"China is FAR from the United States." I once asked 10 teachers at the best ESL (English as a Second Language) school in the United States (I shall not name it, for I don't want to make other schools feel bad): Is "far" an adjective or an adverb in that sentence? Five teachers replied: "No problem. It's an adjective." Of course, the other five told me: "No problem. It's an adverb." I thanked all ten teachers with respect and gratitude. May I ask the same question of YOU? Thank you.
In my opinion, it's an adverb.
Yes, I, too, feel it is an adverb in this case. "Great minds think alike." Just kidding! Thanks to you both for taking the time to consider this issue.
Didn't we just finish this debate in the "far from" thread, agreeing that 'far from' was adverbial?
If a new thread is going to be started just to get fresh ideas for a currently existing thread, I think it's polite to acknowledge that existing thread.
Last edited by Raymott; 10-Jan-2010 at 04:12.
China is FAR from the United States.
It is far from the truth.
Both sentences contain this: 'far from the truth'. Question is, 'far' modifies 'from the ...,' or the reverse? In the 'China' sentence, the sense it conveys is that China is a distant place. It is far. The prep phrase specifies the meaning of 'far'. 'far' is relative. Far from where? So, in that sentence, 'far' is an adjective, the following prep phrase is an adverb that modifies 'far'.
Second sentence says the origin of 'it' comes from the truth.
He is from the US.
It is from the truth.
See the analogy? I do. In the second sentence, 'from the truth' is a predicate adjunct that is modified by another adverb, 'far'.
Many thanks to the people who took the time to answer my question. I plan to carefully study your comments. I apologize for not mentioning a similar thread. My only excuse is that I am commuter illiterate and don't know how to do so. I also learned a lesson: avoid humor ("great minds"), for people are easily offended. Thank you.
Could the differences of opinions be the result of having different definitions of Adverbs and Adjectives?
By the way, does anyone know if there is there a clear consensus amongst grammarians as to the precise functions of adverbs and adjectives? Is there some source on the internet with comprehensive researched explanations?
Last edited by mxreader; 11-Jan-2010 at 00:52.