of these dishes were even close to as good as they would be at scores of easily accessible restaurants throughout the city, and so they raised questions: when and why did we buy into the notion that our every culinary whim should be met at the mall, at the match ?at every waking moment? Whatever happened to occasion-specific food and drink, and to the appreciation of its straightforward appeal?

Q : I think the bold "to" function as an adverb modifing a adverb "close". What do you think? I have not known this function before.
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Postby Alan » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:23 am

Not really: it's a rather casual construction in which a comparative as-clause (elliptical for 'BEING as good as...') is made the object of a preposition 'to', the whole prepositional phrase thus formed being complemental to adjective 'close'. The sentence means that 'none of them were REMOTELY as good as...'.

On account of the overall functional equivalence here, some grammarians might well classify the entire phrase 'close to' as an adverbial.
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