mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
adjective complement Options
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2021 12:26:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,413
Neurons: 244,069
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!
Before I start complaining that the grammar book is wrong . . . I thought I'd check with the forum. Anxious

The article here says that only prepositional phrases, noun clauses and infinitive phrases can act as adjective complements.
In the quiz, it specifically indicates that a gerund phrase can't.

However, one of the examples of a prepositional phrase complement is “I am perfectly content on my own.”
One of the examples of an infinitive phrase complement is “I’m very happy to know you!”

It would be very simple to replace these with gerund phrases “I am perfectly content lying in the sun” and “I’m very happy eating ice cream!”

These sound like a common sort of phrasing to me.

Is there something I'm not seeing?
Bathcoup
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2021 5:19:09 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 2/24/2021
Posts: 142
Neurons: 2,087
Hi Drag0nspeaker,

I am perfectly content lying in the sun” and “I’m very happy eating ice cream!

Your sentences sound good to me, but both seem to have parallel predicative adjectives.

I’m very happy, (I'm) eating ice cream!”. - This is the way I understand it. If there's a connection, you'd say "happy to ..., happy with ...".
I am perfectly content, (I'm) lying in the sun - When we're content, we're satisfied with non-trivial things: job, personal life etc. You may feel relaxed lying in the sun (This one may be the type you're thinking of).

I'm busy cooking. - I feel this one is. How much do I know about English grammar (I've never heard of "adjective complements" until today)?

I believe "eating, lying, cooking" are all participles, but your point is valid that some -ing (phrases), whatever they're called, can play the same role.
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2021 8:56:28 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 7,494
Neurons: 1,383,972
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Bathcoup wrote:
I believe "eating, lying, cooking" are all participles, but your point is valid that some -ing (phrases), whatever they're called, can play the same role.

Yes, I would call them all participles, not gerunds. Gerunds function as nouns, but here the -ing words are adjectival. (They would be present participles in Latin, not gerunds, which have a different ending.) A gerund could be used in a prepositional phrase, e.g. "I'm very happy about eating ice cream".

But whatever we call the -ing words, Drag0nspeaker is right that the linked article should mention them! Past participle phrases can also be used as adjective complements, e.g. "He looked funny wrapped in an American flag".

There may also be rare cases where a simple adjective can be used as an adjective complement, e.g. "The cake is usually eaten cold, but it is delicious hot". Any thoughts on this?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 6:24:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,413
Neurons: 244,069
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Thank you both!
That's a good point, Bathcoup. Sometimes, it's a bit "dubious" whether an "-ing" word is an adjectival participle, a verbal participle or a gerund. As you say, here they're more like parallel adjectives.
You ask "How much do I know about English grammar . . .?" - from the answers I've seen from you, you're doing OK (better than many "native speakers", definitely).


I agree that the last few examples from Audiendus are also good examples of adjective complements. One could not argue that "hot" is an adverb modifying "delicious".
TFD
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2021 12:40:11 PM

Rank: Administration

Joined: 3/10/2009
Posts: 926
Thank you all for your input. We have passed your comments on to our editorial team for consideration.

In response to your point about the word "hot" being used as an adjective complement, the following comes from the American Heritage Dictionary's entry for the term:

adv.
1. In a hot manner; hotly.
2. While hot: foods that are best eaten hot.

(https://www.thefreedictionary.com/hot)
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2021 9:23:55 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 7,494
Neurons: 1,383,972
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
TFD wrote:
adv.
1. In a hot manner; hotly.
2. While hot: foods that are best eaten hot.

I wouldn't call 'hot' an adverb in (2). It describes the foods, not the method of eating.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2021 9:29:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,413
Neurons: 244,069
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

I agree - the food is not "hotly delicious" or "deliciously hot", the food is delicious when the food is hot.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.