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Help! Why are those words marked as "adj"??

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My oldest is working on some writing and I told him to use some dictionary apps to find various words.  One of the apps is Merriam Webster, another Dictionary.com.  Both apps keep labeling words like "packed, finished", etc as adjectives.  English is not my native language and I am at a complete loss - how are those not verbs??  What am I missing?

thank you!

 

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37 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

My oldest is working on some writing and I told him to use some dictionary apps to find various words.  One of the apps is Merriam Webster, another Dictionary.com.  Both apps keep labeling words like "packed, finished", etc as adjectives.  English is not my native language and I am at a complete loss - how are those not verbs??  What am I missing?

thank you!

 

Uses such as

"This house has a finished basement"

"This is oil packed tuna"

 

 

Edited by maize
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It's a verbal, something formed from a verb but being used a different way (as a noun, adjective, etc.). This link has a really clear explanation. And it's not just you. I have to teach my ds this stuff because of his language disability. Good question. :smile:

https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/verbals.html

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6 minutes ago, maize said:

This article explains various kinds of verbals--words formed from verbs but functioning as a different part of speech:

https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/verbals.html

The main thing to remember is that parts of speech are all about function, not about the word itself.

oh my goodness, this is so different from my native language

 

thank you

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15 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

oh my goodness, this is so different from my native language

 

thank you

Maybe you have something similar and don't realize it? After all, native speakers don't usually keep a ton of grammar knowledge handy. I remember talking with a russian guy who was like "Well english has cases too" and I'm like WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? As a native speaker, I didn't need to think through the language that way to use it accurately. 

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10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Maybe you have something similar and don't realize it? After all, native speakers don't usually keep a ton of grammar knowledge handy. I remember talking with a russian guy who was like "Well english has cases too" and I'm like WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? As a native speaker, I didn't need to think through the language that way to use it accurately. 

ha ha ha Russian is my native language and I can't think of an instance where the same word would become a different part of speech.....but may be I am wrong, I've been wrong before 🙂

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So many words in the English language can be used as different parts of speech.

If you say "He packed for the trip yesterday," then packed is a verb.

If you say "It was a packed auditorium," then packed is an adjective.

Even the word "homeschooled" is now becoming either.

If you say "She homeschooled her children" then homeschooled is a verb.

If you say "She is a homeschooled student," then homeschooled is an adjective.

 

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You can't necessarily tell what part of speech a word is without seeing it in the context of a sentence.

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7 hours ago, EKS said:

You can't necessarily tell what part of speech a word is without seeing it in the context of a sentence.

Exactly.  English words need to be evaluated in context.  Another example is the word "like."  Like can be used as a verb as in to like something.  But it can also be used as a preposition in terms of comparison.  

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It looks like this topic is already solved, but I had to add my 2 cents.

English is confusing, difficult, and one of those things that not even people who use it as a first language want to deal with. That being said, when I'm trying to explain this stuff to my kiddos, I usually default to something I picked up back when I was in high school.

If you can figure out the thing doing the action (subject), the action itself (verb), and the thing on the receiving end of the action (object), you'll be able to figure out everything else, ... as long as you understand some other confusing English rules.

LIke it's been said before, you need to know what the entire sentence says before you can really begin to figure out what's going on. Otherwise, you'll start jumping to conclusions and missing the point, or getting things wrong, before you even get started. Once you read the sentence, then you can get into the really good, juicy stuff - the stuff that makes my kids roll their eyes, and the stuff that makes me want to do backflips (I'm an author and editor ... so English actually makes me giddy.)

Here's what I tell my kids about adjectives: find a noun and then find the part of the sentence that is describing that noun, or making it more interesting. It doesn't matter what kind of word is making that noun more interesting - it could be a verb, a descriptive term, or even a dependent clause - it just needs to give more flavor to the noun. Here's an example of each possible scenario I listed, and I'll use flower as the noun:

Verb: The swaying flower

Descriptive term: the green flower

Dependent clause: the smart, strong, and never-missing a chance to turn down a fight, even when the odds are against him, flower.

You can get crazy with these things - just remember, as long as you look at the whole sentence, you'll be much better off trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

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Additionally, words that are normally considered nouns are often used as adjectives in English, such as the word "hospital" in this example: The patient is sleeping in a hospital bed.

Consider the terms "horse race" and "race horse." In the first case, horse is an adjective, and race is a noun. In the second case, race is an adjective, and horse is a noun.

Edited by Skippy
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Is there a book with a good overview of this kind of thing, along with the opportunity to practice?


I've got a 6th grader that doesn't seem to know it. I think his writing will improve if he consciously knows this and not just a feeling.

 

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6 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

Is there a book with a good overview of this kind of thing, along with the opportunity to practice?


I've got a 6th grader that doesn't seem to know it. I think his writing will improve if he consciously knows this and not just a feeling.

 

 

I can't think of a book but when I taught my kiddos this I just did something like this, after I grabbed a random book off the shelf that might have been called, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone":

1. Flip the book open and beginning reading at the beginning of a random paragraph.
2. Have my kiddo identify the subject, object, and verb - making sure that these are broken down to the most basic level possible - i.e. the bed and not the hospital bed
3. Direct my kiddo to look at words that are describing the subject, the object, and the verb
4. Reiterate that the things that describe the nouns are adjectives and the things that describe the verbs are adverbs
5. Explain that anything can be an adjective - be it a noun, verb, or the like
6. Rinse and repeat for every sentence for 10 sentences.
7. Let my kiddo do it herself for 15 minutes

If they have questions, go ahead and answer them. Otherwise, just do this a couple of times each week with their favorite stories.

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22 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

Is there a book with a good overview of this kind of thing, along with the opportunity to practice?


I've got a 6th grader that doesn't seem to know it. I think his writing will improve if he consciously knows this and not just a feeling.

 

Easy Grammar covers these concepts well with lots of opportunity for practice.

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On 5/22/2019 at 10:42 AM, vonfirmath said:

Is there a book with a good overview of this kind of thing, along with the opportunity to practice?

My favorite "big picture" grammar is Michael Clay Thompson's series. The earliest verbals are discussed is the Town level, and it's mostly only in the context of verbal phrases. I have some things about the MCT grammar that drive me nuts, but for big picture thinking, it's great, and his way of analyzing sentences is easily applied, so you can practice on sentences you find yourself. He explicitly talks about Parts of Speech, Parts of the Sentence, Phrases, and Clauses. This is also the way the old-style Warriner's grammar series is structured, and you can get those books online very inexpensively to add practice after you digest the big picture. They get a little more in depth with each level.

Once you get the hang of things, composing sentences that fit the structures you are studying is very powerful also. Easy Writing (by the Easy Grammar author) has some structured activities for writing sentences with various kinds of grammatical features.

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