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English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Postby hanuman_2000 » Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:06 am


As a rule says that "participle" functions as an adjective.

does it mean that all possible participles function as an adjective.


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Postby Alan » Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:36 pm

To say that participles function as adjectives means that they relate to nouns very much as adjectives do. It does not mean flatly that any participle may be used exactly like a typical adjective.

Some -ing forms - such as 'interesting, exciting, boring' - are considered true adjectives (known as 'participial adjectives'), while others - e.g. 'writing, eating, deciding' - are not, even though they may often precede nouns in such a way as to make them seem so. The key point is whether we may grade them with an adverb such as 'very': very boring is acceptable, while *very writing is not.

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