Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Verbal Adjectives (Not in the Traditional Sense)

Hey, world people: a question for you. Is there a term for words in English that function as both verbs and adjectives? I’m not talking about participial adjectives — “the pleasing puppy,” “the bloodied graduation cap” — but words like suspect, manifest and express, which all look like straightforward verbs but which can also function as adjectives without the addition of -ing or -ed. I’m fairly certain these adjectival forms aren’t participles since actual participial forms like suspected or manifesting already exist, but I’m curious how they ever would have come into use in English.

There are other examples, I’m sure, and please tell me if you think of any. Searching for those previous three hasn’t turned up anything but a longer list might.

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