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  1. #1
    donnach is offline Member
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    Adjective complements: what are they?

    Originally Posted by fiona bramble
    Hi C,
    Thanks for taking the time
    The examples GD gives are:
    a.Bulls being killed in bullfights seems brutal
    b.For campers to pollute streams is irresponsible
    c. It is important that she be punctual (with subjunctive)
    d. That the blue whale is becoming extinct seems sad

    F

    My two questions:

    1. Referring to the above examples, why can't the clause in d. ("That the blue whale is becoming extinct") just be a noun clause acting as subject?

    2. Referring to the below comments, how can an adjective complement be nominal? Doesn't an adjective complement automatically = adverb?

    3. Adjective complements confuse me.

    Thank you,

    Donna




    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Well, if the adjective complement is nominal, such as a that clause (c. and d.) or a for clause (b.) or a reduce relative clause (a. [That] bulls [are] being...), then yes, the adjective complement can modify its adjective on either side of the linking verb because it functions as a nominal. Like these,

    a. Bulls being killed in bullfights seems brutal.
    => It seems brutal bulls being killed in bullfights.

    b. For campers to pollute streams is irresponsible.
    => It is irresponsible for campers to pollute streams.

    c. It is important that she be punctual.
    => That she be punctual is important.

    d. That the blue whale is becoming extinct seems sad.
    => It seems sad that the blue whale is becoming extinct.

    Does that help?

    All the best.

  2. #2
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    donnach, try here first http://www.eslenglish.ca/pdf/sample_...OEFLsample.pdf. If you still have questions, let us know.

  3. #3
    donnach is offline Member
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    Thank you Soup. I read the information you posted on adjective complements. From what I read, it seems like some phrases do double-duty: a gerund phrase can serve as both the subject of the sentence and, at the same time, an adjective complement. It's the same deal with certain infinitive phrases and noun clauses.
    Is this how I should view adjective complements? A sort of secondary function or role to their primary one of subject, in certain instances, of the sentence?

    Thanks,

    Donna

  4. #4
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    Yes. Every word/phrase has a form (e.g., adjective) and a function (e.g., subject):

    Ex: Studying for TOEFL is exhausting.

    S+LV+Adj

    S = subject & adjective complement

  5. #5
    donnach is offline Member
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    So that's what they mean by form and function in grammar! So, as I understand it now, form is what part of speech it is and function is what role it plays in the sentence. In your example, the form is a gerund phrase and the functions are simultaneously subject and adjective complement. Is this correct?

    Thank you for your help,

    Donna

  6. #6
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    So that's what they mean by form and function in grammar! So, as I understand it now, form is what part of speech it is and function is what role it plays in the sentence. In your example, the form is a gerund phrase and the functions are simultaneously subject and adjective complement. Is this correct?

    Thank you for your help,

    Donna
    Every sentence, even a imperative, e.g., Study for TOEFL!, has a subject. Studying for TOEFL is a gerund phrase by form (it's headed by a gerund) and it complements the adjective exhausting. Its position in the sentence is that of subject.

  7. #7
    donnach is offline Member
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    I'm not sure if I understand what form and function are in grammar.

    Ex: Studying for TOEFL is very exhausting.

    Studying for TOEFL - Its form is a gerund phrase. Its function is as subject and adjective complement

    very - Its form is adverb. Its function is modifying the adjective exhausting (which is in itself a gerund modifier).


    Correct?

    Thanks,

    Donna

  8. #8
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    When I read about all those adjective complements I feel like a person who has always known that there is white and there is black, but then somebody tells him that there is white that is white and there is white that is black. There are parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. and there are sentence constituents - a subject, a predicate, an attribute, an object, etc. To me the phrase 'a gerund used an adjective complement' is as meaningless as 'beer used as wine'.

    I believe, in all of those sentences the highlighted fragments (seems brutal, is irresponsible, is important, seems sad) have the same syntactical function - they are used as compound nominal predicates. As is known, any nominal predicate consists of a link-verb and a nominal part (often called a predicative). Here the link verbs are: seem, be; and the predicatives are expressed by the adjectives 'brutal, irresponsible, important, sad.

    Studying for a TOEFL is very exhausting.
    The subject is expressed by the gerundial phrase 'studying for a TOEFL' which consists of the gerund 'studying' managing the noun 'TOEFL'.
    The predicate is 'is very exhausting', where 'is' is a link-verb, and 'very exhausting' is a predicative. 'Exhausting' is an adjectivised participle I (or present participle) modified by the adverb of degree 'very'.
    Last edited by Clark; 28-Jun-2008 at 19:28.

  9. #9
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Studying for a TOEFL is very exhausting. The subject is expressed by the gerundial phrase 'studying for a TOEFL' which consists of the gerund 'studying' managing the noun 'TOEFL'. The predicate is 'is very exhausting', where 'is' is a link-verb, and 'very exhausting' is a predicative. 'Exhausting' is an adjectivised participle I (or present participle) modified by the adverb of degree 'very'.
    Alternatively,

    Studying for the TOEFL <gerundival phrase>
    head = studying <gerund>
    object = for the TOEFL <prepositional phrase>
    head = for
    object = the TOEFL
    Syntactic/Structural function = subject
    Semantic function = adjective complement
    _____________________________

    is <linking verb>

    _____________________________

    very exhuasting <predicate nominal>
    modifier = very <adverb>
    adjective = exhausting <present participle>

  10. #10
    donnach is offline Member
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    Re: Adjective complements: what are they?


    Studying for the TOEFL <gerundival phrase>
    But is the gerundival phrase from your example the form?

    Does Form = Part of Speech?

    Thanks,

    Donna
    Last edited by donnach; 30-Jun-2008 at 16:48.

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