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  1. #1
    anhnha's Avatar
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    Default The little red bird flew gracefully.

    Hi,
    Could anyone help me point out wich part that "little" in this sentence belong to?
    The little red bird flew gracefully.
    In the sentence I know that:
    The: adjective
    red: adjective
    bird: noun
    flew: verb
    gracefully: adverb
    But I am not sure about "little", I think it may be an adjective or adverb, if little is an adjective it modifies for bird and in the case of adverb it will modify for red. Is it right?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    NOT A TEACHER

    Could anyone help me point out which part that "little" in this sentence belongs to?
    I think 'little' refers to the word 'bird'. Thus, it should be an adjective.

    PS:I have never encountered the pattern 'modify for'. I believe the verb is used without a preposition.
    Last edited by tom3m; 02-Oct-2012 at 18:46.

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    Hi,
    Could anyone help me point out wich part that "little" in this sentence belong to?
    The little red bird flew gracefully.
    In the sentence I know that:
    The: adjective
    red: adjective
    bird: noun
    flew: verb
    gracefully: adverb
    But I am not sure about "little", I think it may be an adjective or adverb, if little is an adjective it modifies for bird and in the case of adverb it will modify for red. Is it right?
    Thanks!
    "The" is not an adjective. "little" is an adjective meaning "small".

  4. #4
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    "The" is not an adjective.
    Good evening, I have always thought of 'the' as a determiner, not an adjective as well. However, on Wikipedia (not considering it that reliable a source) I found this:

    Traditionally in English
    , an article is usually considered to be a type of adjective. In some languages, articles are a special part of speech, which cannot easily be combined with other parts of speech. It is also possible for articles to be part of another part of speech category such as a determiner, an English part of speech category that combines articles and demonstratives (such as 'this' and 'that').

  5. #5
    anhnha's Avatar
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    Thanks so much!
    I want to improve my English grammar therefore I am learning sentence diagramming. Here are the web that I learnt:
    What Is An Adjective?
    And in the "Articles" section it say that "Articles are special kinds of adjectives." I hope this method(sentence diagramming) will make it easier for me to understand grammar better. I am always not sure about what I wrote is grammatical or not.

  6. #6
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    Thanks so much!
    I want to improve my English grammar therefore I am learning sentence diagramming. Here are the web that I learnt:
    What Is An Adjective?
    And in the "Articles" section it say that "Articles are special kinds of adjectives." I hope this method(sentence diagramming) will make it easier for me to understand grammar better. I am always not sure about what I wrote is grammatical or not.
    I do not want discourage you, but I do not think that bhai could be that wrong. After his response ('the is not an adjective') I tried to search what part of speech articles really are and the first source was the Wikipedia. Therefore, I have absolutely no intention to mystify you. I was merely commenting on bhai's post, beacuse I was curious about his explanation that quite does not correspond with what is on the Wikipedia. I want to learn about it as well, because his (or of any other native speakers') explanation may much more fruitful then unsourced facts on the Wiki.
    Last edited by tom3m; 04-Oct-2012 at 16:31.

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    I do not want discourage you, but I do not think that bhai could be that wrong. After his response ('the is not an adjective') I tried to search what part of speech articles really are and the first source was the Wikipedia. Therefore, I have absolutely no intention to mystify you. I was merely commenting on bhai's post, beacuse I was curious about his explanation that quite does not correspond with what is on the Wikipedia. I want to learn about it as well, because his (or of any other native speakers') explanation may much more fruitful then an unsourced facts on the Wiki.
    the determiner (PARTICULAR) - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

    http://oxforddictionaries.com/defini...sh/the?view=uk

  8. #8
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.



    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****




    Hello,

    1. Congratulations on the excellent job of parsing!

    2. As the other posters have told you, traditional grammar labels "the" an adjective and linguists (those who study

    university-level grammar) now prefer the term determiner.

    3. I was fascinated by "a little red bird." Here are a few thoughts, not answers.

    a. I believe that the two words "a little" are an adverb that means "somewhat" or "rather."

    i. Thus, I believe "a little" modifies "red" in "I saw a bird that was a little red."

    ii. But English speakers will NOT accept:

    "A a little red bird flow over my head." The two A's together are not acceptable. Therefore, in your sentence, "little" cannot modify "red."

    iii. I think that "little" probably modifies "bird." If you use a comma, then this would come out more clearly:

    "A little, red bird flew overhead." (As you know, the comma may represent the word "and." That is, the bird that flew

    overhead was little and red.)

    iv. But here is where it gets fun. I think that maybe some people feel that there should be NO comma? Why?

    Because they feel that "A little red bird" means: A red bird that was little. In other words, "little"

    modifies "red bird."


    James

  9. #9
    anhnha's Avatar
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    Default Re: The little red bird flew gracefully.

    Hi James,
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!
    I have learnt many things from you, especially in the usage of "a little" and "comma". They are really very interesting and I am very delighted to learn that.

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