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Questions tagged [adjectives]

Adjectives are just one of several different types of noun modifiers, typically used to premodify or describe a noun. Do not confuse adjectives with nouns used attributively to modify other nouns. Adjectives have comparative and superlative degrees, can be used as predicate adjectives in copulae, and can themselves be modified by intensifiers and adverbs but not by other adjectives. Nouns in attribution fail all those tests.

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Why does the sequence of some types of adjectives differ?

I was reading a book, and a character calls another character "a gangly, little human". Now, if I were to use another adjective instead of little, say, tiny, I would have to say "a tiny,...
Anushka Kulkarni's user avatar
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Would the Persian equivalent of Anglo/Franco/Russo… be Persico? (from the Latin Persicus) Can I write “Persico-Egyptian”

In my paper I am talking about something which refers to both Egypt and Persia, so to make it short I first thought it should be “Perso-Egyptian” but sometimes it's not as simply as that, like “Luso” ...
Vincent Desrosiers's user avatar
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Looking for a translation for the German "hellhörig"/"ringhörig"

The German adjective "hellhörig" (sometimes also "ringhörig") describes a badly or insufficiently soundproofed building or room; i.e. being able to hear your neighbors through the ...
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How to use hyphen to form new adjectives?

Writing a chemistry paper I need to form an adjective for the following concept: TiO2 rich in oxygen vacancies. Is this the proper formation for an adjective intended to mean that?: Oxygen-vacancy-...
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Should I capitalize 'western' when it anticipates 'culture'?

The following sentences are from the transcription of a BBC podcast> In the Western culture, we have got a bit of an uphill – I would say - struggle because pre-conceptions around eating insects ...
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Capitalise or not foreign demonyms when original language uses lower case and English has no equivalent?

In English we capitalise demonyms. Someone from Paris is a Parisian. When we insert words from other languages we indicate the non-English nature of the word with quotation marks or italics. "He ...
Peter Brancato's user avatar
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When do you use hyphens with compound adjectives?

I understand there are numerous questions related to this question but nothing truly clarifies my problem. I have been trying to understand when I should use hyphens in compound adjectives and I seem ...
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Word or idiom for 'over-powered for the given collection of parts'

The specific passage I am writing is for people who propose to use a $2000 camera as a webcam. Unless their audio, lighting, and set are equal in quality to that camera, there is no reason spend that $...
Mark Powell's user avatar
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Is there any difference in meaning/usage/etc between the words 'explorative' and 'exploratory'?

The question: I am curious about the relation between the words 'explorative' and 'exploratory'. Are those exact synonyms, or is there a difference in their meaning, their usage, their geographic ...
Mårten W's user avatar
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"Such" as a part of speech, and similar words

The word "such" seems to fit under a few different categories. It could be arguably classified as: A noun - "The movie would only be of interest to such as enjoy mindless explosions ...
Rivers McForge's user avatar
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What part of speech is 'enough' in '[Subject] is enough.'?

All the dictionaries I know of classify 'enough' in 'Something is enough.' as a pronoun, not an adjective. Dictionaries such as LEXICO, Oxford Learner's Dictionaries and Collins classify it as a ...
JK2's user avatar
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"worth" with possessive(s) in coordinated nominals

According to Garner Modern English Grammar The idiomatic possessive should be used with periods of time and statements of worth — 30 days’ notice (i.e., notice of 30 days), three days’ time, ...
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Never pre-positive adjectives and intransitive prepositions

The accepted response to an earlier question concerning words like alone, asleep and alive places such words in the category of adjectives that simply don't occur in front of the nouns or noun phrases ...
Gary Botnovcan's user avatar
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Why is "shut" an adjective in "locked shut"?

Definition of 'shut' in Collins English Dictionary. Shut is also an adjective, with example sentence "The exit doors were locked shut." I wonder why 'shut' in this sentence is an ADJECTIVE not an ...
Harry W's user avatar
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What are the grammatical rules for phrases like "Rome Victorious"?

Some people seem to use this phrase. The adjective 'Victorious' seems that it is being used as if it is part of the noun. Would this work in other cases? e.g. "Rome Sacrosanct". Is it technically ...
Mister Badger's user avatar
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Rules on noun+noun structures

Although there are plenty of grammar topics that I occasionally struggle with, there is one that causes the most trouble. Lately, I have been writing a lot of technical instructions and manuals, in ...
Don Draper's user avatar
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Can we use the superlative form adjective and another adjective at the same time?

I would like to ask about the usage of adjective. Simply, is it OK to put another adjective with noun which has already had the superlative formed adjective. For example, to make "the most beautiful ...
Motoki's user avatar
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Resolution for the double "the" problem

Consider the following sentence: With the Nike shirt, your workout will be complete. How will I say the same thing about a shirt of the brand 'The North Face'? The least awkward option will ...
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Using parentheses with possessive pronoun

The following statements makes sense It is impossible to doubt that you exist. It is impossible to doubt that your mind exists. However, if I were to add parentheses to the first statement ...
Goodies's user avatar
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What type of adjective is "aesthetic"?

(This is coming from a discussion over at ELL, but the specific nuance below fits here I think). Consider two statements about a dog: The dog has brown fur The dog has aesthetic appeal and two ...
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"Oxford" comma with adjectives

Suppose you have some coordinate adjectives modifying a noun. E.g. "the cold, tired, hungry dog." You could rewrite this as "the cold and tired and hungry dog" but would these ...
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'Oil produced' vs 'produced oil', take 2

Recently a question was asked here on EL&U: This is the sentence I’m confused about: After eight years, the amount of oil produced rose significantly. Why is it oil produced and not produced oil? ...
linguisticturn's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Most concise way to describe people of multiple nationalities, not family origins

A problem I'm having is finding a concise way to differentiate between when people are a citizen of one country but have family origins in another, and dual citizens. For example, is there an easy way ...
Yvain's user avatar
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Looking for a negatively connoted word meaning "female" for a translation

I am translating a volume of poems from German into English and am having trouble translating the German word "dämlich" - which means stupid but comes from "Dame" meaning woman or dame. I need a ...
user282874's user avatar
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1 answer
270 views

"...the pleasure enjoyed" – placement of adjective?

A person should not think that happiness is the total pleasure enjoyed. In this sentence, "enjoyed" comes after the subject it describes, even though it is not a phrase or clause. I thought only the ...
Wearefarmersbumburubumbum's user avatar
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Is the Canadian in 'That's the Canadian in you' an adjective or a noun?

That's the Canadian in you. Is this Canadian a noun or an adjective? To clarify the fog, I asked 92 to 96 native speakers residing in the U.S. for the acceptability of the following three sentences. ...
Sssamy's user avatar
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How to say that something is "current" but at another point in time

Imagine I want to say Each shipment will be automatically created 2 weeks before the day of collection, and priced according to the rates at that moment. and I want to express "rates at that ...
Alexander Soare's user avatar
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Using the terms gesture, gestural and gesturality

I am trying to understand the difference between, and I'm not sure how to describe it, something like: agree, agreeable and agreeability; approach, approachable and approachability etc...I'm ...
Ch Mait's user avatar
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Why is the adjectival order "noble eightfold path" on the one hand yet "octadic patrician way" on the other?

I'm a native English speaker. As I understand, English grammar rules specify a particular ordering of types of adjectives. In Buddhism, there is a "noble eightfold path". That is, a path, ...
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Adjective about eyes

I'm trying to understand a passage from White Light Nights by O. O. McIntyre : Here an old woman, with chrome-colored face and the enduring eyes of the beaten. What does 'enduring eyes' really mean? ...
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Word for the final instance of awarding a perpetual trophy

We have a perpetual trophy that has been awarded for almost four decades. The Award is being retired, and presented to a worthy recipient one last time. How do I refer to this instance of the awarding?...
Jess's user avatar
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Is the phrase: "...obtained bipartisan political support for the project" redundant?

It appears that bipartisan does not solely refer to political parties, rather just support by two parties. However, would adding political after the phrase be redundant in nature, or more descriptive?
David Prendergast's user avatar
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Every cubic inch of air seems 'accounted' for: verb or adjective?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 1440) has this subsection Adjectival passives with the negative prefix un We have noted that such examples as the following are unambiguously ...
JK2's user avatar
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"one/two/three-car households" vs "single/dual/triple-car households" (attributive forms)

Which way is more natural when it comes to numbers of things that people have or own? For example, the numbers of cars owned by households: The rate of single/dual/triple-car households is increasing....
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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Which one is correct : "The movie is well received." or "The movie is well-received."?

Can we hyphenate predicative adjective? I learnt that usually we don't hyphenate predicate adjective. For example, He is well known. However, for the word "well-received" , which is listed ...
Marcus Vitruvius's user avatar
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What could possibly cause the stress shift in adverbs ending in -arily compared to adjectives ending in -ary?

While adjectives ending in -ary (British English /əri/, American English /eri/) never have stress on the second last syllable (the /e/ in AmE, and obviously the /ə/ in BrE), their derivative adverbs ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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What one-syllable adjectives can take "more" as comparative?

I teach ESL. My job is to stop people saying "more big" instead of "bigger". "Fun", as noted on this site, is an exception, I think because the noun, meaning "...
donfromconn's user avatar
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A word to describe an industry where personal growth depends on insider knowledge

I am trying to come up with a word that describes an industry where your growth as a professional depends on learning from others, not from books or research. Example: It's difficult for young people ...
guest334's user avatar
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"Taiwan" as an adjective versus "Taiwanese"

I hope this question is not too simplistic for the "linguists ..." forum, but I couldn’t seem to find an answer elsewhere. I am helping a non-native speaker proofread his Ph.D. dissertation ...
lousifei's user avatar
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101 views

much/very respected

Fowler's Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage, page 621 reads If we say a much respected politician we stress the process, whereas a very respected politician assesses the effect. What ...
GJC's user avatar
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Do you think 'alone' can be used as an attribute adjective, ie. before a noun

OED concludes it to be "rare" now. I'm wondering if native English speakers find these quotes too dated and unacceptable for today's English. 1668 Howe - Had this been the alone folly. 1873 ...
Eugene's user avatar
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Informal use of adjective as adverb

Is there a specific grammatical term for the substitution, in non-formal contexts, of an adjective where strictly speaking, an adverb is required? For example: That would sure be a fun trip to go on! ...
verbose's user avatar
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What is the adjective for a marriage with multiple children?

I want to get across the meaning of a marriage that has produced multiple children with an adjective. Would I say a multi-child marriage, a multi-children marriage, or something else? I'm not quite ...
stanleyy's user avatar
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130 views

what is the meaning of 'to wear one's breeches out' and 'rat-gutted'?

I am quoting from the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: Now, you don't think it likely that a man who could do anything is going to wear his breeches out sitting in ...
aissam's user avatar
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Possessive determiner followed by a stand-alone adjective?

My grammar lecturer told us that "I thought her selfish." is correct and it is used like the sentence "I thought she was selfish." He said native English speakers use this ...
Nana's user avatar
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"Theoretical reasons" vs "theory reasons" for describing reasons which come from the theory of something

Imagine you are studying music. The theory of music tells you that note 1 sounds good next to note 2. You want to reference this in something you are writing. As I see it, there are two ways. The ...
giorgi nguyen's user avatar
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Dropping a noun and keeping the adjective in a contrast sentence

This sentence is parallel and correct: "Eyes with an average rating of >= 4.0 were included in the attractive cohort, while eyes with an average rating of <= 2.0 were included in the ...
grammarquestion's user avatar
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A word for someone who wrongly belittles others for using a larger vocabulary?

EDIT: Some people can wrongly accuse others of being pretentious, verbose, or wordy JUST for having larger vocabularies (even slightly). Is there a definition for people like this? Thanks kindly for ...
Voiceless Torment's user avatar
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Adjective rank for price/cost of product or purchase

I've found numerous pages listing the correct order of adjectives. While some disagree on the number of ranks, all have the ranks they do list are in this order: Determiner/quantity Observation or ...
dx_over_dt's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
171 views

"Good going" or "well going"?

The colloquialism "good going!", said as a praise, uses the adjective "good" in reference to the verb "going". Shouldn't the adverb "well" be used instead? Why ...
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