I have a question about the following sentence.

"The polls were ruled invalid"

I know this is in the passive voice in that the subject polls is described as ruled.

But what what part of speech would "invalid" be?

I do not know if my question makes sense.

  • 2
    It's just an ordinary adjective. You wouldn't really say the polls are described as "ruled". Things like paper can be ruled, but for your context it means the polls are identified [as being] invalid. – FumbleFingers Dec 26 '15 at 16:54
  • Ok that make sense. – Fernando Martinez Dec 26 '15 at 17:05
  • You might have found the cited text easier to understand if it had been more explicitly expressed as The polls were ruled to be invalid, but things like this are more appropriate on English Language Learners, so I have voted for it to be migrated there. – FumbleFingers Dec 26 '15 at 17:13

The polls were ruled invalid.

The word invalid is an adjective here. I have a feeling that the question puzzling the Original Poster is actually what the grammatical function of the word invalid is. The answer is that it's a Predicative Complement. In this case it is describing the Subject of the sentence, the polls.

This sentence uses RULE in the passive voice. This verb is often used in the passive. This may make it more difficult to disentangle the grammatical relations in the sentence.

  • 1
    +1 But judges actively rule stuff all the time: "I'm going to rule that line of questioning out of order". And I'm going to rule that spelling of polls invalid. :) – StoneyB Dec 26 '15 at 22:03

"The polls were ruled invalid"

"Polls" is a noun. Words which describe nouns are called adjectives (red, big, old etc.). Hence in the above sentence, "invalid" is an adjective since it is describing "the polls". "ruled" is a verb as it represents an action (jump, sit, sleep, eat etc.). In this sentence an action is involved in turning "the polls" from a valid to an invalid state. This action is a "ruling" by, for example, a Supreme Court.

The following sentence is easier to understand perhaps:

The walls (noun) were painted (verb) blue (adjective).

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