In the dictionary, position as a verb means "to determine the position of or locate".

  1. What word would represent the adjectival form of position? and what would its meaning be?

  2. Is it acceptable grammatically for a verb to be put before a noun - eg a positioning device - to describing a device used to determine the position or location of something (eg It is a positioning device that locates optimal treatment sites). If this is proper grammatically can you please elaborate on which grammatical rules are at work here that allow this?

  • This is not a verb being put before a noun. This is a modifier being put before a noun. "Do you use a green device? Do you use a GPS device? Do you use a positioning device?" Nothing to see here, move along. The grammatical rules at work here are that you can put a modifier before a noun. Can you please elaborate where else you would put the modifier in your sentence? (And if you can't, then there you have it, you agree that the question is really a non-starter.) – RegDwigнt Mar 18 '16 at 18:54

There is nothing wrong with using either positioning or positioned as adjectival forms of the verb position. These two forms are the present active participle and present passive participle respectively.

Using the present active participle of a verb as an adjective means something which is used in accomplishing the meaning of the verb. e.g., a positioning beacon = a beacon used to position other things.

Using the present passive participle of a verb as an adjective identifies something which has undergone the verb's activity, e.g. a positioned military unit = a military united that has been placed into position.

Thus, the adjectival forms of the verb position are positioning and positioned depending on whether you want to speak of something that helps in positioning or is already positioned.


Although in this particular context, I would prefer 'location device,' 'positioning device' is also perfectly acceptable.

When we expand the acronym 'GPS,' we get 'Global Positioning System,' which is exactly the same concept.

Almost any time we have a verb which ends with '-ing,' we can almost always use it as either a noun or an adjective without changing form. Take walking, for example:

As a verb, we say

 John is walking. 

As a noun,

 John's walking improves his overall health.

And as an adjective,

 John just bought a new walking stick to use on nature hikes.  

So yes, this is perfectly acceptable and correct.


Sure, it is grammatically correct to put a verb before a noun. Examples:

  • Visualize a horse.
  • Find yourself.
  • Bring the food.
  • Question everything.

In each of these examples, a noun subject ("you") is understood in a declarative sentence.

Here are some examples where something other than a noun is put before a verb which is positioned before a noun.

  • Skiing creates relaxation.
  • To sink and to swim are the facts of life.
  • Please elaborate a bit on your answer, the formatting is confusing and you don't go into detail on explaining your point. As an aside I find "Visualize horse." and "Bring bottle" to be odd phrases, with the articles omitted. – SuperBiasedMan Mar 17 '16 at 13:15

verb + noun; Read the book. Print books. Find dreams. Use shadow, light the silence, bring yourself here. Think the headstone. Write the will.

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