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    #1

    Turn the heat to very low

    turn
    When you turn something such as a key, knob, or switch, or when it turns, you hold it and twist your hand, in order to open something or make it start working.
    Turn the heat to very low and cook for 20 minutes...
    Colins Cobuild

    Am I right that the 'low' is an adverb here, (not adjective)?

    Thanks.


  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    I'd actually say it's a noun. Turn the [knob that controls the] heat to [the setting on the stove for] very low.

    The knob will have settings that say "Very High" "High" "Medium" "Low" and "Very Low" (Perhaps not all of these, but most of them.)
    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.

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    #3

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I'd actually say it's a noun. Turn the [knob that controls the] heat to [the setting on the stove for] very low.

    The knob will have settings that say "Very High" "High" "Medium" "Low" and "Very Low" (Perhaps not all of these, but most of them.)
    A question:
    Here how it is defined in other dictionaries. I think, "on low" is a similar case, right?
    Turn the oven on low (Cambridge dictionary - adverb)
    She turned her little kitchen radio on low... (Collins Cobuild - adjective)
    I had the radio on low (Longman dictionary - adverb)


  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    Quote Originally Posted by Vik-Nik-Sor View Post
    A question:
    Here how it is defined in other dictionaries. I think, "on low" is a similar case, right?
    Turn the oven on low (Cambridge dictionary - adverb)
    She turned her little kitchen radio on low... (Collins Cobuild - adjective)
    I had the radio on low (Longman dictionary - adverb)
    I agree with Barb that "low" is a noun in your original sentence. It refers to the name of a setting. Although your other examples are very similar, they are not the same. The major difference is with the words 'to" and "on". Using "to" suggests a setting; using "on" suggests a degree.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Using "to" suggests a setting; using "on" suggests a degree.
    I'm not sure about your second point. "I usually have my heater on low" suggests a setting to me, because it has three explicit heat settings and 'low' is one of them. I agree that 'to' does suggest a setting.
    "I had the radio on low" can be read two ways - 'low' can be either a noun or an adverb.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm not sure about your second point. "I usually have my heater on low" suggests a setting to me, because it has three explicit heat settings and 'low' is one of them. I agree that 'to' does suggest a setting.
    "I had the radio on low" can be read two ways - 'low' can be either a noun or an adverb.
    My second point was about the categories in the quoted dictionaries. With "on", "low" could be an adverb. However, if it still refers to a setting, it still would be a noun, IMO.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm not sure about your second point. "I usually have my heater on low" suggests a setting to me, because it has three explicit heat settings and 'low' is one of them. I agree that 'to' does suggest a setting.
    "I had the radio on low" can be read two ways - 'low' can be either a noun or an adverb.
    I have a small electric heater but it doesn't have explicit heat settings. The clicks of the knob are numbered one to ten. I would still refer to having it "on low" if I had it on 1-3, "on medium" from 4-7 and "on high" from 8-10.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 06-Feb-2014 at 07:05. Reason: Typo
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: Turn the heat to very low

    "Very low" heat on a burner on a stove would be called "simmer." My (electric) stove has numbers from 1-10, but has "SIM" superimposed where 1 and 2 are.

    Instructions on something like a flavored noodle side dish would say something like "bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 7 minutes."

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