- For Teachers
A gentleman in India noticed a valuable ring missing, and he had reason to believe that one of his servants had stolen it.
With reference to the above sentence I would appreciate it, if you kindly let me know a part of speech of the underlined word "missing" between an adjective and a verb(present participle).
I look forward to receiving your reply.
Yes, it's a Present Participle (Participle I). I don't understand your question.
I am sure it’s a participle because of the Complex Object pattern it’s used in.
He noticed that the ring was missing.
As to the question, I think I am a little convinced by your argument. You may have a point. Because of this particular verb structure, the word tends to be participle. But my remaining suspicion is that the word "missing" has been routinely used as an adjective. In fact, in any dictionary, it (one of the uses) is defined as adjective (part of speech). Now the question is can we say "I noticed him very active in the morning"? If this is a correct sentence, then it is more reasonable to regard missing as an adjective. But if this is a wrong sentence, then, missing here has to be present participle. But it also means that after "notice+object", you cannot use adjective at all, not only "missing" can't be used as an adjective in the structure, but any "pure" adjectives. In other words, I think you are right only because of the particular verb structure. Can we say "I noticed him very active in the morning"? Any native speakers?
it really doesn't matter too much for practical learners whether this is an adjective or a present participle.
Last edited by ian2; 18-Mar-2007 at 22:37.
This is a good question actually..I was ready to sound off and reflect on the sensory verb nature of "notice" when I realized "missing" isn't being used as a
verb, but as an adjective. I can't help but think this is a reduced clause but what is odd, is it seems like a reduced noun clause, which I've never heard of: He noticed (that a ring was missing)..even though I could stretch it to a reduced relative clause: He noticed a ring (that was missing) but that has a strange and completely different meaning (how can you notice a ring that is missing?) .
So...(sorry about thinking and writing aloud there ) I still come back to the sensory verb environment and I wonder if we feel we can use "missing" (even though I think it is functioning as an adjective here) because we are used to hearing a participle after "notice". I wouldn't say "I noticed the ring absent" or "I noticed the chair broken". Perhaps adjectives that double as present participle don't offend our sense of natural form in the sensory verb structure. Practice and see
Oh, and while I totally agree that sometimes students are overwhelmed with jargon, I still think some learners feel the need to categorize!
Looking forward to feedback
But thank you for letting me know that you as a native speaker wouldn't say "I noticed the man active in the morning".
Last edited by ian2; 19-Mar-2007 at 03:36.