The Use of Nouns as Adjectives 1 The Use of Adjectives as Nouns 4



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Index




   The Use of Nouns as Adjectives 1

   The Use of Adjectives as Nouns 4

Ellipses of Noun Phrases 4

Nouns Formed by Conversion 5

Other Cases 6

Compound  Adjectives 7

The Hyphen 11

Bibliography 15



Names of persons, places, or things are known as nouns in the English Language.


Adjectives are words that are used to describe a noun. In other words, adjectives tell us the quality of nouns.

   The Use of Nouns as Adjectives

In many languages, including English, it is possible for nouns to modify other nouns. Unlike adjectives, nouns acting as modifiers (called attributive nouns or noun adjuncts) are not predicative; a beautiful park is beautiful, but a car park is not "car
It is also common for adjectives to be derived from nouns, as in English boyish, birdlike, behavioral, famous, manly, angelic, and so on.

We can use a noun as an adjective when it precedes a noun that it modifies; a mountain bike is a bike designed for riding up mountains. 'Mountain' functions as an adjective modifying the noun 'bike'. The second noun takes the plural form, while the first behaves like an adjective and consequently does not, unless the word is normally used in the plural (sports hall) or refers to people (women footballers).

In english the adjective can’t work alone. So it’s necessary use the noun linked.
A young woman / Una joven    An old man / Un viejo    A poor man / Un pobre .

EXCEPTION :

When the adjective work as general plural. In this case we have to use the article “THE” before.



The poor / Los pobres    The Italians / Los italianos

Mary ate some (soup made from vegetables)

Mary ate some vegetable soup.     noun + noun

Remember :

NOUNS WORKING AS ADJECTIVES CAN NEVER BE PLURAL!!!


1) Jason ate some (soup made from beans).

a) bean soup
b) soup beans
c) beans soup

2) Terry has a beautiful (garden of roses).

a) roses garden
b) garden roses
c) rose garden

3) Mara is growing a (garden of vegetables).

a) garden vegetables
b) vegetable garden
c) vegetables garden

4) I got a new (opener for cans).

a) cans opener
b) opener cans
c) can opener

5) Those were some interesting (articles in a magazine).

a) article magazine
b) magazine articles
c) magazines article

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SOLUTION

1) Jason ate some (soup made from beans).

a) bean soup
b) soup beans
c) beans soup

2) Terry has a beautiful (garden of roses).

a) roses garden
b) garden roses
c) rose garden

3) Mara is growing a (garden of vegetables).

a) garden vegetables
b) vegetable garden
c) vegetables garden

4) I got a new (opener for cans).

a) cans opener
b) opener cans
c) can opener

5) Those were some interesting (articles in a magazine).

a) article magazine
b) magazine articles
c) magazines article

   The Use of Adjectives as Nouns

Adjectives are often used as nouns. The specific cases are:

Ellipses of Noun Phrases

Ellipsis is the shortening of a phrase. In this case, we specifically look at noun phrases. Adjectives can act as nouns and can be a subject, object, or complement in a sentence.

Lets us look at the following examples:


  • 'The intelligent are not arrogant'

  • The meek shall inherit the earth.'

  • The old and the young were evacuated from the building.’

  • The rich are privileged.’

The rich’, the intelligent’, the meek’, ‘the old’, and ‘the young’ are adjectives acting as nouns. The full noun phrases could be:

  • The intelligent (people) are not arrogant’.

  • 'The meek (humans) shall inherit the earth.’

  • The old (men) and the young (children) were evacuated from the building.’

  • The rich (people) are privileged.’

Remember:



  1. The definite article ’the’ is combined with these adjectives so that they can be used as nouns.

  2. These adjectives are always plural and take a plural verb.



Nouns Formed by Conversion

Adjectives can be used as proper nouns, common nouns, and abstract nouns. When a word is used as a different part of speech without introducing any change to the form of the original word it is known as conversion. Let us look at some examples:



  • ‘The church elder frowned on kissing in the back of cars.’ (Noun)

  • ‘The elder man used his cane.’ (Adjective)

  • ‘He kept the fast for a week.’ (Noun)

  • ‘Reena and Sheena are fast friends’ (Adjective)

  • ‘This is my right!’ (Noun)

  • ‘He is the right man for this position.’ (Adjective)

  • ‘Mahatma Gandhi is his ideal.’ (Noun)

  • ‘The ideal king is expected to be wise and generous.

The above sentences make it clear how the same word can be used as a different part of speech.

Other Cases

Proper nouns like Indian, American, and African are words that can act as adjectives as well as nouns. It totally depends on the usage of the word that is whether it is in the plural form or the singular form. If the word is in the plural form it is acting as a noun and in the singular form it could be acting as an adjective or a noun.

Let us look at some examples:



  • 'The Indian brass work is popular in the west.' (Adjective)

  • 'The Indians are going for elections.' (Noun)

  • 'The African nations are taking cogent steps to fight apartheid'. (Adjective)

  • 'The Africans are hardworking people'. (Noun)

  • 'The American tourist visited the museum.' (Adjective)

  • 'The American shopped in the market.' (Noun)

Words like Indian and African have been used in the sense of ‘of India, of Africa. Remember, that once again the usage of the word determines that what part or speech the word belongs to.

Exercise: Determine whether the underlined words in the sentences given below are adjectives or nouns. Answers are given on page 2.

  1. The evening was a round of pleasures.

  2. Don’t try to fix a square peg in round hole.

  3. God defend the right!

  4. My right hand is itching.

  5. Do you know your rights?

  6. Your knife is sharp.

  7. Solomon was one of the wisest men.

  8. The wise do not argue.

  9. Indian artifacts have a huge export market.

  10. The Americans are adventurous people.

  11. Ignorance is bliss.

  12. I like to study history through epics.

  13. Akbar was an epic king.

  14. The present generation belongs to technology.

Answers:

  1. The evening was a round of pleasures. (noun)

  2. Don’t try to fix a square peg in round hole. (adjective)

  3. God defend the right! (noun)

  4. My right hand is itching. (adjective)

  5. Do you know your rights? (noun)

  6. Your knife is sharp. (adjective)

  7. Solomon was one of the wisest men. (adjective)

  8. The wise do not argue. (noun)

  9. Indian artifacts have a huge export market. (adjective)

  10. The Americans are adventurous people. (noun)

  11. Ignorance is bliss. (noun)

  12. I like to study history through epics. (noun)

  13. Akbar was an epic king. (adjective)

  14. The present generation belongs to technology. (noun)

Compound  Adjectives

 

Review of the five main types:
 
1)      The description involves a verb taking a direct object, e.g.
 
         I have a plant that eats meat = I have a meat-eating plant
 
2)      The description involves a verb, usually about something that is happening or a situation which is going on, that is modified by some sort of adverb of time or manner; the –ly is generally dropped, e.g.,

         This glue dries quickly = This is quick-drying glue

          This war has lasted a long time = This has been a long-lasting war

 3)      The description involves an anatomical or psychological feature, and the words are very short (one or two syllables), e.g.,

          She pitches and catches with her left hand = She is a left-handed pitcher and catcher

          Her Father has a very narrow mind = She has a very narrow-minded Father.

 
4)      The description involves a verb, usually about something that has happened to something or someone, and some sort of adverb saying how it happened or what the situation is like e.g.,

          He prizes this possession very highly = This is a highly-prized possession of his        

          The price of the car was high = It was a high-priced car

          The price of the car was too high = It was an overly/excessively high-priced car

          The meal was cooked well = It was a well-cooked meal

 5)      The description involves measures:

          Her daughter is twenty-five years old and stands six feet, three inches tall = She has a six-foot-three, twenty-five-year-old daughter.

Another Classification:

a.) Noun + adjective:
Blood-thirsty / Sediento de sangre    Sky-blue / Azul celeste

b.)Adjective + adjective:


Dark-Blue / Azul oscuro

c.) Adjective (or adverb) + present continuous:


Good-looking / Buen aspecto

e.) Noun + present continuous:


Hard-working / Trabajador    Heart-rending / Descorazonador
Many languages have special verbal forms called participles can act as noun modifiers. In some languages, including English, there is a strong tendency for participles to evolve into adjectives

f.) Adjective + noun + ed:


Well-mannered / De buenos modales       Fair-haired / De pelo rubio




- An actor who is well known > A well-known actor

- A girl who is four years old > A four-year-old girl

- A person who works hard > A hard-working person

- A conference that lasts three hours > A three-hour conference


Characteristics

a good-looking girl - una muchacha linda
a well-dressed woman - una mujer bien vestida
a pair of high-heeled shoes - un par de zapatos de tacos altos
a well-known actor - un actor bien conocido
some handmade toys - algunos juguetes hechos a mano
a bulletproof vest - un chaleco a prueba de balas
a first-class ticket - un boleto de primera clase
a well-kept house - una casa bien conservada
a part-time job - un trabajo de medio día
a brand-new radio - una radio completamente nueva
several duty-free goods - varios productos libres de impuestos
a one-way street - una calle de una sola vía
a second-hand car - un coche de segunda mano
Personality

a hard-working person - una persona trabajadora
a tight-fisted banker - un banquero tacaño
a kind-hearted mother - una madre bondadosa
an absent-minded scientist - un científico distraído
a two-faced politician - un político falso
a pigheaded friend - un amigo testarudo
a smooth-tongued employee - un empleado chupamedias
a stuck-up model - una modelo engreída
a self-centered artist - un artista egocéntrico
a good-natured professor - un profesor bonachón
a quick-tempered boss - un jefe irascible
a broad-minded president - un presidente tolerante, de mente abierta
a narrow-minded minister - un ministro de mente estrecha
Body

a fair-haired girl - una chica de pelo rubio
a curly-haired baby - un bebé de pelo rizado
a green-eyed woman - una mujer de ojos verdes
a long-legged model - una modelo de piernas largas
a left-handed boxer - un boxeador zurdo
a right-handed tennis player - un tenista diestro
a flatfooted runner - un corredor de pie plano
a bowlegged cowboy - un vaquero patizambo, chueco
a short-sighted writer - un escritor corto de vista
a cross-eyed boy - un chico bizco
a dark-skinned person - una persona de piel oscura
a narrow-waisted actress - una actriz de cintura angosta
a freckle-faced little girl - una niñita de cara con pecas
Quantity

a five-dollar bill - un billete de cinco dólares
a six-sided figure - un figura de seis lados
a twenty-year-old girl - una chica de veinte años
a three-hour conference - una conferencia de tres horas
a ten-page report - un informe de diez páginas
a four-day journey - un viaje de cuatro días
a five-kilometer tunnel - un túnel de cinco kilómetros
a thirty-question test - una prueba de treinta preguntas
a two-week tour - un tour de dos semanas
a ten-minute call - una llamada de diez minutos
a twenty-mile border - una frontera de veinte millas
a ten-speed bicycle - una bicicleta de diez velocidades
a forty-story building - edificio de cuarenta pisos

The Hyphen

Sometimes a hyphen is essential to avoid ambiguity. Look at these examples:

a heavy-metal detector
a heavy metal detector

Both are correct, but they mean different things. The first device detects heavy metals. The second detects metal, and it is heavy.

1.  A compound adjective is formed when two or more adjectives work together to modify the same noun. These terms should be hyphenated to avoid confusion or ambiguity.
 

Incorrect: The black and blue mark suggested that he had been involved in an altercation.

Correct: The black-and-blue mark suggested that he had been involved in an altercation.

Incorrect: Her fifteen minute presentation proved decisive to the outcome of the case.

Correct: Her fifteen-minute presentation proved decisive to the outcome of the case.

2.  However, combining an adverb (usually a word ending in "ly") and an adjective does not create a compound adjective. No hyphen is required because it is already clear that the adverb modifies the adjective rather than the subsequent noun.


 

Incorrect: The remarkably-hot day turned into a remarkably-long week.

Correct: The remarkably hot day turned into a remarkably long week.

3.  Furthermore, you should not place a hyphen in a compound adjective if the adjectives are capitalized, such as when they are part of a title.


 

Correct: His book was entitled, "Gender Neutral Language in English Usage," and it revolutionized the way people think about sex roles.

However: His book on gender-neutral language revolutionized the way people think about sex roles.

Correct: The students were participants in Chicago-Kent's vaunted Legal Research and Writing Program.

Here are a few rules to follow when deciding whether or not to use a hyphen.



If two or more words are being used as an adjective unit directly before a noun then you may need to use a hyphen to combine them. When the same two words appear after the noun, a hyphen should not be used.

Examples (before noun):


Brown-eyed girl (Clearly, brown-eyed is a single unit of meaning describing girl.)
Fur-lined coat (Fur-lined is a single adjective unit modifying coat.)
Tone-deaf violinist (Tone-deaf is a single adjective unit describing violist.)

Examples (after noun):


The girl was brown eyed.
The coat was fur lined.
The violinist was tone deaf.

There are exceptions when a compound adjective appears before a noun.

Exception #1
Do not use a hyphen after an adverb ending in -ly.

Examples:


Freshly painted wall
Sickly sweet odor

Exception #2
Do not use a hyphen in a compound using a comparative (-er) or superlative (-est).

Examples:


Better sounding speakers
Oldest surviving member

Exception #3
Do not use a hyphen in a chemical term.

Examples:


Codeine phosphate solution
Monomethyl ether compound

Exception #4
Do not use a hyphen in a compound that uses a letter as the second part of of the adjective.

Examples:


Section 8 discharge
Type A personality

Bibliography

Grammar in Use. Raymond Murphy. Cambridge University Press. Second Edition.

http://www.tolearnenglish.com

http://www.brighthub.com

http://www.english-zone.com



http://www.englishrules.com


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