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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281 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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2answers
231 views

“Brunette” vs. “brown” and “blonde” vs. “yellow”

Why is that we never use these terms interchangeably? I.e. one wouldn't say "I've painted my walls a deep brunette". Why is it that "brunette" and "blonde" are used exclusively in reference to hair ...
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4answers
539 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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3answers
155 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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1answer
129 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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18answers
7k views

Is there a word for being so polite as to appear insincere?

I'm looking for a term in English to describe being so polite that one appears to be insincere.
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1answer
251 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
295 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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120 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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1answer
576 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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2answers
117 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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103 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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5answers
243 views

Is it “to be left free to do something” or “to be let free to do something”?

I know "to leave someone alone" and "to let someone be on their own". What happens when the adjective is followed by a verb (in the infinitive)? Is it "*Leave me free to do whatever I want." / "*I ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
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2answers
166 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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5answers
781 views

Adjective describing someone who is in constant communication with someone else?

I'm searching for a good synonym for communicative, but with an emphasis on being in constant communication over time, not merely the "amount" of communication (so talkative and such don't work). A ...
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3answers
6k views

Conundrum: “cleverer” or “more clever”, “simpler” or “more simple” etc

I know the rule for making the comparative and superlative form for two-syllable words ending in y, replace the -y with i and use -er and -est : hap.py → happier → (the) happiest ti.dy → tidier → ...
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4answers
69 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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1answer
121 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
267 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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4answers
94 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
68 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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4answers
618 views

Word for “what-if scenarios”

What is the English word that best captures "what if" situation? Something along the lines of "What if something goes wrong". It is close to being pessimistic. But pessimistic is too negative. I am ...
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4answers
1k views

“desert island” versus “deserted island”

What is the difference between "a desert island" and "a deserted island"? Are they synonyms?
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5answers
406 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
266 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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1answer
162 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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2answers
75 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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8answers
483 views

What term describes something which is ubiquitous and consequently poor in quality, but occasionally exceptional and noteworthy?

That is, something which is especially remarkable in one isolated instance because it rises above being quintessentially mediocre, as is the case in every other example. Consider the chocolate chip ...
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1answer
53 views

'Ambiguous Nuts' or 'To Shell or not to Shell'

How does one remove the ambiguity of shelled peanuts? Must one just not use the adjective 'shelled' in relation to peanuts, or other nuts, or shellfish?
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1answer
326 views

Difference between the adjectives and participles [closed]

What is the difference between an adjective and a participle
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1answer
147 views

What is the proper adjective form, if any, of apothecary?

What is the proper adjective form, if any, of apothecary? My best guess is 'apothecal', although my resources have not found a definitive answer one way or the other. For example: Jordan ...
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2answers
141 views

What is a better antonym pair than “upmost” vs. “deepest” for blood vessels?

I’m thinking about the opposite ends of a blood vessel, so perhaps the “upmost” blood vessels and “deepest” blood vessels. My problem is that I like neither word quoted in the previous sentence. ...
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1answer
356 views

Adjectives that describe the general shape of fishes

My question has to do with the adjectives one can use to describe the very general shape of a fish if we think of these three axes: tail-to-head axis back-to-belly axis side-to-side axis Question ...
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2answers
434 views

What is the difference between “common” and “mutual”?

What is the difference between "He is our common teacher" and "He is our mutual teacher"?
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1answer
61 views

Calendric vs Calendrical

When choosing an adjective to refer to the nature of a calendar system, such as how we have months of varying length, is it more appropriate to use calendric or calendrical? Is there any difference, ...
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5answers
322 views

Does a laser “etch” things, or does it “engrave” them?

Which (if any) of these adjectives would you use for describing a surface that has been cut using a laser beam: a laser-etched surface a laser-engraved surface a laser-(something else) surface a ...
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4answers
629 views

Word for doing something only because it provokes a reaction from others [duplicate]

Some people act in ways that provoke surprised or shocked reactions from others, mainly because they enjoy getting those reactions and not because of any inherent desire to perform the action itself. ...
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2answers
721 views

“High aspirations” vs. “large aspirations”

When you intend to say someone has a strong desire to achieve something high or great, is it proper to say they have "high aspirations"? Or would it be "large aspirations", or something else?
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17answers
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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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9answers
703 views

What words mean “not located yet”?

I am doing a persuasive essay for English. I want a word that means "not located yet", as in if you know something exists, but have not yet found the boundaries where it exists. As in genetics, where ...
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2answers
294 views

Omission of verbs

This following sentence is puzzling me. Neither can I understand the meaning, nor can I reason the grammatical soundness of the sentence. Some symbols acquire a multitude of meanings, some widely ...
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2answers
83 views

“Intense stress” vs. “high stress”

Capable of performing under intense stress without compromising quality of service. Capable of performing under high stress without compromising quality of service. Which is best suited ...
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2answers
177 views

What is an adjective for “almost, but not entirely correct”?

I'm looking for an adjective, and I'll use an example to describe what I'm looking for. John says: "It is impossible to stand on one hand." When in reality, it is unimaginably difficult (one might ...
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2answers
8k views

“As evidenced by” or “as evident by”?

I have this sentence: Group theory is one of my favourite areas in mathematics, as evidenced by the fact that I chose to do two group theory modules in my undergraduate course. I am wondering if ...
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1answer
128 views

Referring to a person, should I use the capital letter for “Fascist”?

As I understand, the word Fascism must be capitalised, while the adjective fascist should not. But what if "Fascist" is used as a noun? Eg: "The headmaster was enlisted in the National Fascist Party ...
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1answer
116 views

Is “fine” one of the strangest words in English language? How did it come to be this way and are there other examples? [closed]

Many words have multiple meanings but not many words have different meanings in the same context. Fine can mean both very good-to-excellent and acceptable but probably below average. For example, the ...
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1answer
957 views

“Is missing” vs. “is missed” [closed]

I was wondering why we say "something is missing" instead of "something is missed"? If missed is an adjective then why we use it that way? E.g.: "The sword is missing".
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2answers
66 views

Looking for the inverse of “frictional”

Does frictional means "that which is produced by friction"? Or is there a better word that means "that which generates friction"?