2

What are some pro-adjectives? That is, a pro-form that can substitute (satisfy the substitution test with) an adjectival phrase? A Google search brought up "such", but was otherwise unfruitful. Are there any others?

Edit: As pointed out in the comments, "so" is mentioned in the first Wikipedia link above, but I think that "so": (1) can also substitute for units larger than an adjectival phrase such as a clause (e.g. "if so"), defeating the purpose of the test, and, (2) when it substitutes for an adjective, it is limited to comparatives.

6
  • 1
    The Wikipedia page you link mentions: so as in "It is less so than we had expected."
    – Stuart F
    Mar 17, 2023 at 12:29
  • 2
    This is an interesting question. We don't normally use pro-forms to transform, for example, "That car was fast" to "That car was ___". Perhaps it's because adjectives add colour to nouns while pro-forms do the opposite, so using a pro-form in place of an adjective or adjectival phrase defeats the purpose of using an adjective at all. However, your suggestion of "so" or "such" might work in a context such as "That car was fast. It was so because the driver was being pursued."
    – Lawrence
    Mar 17, 2023 at 18:35
  • 1
    So/Such ... that S is a construction that requires a baseline clause. It's not really a pro-form; so modifies predicate adjectives and such predicate nouns. English pro-adjectives are usually phrases like that way. Mar 18, 2023 at 1:55
  • "Such" fails your substitution test: "such a person" but not "smart a person."
    – alphabet
    Mar 19, 2023 at 4:12
  • 1
    @alphabet It actually passes if you don't consider word order to be part of the test. ("I need a smart person. She is such a person." -> "She is a smart person.") In any case, such a test (i.e., a substitution test) is really just an aid; OP probably overstated its usefulness in identifying pro-adjectives. Mar 19, 2023 at 16:35

1 Answer 1

0

The only pro adjective I can come up with is such. For example, Mr. Williams is a dedicated employee, which jobs need SUCH people working for them.

In this sentence, such serves as a pro form or pro adjective, substituting the adjective dedicated.

Actually, that is the only word I can think of as a pro adjective.

2
  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 6, 2023 at 22:38
  • 1
    You edited the wrong answer by mistake. Please edit this one, which isn't deleted.
    – Laurel
    Dec 6, 2023 at 22:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.