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  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #1

    Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    For example:

    3 rich [ not before noun ] informal very rich : Giles can afford it – he’s loaded.
    7 drunk [ not before noun ] American English informal very drunk : Greg used to come home loaded almost every night.
    There are other adjectives, but none come to mind right now.

    Is this just "the way it is"? Is there a reasonable explanation?

    Thanks.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Is this just "the way it is"? Yes
    Is there a reasonable explanation? No
    .
    5
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Jul-2011 at 09:58.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    For example:

    There are other adjectives, but none come to mind right now.

    Is this just "the way it is"? Is there a reasonable explanation?

    Thanks.
    I'm not surely which adjective you mean - maybe 'loaded'? Or is it 'rich' or 'drunk'?
    If 'loaded', then this can be used before a noun when it's used literally: "The loaded truck was seen in West Street." It's only when it's used figuratively that it can't be - and perhaps that's the reason.
    "The loaded man was almost falling over." What does this mean?

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    I don't understand why you think those can't go before the noun.

    Your invention will make you a very rich woman.
    Her son was killed by a drunk driver.
    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.

  5. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm not surely which adjective you mean - maybe 'loaded'? Or is it 'rich' or 'drunk'?
    I meant "loaded". According to this rule, you can't say:

    Look at that loaded person. (= drunk).

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    #6

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    I meant "loaded". According to this rule, you can't say:

    Look at that loaded person. (= drunk).

    NOT A TEACHER


    "Serving coffee may give a loaded person a false sense of sobriety or

    create the 'wide awake drunk.' "


    Source: "Responsible Alcohol Use" website sponsored by York University in

    Toronto, Canada.

  6. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    NOT A TEACHER


    "Serving coffee may give a loaded person a false sense of sobriety or

    create the 'wide awake drunk.' "


    Source: "Responsible Alcohol Use" website sponsored by York University in

    Toronto, Canada.
    Nice one. Apparently "loaded" in the context of "drunk" can be placed before a noun. Can anyone elaborate on this? Is this usage of "loaded" incorrect?

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Nice one. Apparently "loaded" in the context of "drunk" can be placed before a noun. Can anyone elaborate on this? Is this usage of "loaded" incorrect?
    Now I'm confused. How did you deduce that "loaded" could not be used before a noun in the first place?
    In fact, it seems that no one has yet questioned the premise behind your question: "Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?"
    Do you have any examples of adjectives that can't be placed before a noun?

  8. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Now I'm confused. How did you deduce that "loaded" could not be used before a noun in the first place?
    In fact, it seems that no one has yet questioned the premise behind your question: "Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?"
    Do you have any examples of adjectives that can't be placed before a noun?
    In my first post, I presented these examples:

    3 rich [ not before noun ] informal very rich : Giles can afford it – he’s loaded.

    7 drunk [ not before noun ] American English informal very drunk : Greg used to come home loaded almost every night.

    Obviously, "loaded" can be placed before a noun, but not if the meaning is "drunk" or "rich". At least, that's what this dictionary says.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 10-Jul-2011 at 21:03.

  9. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    In my first post, I presented these examples:

    3 rich [ not before noun ] informal very rich : Giles can afford it hes loaded.

    7 drunk [ not before noun ] American English informal very drunk : Greg used to come home loaded almost every night.

    Obviously, "loaded" can be placed before a noun, but not if the meaning is "drunk" or "rich". At least, that's what this dictionary says.
    Ah, I see.
    Well, "loaded" can be used before a noun when it means 'drunk' or 'rich', if the context makes the meaning clear.
    If the context is not clear, then you can't. So, the question about whether the sentence is correct or not depends on the context.
    So, if you're writing a story, you can say, "The woman walked around the corner and saw a loaded truck", but you can't say (without ambiguity), "The woman walked around the corner and saw a loaded man."

    PS: You need to quote your source if you paste something - ie. what dictionary is it. This is necessary for copyright reasons, but also so that we teachers can get an idea of which dictionaries give confusing advice.

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