Adjective Problem

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AngelXena

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My son recently had an exercise at school where he had to pick the adjective in this sentence: "The lemon was sour" - I assumed that "sour" was the adjective, but his teacher advised that the word "the" was the adjective??
Who's right? Many Thanks.
 

Steven D

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English Teacher
AngelXena said:
My son recently had an exercise at school where he had to pick the adjective in this sentence: "The lemon was sour" - I assumed that "sour" was the adjective, but his teacher advised that the word "the" was the adjective??
Who's right? Many Thanks.


First, I'd like to say that if I were you, I'd ask the teacher "why".

Who's right? Your both right. However, it's not always apparent to some people that "the" would be considered an adjective.

The word "the" is a definite article. English, of course, only has one. Articles are considered determiners. Determiners are in turn considered adjectives. Articles modify nouns.

example: a lemon = any lemon - the lemon - a specific lemon

sour - In your example sentence, this is considered a predicate adjective because it follows the verb "is". Apparently the teacher didn't want the predicate adjective as an answer. However, there is no reason why that should not be considered a correct answer.

If you bring this to the teacher's attention, he/she could then say that "sour" is part of the predicate. That's besides the point. The word "sour" is still an adjective. It describes the lemon in that sentence.

As I see it, this teacher is being difficult whether he or she knows it or not.

If the teacher is not purposely being difficult, then I would say, in my opinion, that the teacher is simply following the guidelines set forth from the text book used in class - or something.

Or maybe your son was taught in class not to choose a predicate adjective as - well - an adjective in a sentence.

Therefore, perhaps the teacher doesn't consider "sour" to be the adjective because it doesn't come before the subject.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=predicate+adjective
 

Steven D

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English Teacher
Francois said:
Put him in another school.

FRC


Yes, the teacher should be able to offer an explanation as to "why". It's not right to simply say "because I said so".
 
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