1. We are short staffed. (Form: past participle, Function: adjective)Originally Posted by koko
2. The knife is thin edged. (Same as above)
First, words ending in -ed, like staffed and edged are called participle and they function as adjectives especially when they come after forms of the linking verbs BE (e.g. are/is). In that position they are called predicate adjectives.
Second, the words 'short' and 'thin' are descriptive words. They function as adjectives, and adjectives modify other adjectives.
Third, words ending in -ed that function as verbs, like talked and walked, stand alone as the only verbs in the clause. When you see another verb present, like BE or HAVE, the -ed word functions as a (past) participle, a word which means, part of the verb. For example,
3. I have talked to her before. ('talked' functions as a past participle, as part of the present perfect verb 'have talked' (i.e. have + -ed))
4. The dog is walked every day by me. ('walked' functions as a past participle of the passive verb 'is walked' (i.e. BE -ed). Note, that the dog and I both do the action of walking. )
5. We are short staffed. ('staffed' is a past participle which functions as an adjective. It describes the subject: we = short staffed. It does not express that 'we' are doing the action; that we are short staffing. That meaning is just too odd. Active (i.e. not passive) structures having BE + -ed function as linking verb BE plus adjective ending in -ed.
Let's say Sue and Bob and Tom are standing in line and that Sue is the first in line:Originally Posted by koko
Sue - Bob - Tom
Tom is last in line and Bob is in the middle: Bob is also the second in line as well as the second last in line. Now let's add Karen:
Sue - Bob - Karen -Tom
Karen is the second last in line. Bob is the second in line, Sue is the first, and Tom is last.