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  1. #1
    greegorush is offline Member
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    Separate

    Hello,

    How do I distinguish adjectives like these - separate and separated?
    As I understood they could mean quite the same. There are a lot of words like separate which can be used either as verbs or adjectives. Such verbs can be transformed into adjectives by adding ed. For example:

    separate (adj) - separated (adj)
    aggregate (adj) - aggregated (adj)

    Is there any way to choose such words properly?

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: Separate

    Could you write a few sentences in which you're not such what word to use?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    greegorush is offline Member
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    Re: Separate

    I'll try.

    The rooms were separated - The separate rooms.
    It was a separate problem - The problem was separated.

    Is it the right way to distinguish them? ed adjectives are used like passive verbs?

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Separate

    Quote Originally Posted by greegorush View Post
    I'll try.

    The rooms were separated - The separate rooms.
    It was a separate problem - The problem was separated.

    Is it the right way to distinguish them? ed adjectives are used like passive verbs?
    Not really.
    "Separate" is used for things that have never been 'together/joined' in the first place.
    So, if you have two separate problems, you have two unrelated, individual problems. It doesn't mean that they were once conceived of as one problem until someone separated them.

    "Separated", on the other hand, does imply that they were once together.
    The two seedlings have been separated. (They were once together).

    The two words can sometimes be used indistinguishably:
    Keep the lemonade bottle and the metho bottle separate/separated.
    Keep them in separate places. (not separated places).

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