Is ‘white’ an adverb in “the lamp will flash white”?

What is the role of ‘white’ in the following sentence? The lamp on the machine will flash white when you restart it. It seems like it is an adverb here, but is it possible to use colours as adverbs? Answer In a comment, John Lawler wrote: It’s an idiom, one of a number of them … Read more

Can the noun eyewitness be used properly without a preceding article?

Today I was writing an email calling somebody "eyewitness to" some event, but it was marked as incorrect and it was suggested I precede it with an article; i.e. an eyewitness, instead. But isn’t my usage also proper, being an instance of a predicate adjective? I think I intuitively used the form I did, having … Read more

The predicate nominative and the predicate adjective is to subjective complements as the ___ and the ___ is to objective complements

What do we call those words which are adjectives used as objective complements and nouns/pronouns used as objective complements See the terms that describe adjectives or nouns/pronouns used as subjective complements is used appropriately, but I’ve never come across the corresponding terms for objective complements, despite the obvious parallel that they have with their subjective … Read more

Is there a word to describe the portion of one’s total funds that may be spent as opposed to the portion which must be held on to?

I cannot think what else I might add… Answer Disposable income is net income. It’s the amount left over after taxes. Discretionary income is the amount of net income remaining after all basic necessities are covered. Economists monitor these numbers at a macro level to see how consumers are saving, spending, and borrowing. Available … Read more

Is “something red” an example of ellipsis or adjectival positioning

I want to better understand why the construction something + [adjective] makes grammatical sense. Background: I was recently reading a Washington Post article and came across the following sentence. So if you fall in that category, [the movie] feels more like magic than repetitive. (Note: I’ve copied the relevant spoiler-free sentence above; following the link … Read more

Can a phrasal adjective be placed AFTER a noun?

If phrasal adjectives can be placed after nouns, what are some examples? Answer There are a few situations where you can put a phrasal adjetcive directly behind a noun but they are only the cases where simple adjectives can be used in that way. The most common examples I can think of are to do … Read more

Can adjectives be placed in front of verbs, e.g. “The duck was busy diving for food”?

The duck was busy diving for food. The duck was busily diving for food. Are both sentences grammatically correct? If the first one is correct, does it mean that adjectives can be placed in front of verbs? Answer The positional nature of English grammar gives your two sentences different structures in spite of the similarity … Read more

Differences between Verb + to be + adjectives and Verb + adjective

If you have a more illustrative title, feel free to change it. I searched but I couldn’t find one. This may be an easy and trivial question; if so, I am sorry. What are the differences between these two sentences? These two guys seem to be inseparable. These two guys seem inseparable. I can intuitively … Read more