Interested in Language
Why can't certain adjectives be placed before a noun?
3 rich [ not before noun ] informal very rich : Giles can afford it – he’s loaded.There are other adjectives, but none come to mind right now.7 drunk [ not before noun ] American English informal very drunk : Greg used to come home loaded almost every night.
Is this just "the way it is"? Is there a reasonable explanation?
Last edited by 5jj; 09-Jul-2011 at 08:58.
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?
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.
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?
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 20:03.
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.