Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice , a novel that in 2005 was adapted into a film starring Keira Knightley.

I was solving a question in which you have to find all the nouns in a sentence, and in the above sentence, 2005 is considered a noun, which I thought was an adjective. Can someone explain?

  • If it’s an adjective, what does it modify?
    – Jim
    Dec 29, 2015 at 18:31
  • Yes, in this sentence, it does not modify anything. But I still want an explanation why it is a noun. I have searched so much for this explanation on google, but I didn't find anything.
    – S. Gupta
    Dec 29, 2015 at 18:35
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    Well, it’s the object of a preposition (in)
    – Jim
    Dec 29, 2015 at 18:36
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    The part of speech of a word (and some would argue that the concept isn't all that useful and so is perhaps better dropped) in a given sentence depends on various factors. The way the word fits into the rest of the sentence, and what its function is, is of paramount importance. Here, '2005' stands for 'the year 2005' which is a noun phrase. Whereas in '2005 turkeys were eaten before Christmas', '2005' is the type of determiner known as a quantifier. Dec 29, 2015 at 18:39
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    As a word can have more than one meaning, as part of that it can have more than one part of speech. It all depends on context.
    – Mitch
    Sep 11, 2018 at 20:46

2 Answers 2


A noun is a person, place or thing. In the sentence, "I graduated in 2015," the word"2015" refers to a year, which is a thing and so is a noun. If you said "He is a 2015 graduate" then "2015" is an adjective modifying "graduate."

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    +1 FWIW.... I would say that "I graduated in 2015" doesn't refer to a year thus a noun... but maybe more of a 'place' in time.... ??? obviously I agree with your answer but just wanted to tout this FWIW
    – MegaMark
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:24

Two of them fell asleep under a tree while the third built a fire and stayed alert.

Numbers sometimes function as nouns, as do two and third here, instead of as adjectives. ~You can tell they are adjectives, not nouns, if they describe a noun, as in "two soldiers," which these do not.

This was the best explanation I could contribute...got it from my kids fix-it! grammar textbook.

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