Vigilant is an adjective, so "The vigilant worker spotted a problem" is correct but what about "We must remain vigilant"?

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    Adjectives can be predicates, after an auxiliary verb be, as in She is vigilant, I told her to be more vigilant, and We must remain vigilant (where the be has been deleted after remain, which has a similar function). Oct 26, 2020 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


It’s still an adjective. That’s because remain is intransitive, like be or become or seem. Here’s the relevant sense from the OED:

  1. a. intransitive. With noun or adjectival phrase as complement: to continue to be.

In your example, the predicate complement is an adjectival phrase. Here’s one with a noun phrase as predicate complement:

‘I pass the test,’ she said. ‘I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.’

She will remain Galadriel means she will continue to be Galadriel.

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