Linguistic categories explaining how words are used. Examples are the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

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Postpositions in English and “ago”

I was informed earlier today that the word ago is actually a postposition and the only one of its kind in English. Is this correct? If so, why do dictionaries not use this classification and prefer ...
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2answers
941 views

How to categorize “grrrr”, “errhh”, “argh”,..?

What are these called in English? Are they same thing as "Gosh" or "Gee"? Maybe sounds of emotional changes?
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270 views

Origin of “City of …”, “County of …”, “Town of …”

I'm curious about the numerous civic names (at least in Canada) which are in the 'of' form, by which I mean: City of Toronto, County of Wellington, etc. To me, this form sounds antiquated. I can ...
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Is “is” an auxiliary verb? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is "is" an auxiliary verb? My Mum's bag is blue. Is is an auxillary verb in that sentence? If not, what part of speech is it?
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2answers
96 views

What the heck is “not”, anyway?

Consider the following sentences: Enough are present to form a quorum. Not enough are present to form a quorum. M-W and Wiktionary both label enough as a pronoun in this usage, but they also ...
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3answers
720 views

Particle or preposition?

I'm studying Spanish and I have some questions about the grammatical parallels in English. Le gustan cocinar y hornear. He likes to cook and (to) bake. When an infinitive is used in ...
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2answers
13k views

Can the word ‘genius’ be used as an adjective?

Can the word 'genius' be used as an adjective? For example: 'A genius plan' or 'This is a genius piece of work'?
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1answer
81 views

What is the name of the phrase that repeats the preceding noun?

I, Motes, don't know this. "Motes" is? I think it starts with an 'A'.
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2answers
69 views

Why do nouns and verbs which are stressed differently all exhibit the same variation?

I recently stumbled upon an interesting quirk regarding words that are both nouns and verbs. They seem to all follow the same stress pattern. Here are a few examples: NOUNS I have a really long ...
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2answers
574 views

Are “this” and “next” demonstrative determiners?

Question 1: In the following, is this a demonstrative determiner: I will go to the store this week. Question 2: If so, then what class is next in the following: I will go to the store next ...
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3answers
401 views

Female adjective re job title

Why is it common to hear "women writers" or "woman doctor" but not "man author"? Isn't an adjective required in both cases, thus "female guitarist" and "male accountant"? I am asking about why the ...
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1answer
95 views

“Bright” Part of speech

"Bright" is listed in the OED as an adjective. However, in front of a color being used as an adjective, it performs as an adverb since adverbs(not adjectives) modify adjectives. Ex. "The bright ...
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119 views

Is “which” a preposition? Because because

Backstory: Back in 2013 the American Dialect Society appointed because Word of the Year. People had begun using a new syntax: noun-phrases and adjectives could now follow because. In response Geoffrey ...
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6answers
858 views

Can an adverb be a noun?

I have seen this post for the answer to my question, but this is not much help in case of the question I am going to ask. Here is an example sentence - The new design of Twitter profile is more ...
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1answer
634 views

Is “it is a fun game” correct?

"It is a lot of fun," sounds correct, but not, "it is a fun game." Isn't fun a noun? Then why is it used as an adjective? I have heard this usage even by literary giants, so this cannot be a common ...
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2answers
797 views

What is the word “who”?

Is the word "who" an adverb? If not, what is it? If it is an adverb, what type of adverb is it?
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2answers
2k views

What is the grammatical function of “never”?

What is the grammatical function of "never" in the following sentence? You will have to do something you've never done. Is it an adverb? My father disagrees with this. In "I have studied" vs. ...
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3answers
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What part of speech is “only” in “Fame lights a fuse that leads only to extinguishment”?

My impulse is that it's modifying the verb leads, and is thus an adverb; yet it seems that a case could also be made that it's exerting power on the phrase to extinguishment, a noun, which would make ...
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1answer
324 views

What part of the sentence is “you” in “telling you who that is”?

The object is "who that is", right? And the verb is "telling", but what is "you"? Further sentences: Did they give 'him' a reward? Will you be able to find 'them' a home? I have given 'her' a lot ...
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214 views

Can “Christmas” be used as an adjective?

I was just wondering whether I can write Christmas-colored stockings Christmas can be a modifier like Christmas gift, but can it be used as an adjective?
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5answers
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Part of speech of “very,” “extremely,” “really,” and “quite”

While working on developing the lexicon in one of my constructed languages, I encountered a slight difficulty in using standard classifications for words like very, extremely, really, and quite. To ...
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2answers
4k views

Grammar of “married” in “getting married”

What is the grammar of the word married in this sentence? They are getting married in April.
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2answers
123 views

Are pronouns nouns?

In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Huddleston & Pullum 2002) and many other grammars, the English pronouns are viewed as a subcategory of the English nouns. In other grammars, such ...
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8answers
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What is the difference between a part of speech and a syntactic function / grammatical relation?

What is the difference between a part-of-speech and a function? In other words: What is a part of speech. (e.g. noun) What is a grammatical function. (e.g. head, subject) [read "grammatical ...
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2answers
628 views

What evidence is there that 'to' belongs to any particular part of speech?

Reopen note: There is a quite finite and modest amount of evidence in the literature about this issue, which members can record here as they see fit. Less than there is for example about what a noun ...
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4answers
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Does “away” serve as an adverb or an adjective in the following sentence?

The shop is five minutes away. According to the dictionary, away is an adverb. An adverb modifies a verb. In the above example, what word does away modify? Why is away not an adjective? ...
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Can someone help me diagram this sentence?

I'm trying to do a sentence/phrase analysis of the following sentence. I just can't figure out, what would “No matter the season” be (Adv. of ...) in terms of sentence elements. And the next question ...
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Can adjectives always be used as nouns when they denote a plural and are preceded by the definite article?

An adjective appears to be used as a noun when denoting an animate plural and preceded by the definite article: 'The successful are those who strive.' 'The foolish are those who ...
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1answer
435 views

What is there in the English corpus beside nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc?

As you can see from this NGram, the total number of words in the indexed English corpus that were nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, determinants, pronouns, adpositions, numerals, conjunctions, or ...
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1answer
680 views

Building a phrase structure of “On the weekend …”

I'm reading Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, and I'm doing one of the early exercises, trying to work out some of the language infliction about the word 'fun'. On the ...
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1answer
60 views

What syntactic function does 'us' have here?

We (subject) need (verb) you (object) to meet (infinitive) us (object?) at the library (prepositional phrase) at 7 (prepositional phrase) tonight (adverb). What type of object is "us"?
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3answers
451 views

Are modal verbs and auxiliary verbs actually verbs?

A friend recently told me that "can" is a rare verb without an infinitive. I have since looked it up and discovered it is an auxiliary verb. In my mind it modifies a "proper" verb in much the same way ...
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1answer
179 views

Can “stemwind” be used as a verb?

Further to my question on the suitability of the word, heartland to “shout-out” in today’s New York Times’ article, “The Rough Rider and the Professor,” I have one more question about the usage of the ...
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68 views

What part of speech is the phrase “Notwithstanding the foregoing?”

In a contract document I'm reading, I found the following sentence: Notwithstanding the foregoing, your employment is also subject to the following terms: My question concerns the phrase, ...
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1answer
63 views

In “Never speak ill of friends”, what part of speech is 'ill'?

Is ill here a noun, and thus the object of speak; is it an adjective, or an adverb modifying speak?
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1answer
401 views

What's the matter?

A (1). What’s wrong?     A (2). What’s the matter? B. The internet doesn’t work. In A (1), ‘what’ is beyond doubt a subject. But in A (2), Which is the subject: ‘what’ or ‘the ...
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What part of speech is the word “found” in the sentence below

A whale found dead on the southern Spanish coast was found to have swallowed 17 kg of plastic waste, including plastic bags. I assumed it was a verb, as in a reduced passive form (a whale that was ...
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908 views

When to use “not to” and “to not”

I wonder what "structure" should one use, "to not" or "not to"? Is there a difference? is one more accepted? "It's human nature to not do what someone else wants" "Like I needed another reason ...
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1answer
780 views

Identifying the class of this word

I'm reading the Wikipedia page on garden-path sentences. One example is: The government plans to raise taxes were defeated. What class of word is government in this sentence? I read this ...
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1answer
681 views

Most Common Parses of the English language?

I hope I've got the right forum. I want to know about English specifically, although this is a linguistics question. A common task in NLP and Computational Linguistics is to generate parse trees for ...
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1answer
145 views

What is the Specific Type of Word that Includes Stellar, Sylvan, etc

I have recently become fixated on the idea of words which are defined as "of, or relating to, [noun]"- stellar means "of stars", sylvan means "of trees". These are the only two samples that I have ...
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3answers
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What part of speech is “chiropractic”?

"Chiropractic" sounds like an adjective because of the "ic", but the title "Doctor of Chiropractic" seems like a noun. Am I just confused?
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3answers
142 views

Is “keep off” considered a phrasal verb, as in “keep off the grass”?

Or is "off" simply a preposition in this case? If it's a phrasal verb, would it still be considered so in the phrase: Keep your hands off her.
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0answers
305 views

Are there nouns that embody adjectives+verbs? (Not asking about attributive nouns) [closed]

I'm not sure if there's a better way for me to word my question. I've sorted through "noun" + "adjective" search results here on SE, but found nothing approximating what I'm after. I'm trying to ...
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4answers
780 views

Usage of the word “understatement”

What does it mean when some book says that some algorithm is not so obvious, and then in brackets () says that this is possibly “the biggest understatement in this book”? Is the writer actually ...
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4answers
5k views

What part of speech is “back” in “put the book back on the table”?

Put the book back on the table. I'm having trouble. I think it is a preposition.
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4answers
2k views

Is there a term for the part of a sentence that is in the form “Customers who …” or “Products that …”?

For the purpose of building a dynamic user interface within an software application I wish to separate parts of a set of phrases which would be in the form of the examples below. Examples: ...
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4answers
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Is there a term for the phenomenon where the same word forms more than one part of speech?

Is there a term for e.g. the lexical symbol "duck"? It is both a verb and a noun, in contemporary use having no apparent connection, and so would appear to be represent two words. Then, is the a ...
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“As of late” or “as of lately”?

The title pretty much summarizes my question. For example, in the following sentence She has developed an accent while living overseas, which as of late(ly) became more pronounced. I usually ...
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2answers
4k views

To use “test” as an adjectival noun, is the proper form “test” or “testing”?

When I write a document, I am confused when to use test or testing in my document. For example, which one makes a better statement below? A test engineer vs A testing engineer software test tool vs ...