1

What part of speech is handsome in the sentence:

The bridegroom looked so handsome.

closed as off-topic by sumelic, Glorfindel, aparente001, Jason Bassford, Mitch Mar 9 at 21:37

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Search predicate adjective. – KannE Mar 3 at 16:33
2

Handsome is an adjective in this sentence:

The bridegroom looked so handsome.

  1. Adj. having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking

    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/handsome

It is an adjective and describes the subject "the bridegroom". What is tricking you is that "looked" here is a linking verb, which are used to describe the state of being of the subject of a clause. (Unlike action verbs, which describe the action of the subject.) See here.

  • Doesn't handsome describe about the verb of the sentence can't it be considered as an adverb – ruthvik reddy Mar 2 at 6:40
  • No, it is an adjective and describes the subject "the bridegroom". What is tricking you is that "looks" here is a linking verb, which are used to describe the state of being of the subject of a clause. (Unlike action verbs, which describe the action of the subject.) See thefreedictionary.com/linking+verb – ib11 Mar 2 at 6:47
2

It's an adjective and not an adverb because it's not modifying the action of looking. So for instance, in the sentence "He looked thoroughly around the room," "thoroughly" is an adverb because it is describing how the action occurred. In your sentence, "handsome" is not modifying how the "looking" occurred but "the bridegroom." The fact that "look" can both indicate an action (He looked around) and effectively be an equal signs (i.e. a linking verb) may be the stumbling block here.

  • A small point @user338477. The AdjP "so handsome" isn't a modifier. Predicatives are complements, not modifiers. In the OP's example, the AdjP refers to "bridegroom", of course, but its function is that of complement of "look". – BillJ Mar 2 at 7:44
  • 1
    Point taken, though I wasn't using "modify" in the sense of syntactic theory but in a layman's sense, since the person who posed the question didn't strike me as having a background in theoretical linguistics. If I'm wrong, then I'll clarify my last sentence to indicate that the confusion arises from "look" being both unergative and perhaps a functional verb (i.e. the linking verb use of "look" is probably not base generated in VP, but in a functional projection). – user338477 Mar 2 at 8:53

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