Student or Learner
My fire is out.
I wonder the "out" above is adjective or adverb ?
Previously I thought it is adjective, but I lookup it up in my dictionary, it states it is adverb.
So, does it mean that an adverb also can be used as a subjective complement ? Just like the following :
1. My English teacher is a foreigner.
2. My English teacher is beautiful.
the underlined are subjective complements.
Your guidance is highly appreciated.
Last edited by kl004535; 26-Jan-2010 at 12:51.
CGEL by Quirk et. al; 10.11, p732.10.11 Some clause structures and clause elements can be analysed in more than one way. In this and the following sections we examine instances that are best treated through gradience and multiple analysis (cf 2.60f).
The distinction between obligatory adjunct and complement is not clearcut
for all prepositional phrases. Some prepositional phrases are semantically
similar to adjective or noun phrases functioning as complement:
They were out of breath. - They were breathless.
That is of no importance. - That is unimportant.
He is under suspicion. - He is a suspect.
She is in good health. - She is healthy.
They are not at ease. - They are not relaxed.
More importantly, such prepositional phrases can be coordinated with, or
placed in apposition with, adjective phrases that undoubtedly function as
She is young and in good health.
They were out of breath and extremely tired.
They are not at ease, ie. not relaxed.
Furthermore, unlike clear instances of obligatory adjuncts, they can be used
as complementation for copular verbs other than BE, a characteristic of
adjective phrases functioning as subject complement:
They appear out of breath.
That seems of no importance.
She feels in good health.
Here are other examples of prepositional phrases functioning as subject
They are in love.
We're over the worst.
The demonstration got out of hand.
He feels at home.
That child seems in trouble.
I don't feel up to it.
The house seems in good condition.
He sounds in great danger.
We similarly find prepositional phrases functioning as object complement :
They put me at my ease. ['I'm at my ease.']
I don't consider myself at risk.
He didn't feel himself at home.
She didn't want me in any danger.
He imagined himself on thepoint of death.
I found him in trouble.
Some adverbs can also be complements:
The milk seems off. ['sour'] (informal)
The performance is over.
In technology we are ahead.
I am behind in my rent.
The television is still on.
He imagined himself ahead.
I declare this meeting over.
They let us off.
The adverbs and prepositional phrases that function as complement are
metaphorically related to space adverbials. Unlike the latter, however, they
cannot be questioned by adverbial where. Contrast in this respect:
A: Where are they?
B: They're out of town.
*They're out of breath.
On the other hand, how may be used in some instances to question these
complements, as it is for adjective phrases functioning as complement:
A : How does she feel?
B : She feels very happy.
She feels in good health.
[a] speakers may vary in particular instances as to whether a copular verb other than BE is acceptable; for example, in I'm on time (cf: I'm early) or You're on your own (cf: You're alone).
Contrast: (?)I seem on time and, with look as a copular verb, (?)You look on your own.
[b] Off in The milk is off has moved into the adjective class for those who accept its premodification by very.
[c] There may be semantic differences between prepositional phrases and parallel adjective phrases. For example, She is healthy suggests a more permanent condition than She is in good health.
The fire is completely out.
The fire seems out.
1-My fire is out.
--> "out" has the nature of an adverb, but the function of an adjective.
Naure is what the (grp of) word (s) is/are.
Function is the office of a certain (grp of) word (s) in a sentence.
As far as I know, a Cs-subjective complement- is a group of words that gives more information about a the subject or object, & is necessary to identify this subj/obj.
So, not only adverbs are used as Cs, adjectives, nouns & phrases (etc) are also used!
1-The sentence is meaningful.
("meaningful" is Cs for the subject "The sentence")
2-A sentence is a group of words.
3-They elected him president.
("president" is a Co for the object ""him")
However, both adjectives and adverbs can function as subjective complements. Compare your sentence with the adverbial 'out' of
We're still in the game, but Peter is out.
denoting, not an attribute/characteristic of Peter, but his - albeit conceptual - 'location'.
1. We're still in the game, but Peter is out. -- SVA
2. The fire is out. -- SVC
The two out's are different. In #1, the second clause is a SVA, where A is an attribute of location (obligatory predicate adjunct), which is associated with 'Peter', the subject in that clause, via the aid of the copula verb. On the other hand, 'out' in #2 is an attibute that is only metaphorically related to space. It is a descriptor, an adjective in function (SVC).