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    #1

    Adjective

    Hi,

    I have a question for a multiple choice excercise that reads as follows:

    Which sentence does NOT contain an adjective?

    A There were so many people in town that you couldn't walk around
    B The programme was extremely well organised and everyone enjoyed it
    C There are no more tickets available for that show

    According to the Answer Key, the correct answer is A

    I am totally confused because I understand that "many" in sentence A is an adjective, "organised" in sentence B is an adjective and "available" in sentence C is an adjective.

    Can anyone explain this please?

    Thanks so much.

    Laura

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Adjective

    "Many" is not an adjective.

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    #3

    Re: Adjective

    'Many' is generally classed as a determiner or pronoun these days. It is a determiner in A
    'organised' in B is an example of one of the many problems involved with labelling. Some people would say that it was a past particple used in a passive construction, some that it was a past participle used adjectivally, and some that it was an adjective.

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    #4

    Re: Adjective

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesea1971 View Post
    Hi,

    I have a question for a multiple choice excercise that reads as follows:

    Which sentence does NOT contain an adjective?

    A There were so many people in town that you couldn't walk around
    B The programme was extremely well organised and everyone enjoyed it
    C There are no more tickets available for that show

    According to the Answer Key, the correct answer is A

    I am totally confused because I understand that "many" in sentence A is an adjective, "organised" in sentence B is an adjective and "available" in sentence C is an adjective.

    Can anyone explain this please?

    Thanks so much.

    Laura
    You are quite correct: many is an adjective, a determinative adjective, but an adjective nonetheless.

    The term 'determiner', correctly used, denotes not a form-class (on a par with nouns, adjectives etc.) but a higher-level function-type on a par with terms such as 'modifier', and just as the latter embraces members of two major form-classes (descriptive adjectives and adverbs), the former covers an even wider range, including such diverse adjectives as 'many' and 'this', articles (a/the) and even nouns in the possessive case (Peter's, etc.).

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Adjective

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    You are quite correct: many is an adjective, a determinative adjective, but an adjective nonetheless.
    That's one way of looking at it. My Concise Oxford Dictionary gives 'many' as 'det'; it does not mention 'adj'. I checked a few dictionaries here, OneLook: General dictionary sites , and found:

    quantifier: 1
    adjective and determiner : 1 (this suggests to me that adj and det are different categories)
    addjective: 2
    determiner: 3

    Quirk et al (1985.67 list 'determiner' and 'adjective' as two separate word classes'.

    This is clearly not a topic on which there is full agreement, but a number of authorities consider 'determiner to be a word class distinct from 'adjective'. However, there not being complete agreement, I feel that it is not helpful to insist in an exercise that 'many' is not an adjective.
    Last edited by 5jj; 23-Jan-2012 at 09:35.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Adjective

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That's one way of looking at it. My Concise Oxford Dictionary gives 'many' as 'det'; it does not mention 'adj'. I checked a few dictionaries here, OneLook: General dictionary sites , and found:

    quantifier: 1
    adjective and determiner : 1 (this suggests to me that adj and det are different categories)
    addjective: 2
    determiner: 3

    Quirk et al (1985.67 list 'determiner' and 'adjective' as two separate word classes'.

    This is clearly not a topic on which there is full agreement, but a number of authorities consider 'determiner to be a word class distinct from 'adjective'. However, there not being complete agreement, I feel that it is not helpful to insist in an exercise that 'many' is not an adjective.
    OK "many" might, in some circumstances, be considered to be an adjective. It's a bad test question.

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    #7

    Re: Adjective

    Well, I have checked in a few dictionaries where it clearly says that many is an adjective.

    I wouldn't worry too much if it was a simple test from anywhere. The problem is that this question is shown in one of the sample tests of TKT of Cambridge (Teaching Knowledge Test).............

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    #8

    Re: Adjective

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesea1971 View Post
    Well, I have checked in a few dictionaries where it clearly says that 'many' is an adjective.
    And a few dictionaries clearly say that it is a determiner. There is not, unfortunately, one universally accepted term.

    The problem is that this question is shown in one of the sample tests of TKT of Cambridge (Teaching Knowledge Test).............
    As I implied, and bhai said, it's a bad test question.

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    #9

    Re: Adjective

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    This is clearly not a topic on which there is full agreement
    Indeed, and the reason for that is that some authorities follow the more traditional analytical system, whereby 'many' is classified as an adjective, while others opt for a more 'modern' system whereby it is simply called a determiner.

    Others again - such as myself - see value in maintaining both systems, and therefore adopt a 'middle course' of labelling words such as 'many' and 'much' determinative adjectives.

    The term 'adjective' - which once even subsumed articles - has essentially undergone a drastic process of semantic limitation over the past few decades, and is applied by some contemporary linguists only to the category formerly known as 'descriptive adjectives' (or, in Quirkian terminology, 'central adjectives'), i.e. essentially those that take degrees of comparison etc.

    This is, however, a matter for debate among grammarians, and for which unsuspecting learners in tests clearly should not be used as cannon fodder!

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    #10

    Re: Adjective

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    This is, however, a matter for debate among grammarians, and for which unsuspecting learners in tests clearly should not be used as cannon fodder!
    Possibly. I was thinking that, until I read that Cambridge was offering the test. If Cambridge University and all the grammars that Cambridge University Press prints treat "many" as an adjective, I think it's fair for a Cambridge test to treat "many" as an adjective.

    I don't know the TKT; maybe there is a well-defined set of knowledge that it tests, and the fact that "many" is an adjective is part of that set of knowledge.

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