Adjectives are words, or phrases naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.

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What is the difference between “graduate students” and “postgraduate students”?

I am reading about finding a good university for master studies and I am really confused if graduate students are the same as postgraduate students. Are the terms synonyms, or do they refer to ...
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2answers
10k views

How to use the words ending with “-ly”?

First question: in the grammar world, where do the -ly ended words belong? Second question: how to use them correctly? Rarely (oops!), if ever, I get myself using -ly ended words in my writing. I'm ...
8
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6answers
8k views

“Experienced” vs. “seasoned”

Are these two words interchangeable? According to the Oxford dictionary, experienced means having knowledge or skill in a particular job or activity, while seasoned having a lot of experience in a ...
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4answers
306 views

Compound Adjectives and -ed

A colleague asked me this question, and I couldn't come up with an answer that satisfied him, so I'm wondering if anyone can help: Why does a man with a short temper become a short-tempered man? In ...
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1answer
108 views

Lesser number vs. smaller number [duplicate]

I am wondering about the correct use of lesser/smaller in the following phrase: This library has a smaller/lesser number of books than the National Library. I did find another thread on nearly ...
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3answers
98 views

What is a word that means “starting from one”?

I'm looking for an adjective that means "to start from the number one." This is so I can describe a sequence that starts from the number one. I want to be able to say something like "Choose any ...
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5answers
737 views

A single word for “not seeing the big picture”

I am looking for a word that would describe being obsessed with the details of a larger entity such that the "looker" neglects to see the whole or (perhaps more importantly) the purpose of the whole. ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Are there any rules I can follow to make my own derived adjectives from a noun in English? E.g. xenogamy to xenogamic

I'm currently looking through dictionaries (both online and "offline") for an adjective of the word xenogamy. Basically I want to translate the Dutch phrase "De kruibestuivende onderneming". What I ...
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3answers
2k views

Is “more poorly” an appropriate phrase?

Today I described someone as being trained to react "more poorly" to a given situation. Her current reaction is poor. It is becoming more poor. So she reacts more poorly. Is this correct? It sounds ...
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4answers
2k views

“Contemporaneous” vs “simultaneous”

I've done a bit of searching but cannot find a definitive distinction between contemporaneous and simultaneous. I personally use the words interchangeably. Am I correct in doing so?
10
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1answer
278 views

“not as” versus “less”

English speakers seem to prefer "less powerful" over "not as powerful", and "not as big" over "less big". There's at least a ten-to-one ratio in both cases—See this Google Ngram. There also seems to ...
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1answer
124 views

“Artificial” vs. “faux” vs. “fake”

Do these words have a different meaning? Should we say artificial sugar or sweetener? Should we say artificial fur or faux fur? Is there a rule that defines the border for artificial/faux/fake? ...
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1answer
109 views

Plural noun and plural adjective [closed]

Which is correct? If the editors start being pedantics then news won't reach us on time. If the editors start being pedantic then news won't reach us on time. And why?. P.S-:the confusion arose ...
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1answer
74 views

An adjective or a noun?

In the collocation "baby girl" is "baby" an adjective or a noun?
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6answers
1k views

Is describing something as 'detailed and concise' an oxymoron?

For example: The instructions must be detailed and concise.
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2answers
61 views

Inconsecutive or nonconsecutive or …? [closed]

I want to say that the data is not like 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159 but can be 154, 156, 157, 159. How do I negate the word "consecutive"? I was not able to find it in the dictionary. I have found ...
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3answers
3k views

“Cool water” vs. “cold water”

We often use "cool water". But can we use "cool water" or "cold water"? Which is correct? Examples: I drink cool water only. People always like cool water. In the above examples, ...
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1answer
355 views

Compound noun or adjective + noun?

Substitute teacher is an adjective and a noun, where substitute is an adjective as defined in the dictionary. However, what about replacement teacher? Replacement is defined as a noun in the ...
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5answers
669 views

Does “smug” imply anything about correctness?

My local dictionary supplies this definition: having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements I was recently told by someone that, "It is only 'smug' if it isn't literally ...
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2answers
80 views

What is the correct usage of the word “milquetoast”? [duplicate]

The google definition of this word states that it is a noun however in its own example of usage it is used as an adjective: "a frail, milquetoast character". I haven't found any reliable sources to ...
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2answers
71 views

“area” vs. “areal” to describe an estimate of space

E.g. an areal/area estimate of corn in Iowa "Areal" is commonly found in remote sensing and land cover literature (this article, for example). Which is most appropriate to describe the estimation of ...
2
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2answers
108 views

determiner “the” followed by adjective - parts of speech

In English, adjectives usually cannot function as noun or pronouns, at least not to the degree it is possible in German where you can do it without thinking. The old car sucked. The new is better. ...
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4answers
4k views

“Demonstratable” — a dictionary word, or just a well known hack?

Someone has just pointed out a mis-spelling on my site - demonstratable, as in "demonstratable experience of...". I can't see it in the New Oxford American Dictionary or the Oxford Dictionary of ...
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1answer
290 views

What part of speech are articles before possessive adjectives?

Today I was diagramming a sentence when I noticed something that confused me. I had a sentence that was basically like this: A parent's greatest concern is rearing his children correctly. ...
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4answers
67 views

Part of speech and usage of “in person”

Is "in person" an adjective or adverb, describing the person or the action being done? The artist will be in person, painting. The artist will be painting in person. Which is correct?
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13answers
48k views

What is the adjective form for the word “integrity?”

I'm looking for the adjective form of "integrity." Instead of "Be a person of integrity," I'd like to say something like "Be [one word I'm looking for]" I did a Google search for this, but I also ...
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7answers
14k views

“Electronic” vs. “electric”

Most people would refer to computers as being electronic, whereas a flashlight would be described as electric. I know the general difference (electronic devices use transistors?), but what is it ...
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4answers
434 views

Exact adjective of “conundrum”

I am about to coin the word 'conundrous' because I needed it (and I think it deserves a place in the dictionary)! I would like comments on what you think about that (in the context of a serious ...
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2answers
1k views

Are “commentable” and “categorizable” proper?

Can I say "commentable and categorizable"? If not, what are some one word alternatives to use, to say that something can be commented on or categorized? I would like to use the words for database ...
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3answers
3k views

Why are not “infamous” and “inflammable” the opposite of “famous” and “flammable”?

Why are not infamous and inflammable the opposite of famous and flammable, like incomplete, inactivity, inappropriate and so on?
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5answers
124k views

“More clear” vs “Clearer”: when to use “more” instead of “-er”?

Which one of these adjectives is correct? I can see that both of them are being used, I'm just not sure which one is grammatically correct. Are there any general rules to follow as to the use of one ...
2
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2answers
116 views

Meaning of “dogmatic” in “there was a dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood”

and whenever she heard a large word she said it over to herself many times, and so was able to keep it until there was a dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood, then she would get it off, and ...
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4answers
158 views

Word for “getting careless and slacking”

Can you suggest some words which can describe a person who is starting to get careless and who slacks, or the very action of becoming careless? A person who was efficiently and elaborately doing their ...
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1answer
77 views

Adjective meaning 'using creative prose/being poetic'

Here's the context, somebody has written this: Quiet workplace... then - all of a sudden, a loud voice; complaints, criticism, aggressiveness. Everyone's attention is drawn to an argument - ...
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4answers
620 views

Word to describe someone who rarely gets upset

Is there a word to describe someone who rarely and almost never gets upset/angry? The words first came to my mind are non-confrontational and stoic, though they relate, they are not exactly what I'm ...
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4answers
2k views

Missing words in English

For a while I ponder on some words that I have not been able to find. I always wondered why, since English is so huge compared to my native Danish where we do have the following two words: A word ...
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4answers
208 views

Adjective order: Why is “big” before “beautiful”?

I was reading an English children story to my niece the other day when I came across these phrases said by three different characters: I want a big, beautiful hat! I want a big, ...
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5answers
17k views

Difference between “inspiring” and “inspirational”

What is the difference between the words inspiring and inspirational? In which context should one choose one over the other?
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4answers
81 views

Suitable adjective for implying romantic connections?

I'm looking for an adjective which I could use in the following situation for example: "Don't try to understand the joke Joanne said to George; it's a in-joke between romantic partners." becomes: ...
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2answers
42 views

Is a composition of items a “composed item”?

Let's say I have standard items. I now group them together to create a composition of items. Is it correct to speak of "a composed item"? Some dictionaries say it does, but most seem to give composed ...
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17answers
12k views

Is there a word for “air can pass through it”?

If light can pass through an object, or if you can see through it, it is transparent. Is there a similar word for "air can pass through", or you can breathe through an object? This adjective would be ...
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5answers
369 views

Adjectives or words inspired by Helen of Troy's beauty

Are there any adjectives inspired by Helen's beauty? I can see examples from more recent history like: Boycott from Charles C. Boycott or Bowdlerize from Thomas Bowdler. Some Greek mythology ...
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1answer
114 views

sorry that I did something, sorry for doing something, or sorry to have done something?

Should it be: 1) "I am sorry (that) I did this to you." 2) "I am sorry for doing this to you." 3) "I am sorry to have done this to you." From what I have learnt about 'sorry', I would exclude 3) ...
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2answers
97 views

Word for an entity, specifically a city, which is of the same nationality as you?

Is there a word to describe a city (or any entity) that is part of the same country or state, similar to the meaning of compatriot, but as an adjective. "Allied" is close, but it is too distant as it ...
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1answer
691 views

Which is correct here: “arbitrary” or “arbitrarily”?

Do you say "an arbitrarily small constant epsilon" or "an arbitrary small constant epsilon"? Or are both correct?
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2answers
61 views

Why isn't “safely disposing” written as “safe disposing” instead?

The cost of safely disposing of the toxic chemicals is approximately five times what the company paid to purchase them. The -ing and of seem indicate that "disposing" is a noun, and since ...
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1answer
121 views

How come you say “best part” if meaning “most of something”?

When I read the first time that someone spend the best/better part of the day doing something, I took best literally. Although I now know its meaning, it's confusing me over and over again whenever I ...
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3answers
229 views

What category name covers things that are designed to stand on the floor?

How to name a category of tall objects that are designed to stand on the floor as opposed to standing on a table? The tabletop objects are shorter than the freestanding objects and I cannot use ...
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4answers
4k views

How do you say “three times a month” in one word?

We say semimonthly when we describe something happening twice a month. for example "a semimonthly publication", "a semimonthly meeting", etc. Is there any word we can use to describe something that ...
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4answers
9k views

Meaning of “I feel so helpless”

What is the phrase "I feel so helpless" supposed to mean? Is it "I feel as though I am unable to offer help" or "I feel as though no one could help me?" I saw it in a movie, and always thought it ...