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  1. #11
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    We are really talking about two different words. The word earnest (first entry) is Germanic in origin. The word earnest (second entry) is from French via Latin and Greek. When a word has separate entries in a dictionary expect it to have separate and distinct meanings.

    :)

  2. #12
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    Re: adjective or noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by THE ADVANCED LEARNER'S DICTIONARY FO CURRENT ENGLISH WITH CHIESE TRANSLATION (1982)
    earnest. adj. serious; determined: an ~ worker ( pupil); an ~ Christian, one who conscientiously practise beliefs. n. in earnest, in a determined, not in a joking manner; seriousl(ly):If you work in ~, you will succeed. I'm perfectly in ~ , am not joking. It is raining in real ~, heavily, and likely to continue. ~ly adv. in an ~ manner: We ~ly hope that... ~ness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiang
    No. 1: In the phrase 'in earnest' the word 'earnest' is a noun. But the phrase can be adj. as well as adv. Am I right?

    No.2: What's the difference between 'earnest' when it used as a noun and the noun form 'earnestness' ?

    With regards to the dictionary entry above, in earnest is listed as a noun (n.) and yet within the examples provided, it functions as an adjective. What's that about?

    Within the phrase prepositional phrase 'in earnest', 'earnest', a noun, means, solemn promise or pledge. To do something in earnest (adv.)means, to do something in which a solemn promise is madeto oneself and/or others.

    As a noun, earnest has the following dictionary entry (Encarta):

    earnest. n. a small advanced payment that confirms a contract; a sign, foretaste, pledge of something to come. (French erres, Latin arres, Greek arraboun 'pledges')

    The difference between 'earnest' and 'earnestness' is this, the former is a pledge and the latter is a characteristic:

    earnestness. n. an earnest and sincere feeling. The trait of being serious.

    EX: Her earnestness is what makes her a great employee. (noun)
    EX: The earnest was 35%. (noun)

    All the best,

  3. #13
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Re: adjective or noun?

    :D
    Dear Casiopea,

    Thank you so much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.

    I am sorry to have kept bothering you with my questions when I was just confused.So thank you also for your patience.

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by THE ADVANCED LEARNER'S DICTIONARY FO CURRENT ENGLISH WITH CHIESE TRANSLATION (1982)
    earnest. adj. serious; determined: an ~ worker ( pupil); an ~ Christian, one who conscientiously practise beliefs. n. in earnest, in a determined, not in a joking manner; seriousl(ly):If you work in ~, you will succeed. I'm perfectly in ~ , am not joking. It is raining in real ~, heavily, and likely to continue. ~ly adv. in an ~ manner: We ~ly hope that... ~ness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiang
    No. 1: In the phrase 'in earnest' the word 'earnest' is a noun. But the phrase can be adj. as well as adv. Am I right?

    No.2: What's the difference between 'earnest' when it used as a noun and the noun form 'earnestness' ?

    With regards to the dictionary entry above, in earnest is listed as a noun (n.) and yet within the examples provided, it functions as an adjective. What's that about?

    Within the phrase prepositional phrase 'in earnest', 'earnest', a noun, means, solemn promise or pledge. To do something in earnest (adv.)means, to do something in which a solemn promise is madeto oneself and/or others.

    As a noun, earnest has the following dictionary entry (Encarta):

    earnest. n. a small advanced payment that confirms a contract; a sign, foretaste, pledge of something to come. (French erres, Latin arres, Greek arraboun 'pledges')

    The difference between 'earnest' and 'earnestness' is this, the former is a pledge and the latter is a characteristic:

    earnestness. n. an earnest and sincere feeling. The trait of being serious.

    EX: Her earnestness is what makes her a great employee. (noun)
    EX: The earnest was 35%. (noun)

    All the best,
    :D

  4. #14
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    Re: adjective or noun?

    Anytime :)
    It had me confused as well. :D

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