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hello teachers

when i say we are short staffed at our company and when i say
the knife is thin edged

In these two example short staffed and thin edged is considered to
adjectives ?

If so is there a rule for that ?

i have another question when i say the runer is in the second last
position what does second last mean ?

thanks in advance for your assistance



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Sep 21, 2003
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koko said:
When I say, "We are short staffed at our company", and when Isay, "The knife is thin edged", in those two examples are short staffed and thin edged considered to be adjectives? If so is there a rule for that?

1. We are short staffed. (Form: past participle, Function: adjective)
2. The knife is thin edged. (Same as above)

First, words ending in -ed, like staffed and edged are called participle and they function as adjectives especially when they come after forms of the linking verbs BE (e.g. are/is). In that position they are called predicate adjectives.

Second, the words 'short' and 'thin' are descriptive words. They function as adjectives, and adjectives modify other adjectives.

Third, words ending in -ed that function as verbs, like talked and walked, stand alone as the only verbs in the clause. When you see another verb present, like BE or HAVE, the -ed word functions as a (past) participle, a word which means, part of the verb. For example,

3. I have talked to her before. ('talked' functions as a past participle, as part of the present perfect verb 'have talked' (i.e. have + -ed))

4. The dog is walked every day by me. ('walked' functions as a past participle of the passive verb 'is walked' (i.e. BE -ed). Note, that the dog and I both do the action of walking. )


5. We are short staffed. ('staffed' is a past participle which functions as an adjective. It describes the subject: we = short staffed. It does not express that 'we' are doing the action; that we are short staffing. That meaning is just too odd. Active (i.e. not passive) structures having BE + -ed function as linking verb BE plus adjective ending in -ed.

koko said:
Ihave another question. When I say, "The runner is in the second last
position" what does second last mean?

Let's say Sue and Bob and Tom are standing in line and that Sue is the first in line:

Sue - Bob - Tom

Tom is last in line and Bob is in the middle: Bob is also the second in line as well as the second last in line. Now let's add Karen:

Sue - Bob - Karen -Tom

Karen is the second last in line. Bob is the second in line, Sue is the first, and Tom is last.

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