"Murray has years of experience in family practice, but he is just a fledgling in surgery."

In the above sentence, is fledgling a noun or an adjective? Or, is it both? Is that why both noun and adjective definitions are present in the following Magoosh practice link?


Please provide references for your answer, if possible.

P.s. My punctuation needs work. If you notice any punctuation or grammar problems in my question, please say so!

  • It's a noun.... – Hot Licks Apr 4 '17 at 12:16
  • 1
    It's an incipient noun - a fledgling on the verge of flying into full nouniness. – Drew Apr 4 '17 at 14:58

Well, we don't normally use article-adjective without a noun to modify (exceptions include uses like the poor, as noted below in the comment), so this is an article-noun structure. Let's take it out of context:

He is a fledgling.

Now, try it with an adjective:

He is a curious.

Not so good. Now, with a noun:

He is a carpenter.

That works. In your sentence, fledgling is used as a noun. To reword it as an adjective, we might say:

He is a fledgling surgeon.

But that was not your example.

See grammerly and grammarbook for adjective use instruction. And your punctuation looks good.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.