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    #1

    adjectives

    I have a few problems relating to adjectives that derive from material nouns. Which of the derivatives are correct?

    (1) She was wearing a long silver / silvery dress.
    (2) She has silky / silken lashes.
    (3) He was wearing a good wool / woolly / woollen suit.
    (4) She knitted a pair of wool / woolly / woollen socks.
    (5) We lived in a wood / wooden house.

  1. Roselin's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I have a few problems relating to adjectives that derive from material nouns. Which of the derivatives are correct?

    (1) She was wearing a long silver / silvery dress.
    (2) She has silky / silken lashes.
    (3) He was wearing a good wool / woolly / woollen suit.
    (4) She knitted a pair of wool / woolly / woollen socks.
    (5) We lived in a wood / wooden house.
    This is a good post. Though I would have used sliver, silky, woollen and wooden in the above mentioend sentences but it is interesting to know that other options are adjectives too as per the cambridge dictionary : )

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I have a few problems relating to adjectives that derive from material nouns. Which of the derivatives are correct?

    (1) She was wearing a long silver / silvery dress. Either.
    (2) She has silky / silken lashes. The first. "Silken" generally collocates with fabric or thread, although when the fabric is silk then it's a 'silk dress'
    (3) He was wearing a good wool / woolly / woollen suit. Any of the three, though if it's made of 100% wool one would call it a 'wool suit'. The choice between the others is largely a matter of collocation; I'd guess that hats were predominantly "woolly", but that mittens were predominantly "woolen" (that is, in my speech community).
    (4) She knitted a pair of wool / woolly / woollen socks. Any of the three again. If they were "wool socks" she would be emphasizing the purity of the material. Generally 'woolen' sounds more "adult" than 'woolly'.
    (5) We lived in a wood / wooden house. The second, predominantly, though I think I've heard the first - usually to emphasize some quality of the material (either flimsy or sturdy, depending on context). In some collocations, "wood" refers to what's contained, rather than the constituent of the structure - 'wood-shed', for example, or 'wood-burner'.
    b

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    #4

    Re: adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    b
    Thanks a lot for the explanation Bob K :)

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    #5

    Re: adjectives

    I've been thinking a bit more about this. When I said 'woolen' was more adult than 'woolly', I was thinking of the user: a toddler would say 'wooly socks' where an adult would say 'woolen socks'.

    But it applies also to the ultimate user of the article, as well as to the user of the word:

    She's such a devoted wife; she knits woolen socks for her husband.

    but

    She's such a doting grandmother; she knits woolly socks for all her grandchildren.

    I'll try to think of other sorts of word that do this....

    b

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