Community Web Version Now Available
Tram Nguyen
What is the grammar point in these phrases? Sometimes I encounter some words like "long-legged", "three-footed tables". I admit that I sometimes use these words to make sentences sound more like a native but I do not understand the grammar. Could anyone clarify this grammar point for me? Thank you in advance. Have a nice day ahead.
24. Juli 2019 14:58
2
1
Answers · 2
Tram, you're asking a very complex question. This is the sort of thing an English speaker knows how to construct but doesn't have a ready explanation for. These sorts of questions may be better asked on a site devoted exclusively to English grammar, like english.stackexchange.com (their top upvoted questions are often quite fascinating, especially for an English speaker). The construction you quote seems, from their answer, to be an actual English grammar rule unto itself: by taking a noun that an object possesses (leg, ear, surface, head, whatever) and adding ed to the end, one can prefix the word with a quality to form a new adjective: - a six-headed, seven-mouthed, purple-skinned elephant. - a burgundy-surfaced, six-legged, seven-drawered desk (this last adjective, seven-drawered, sounds excessive and tinny to my ear). I found a couple answers on the mentioned website to answer this. This question and answer https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/2212/do-adjectives-ending-in-ed-derive-from-words-that-were-once-used-as-verbs/2254#2254 seems to deal semi-tangentially with it. This one seems more direct and discursive: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/148061/compound-adjectives-and-ed. If you note from some of their answers, this phenomenon is not only limited to -ed but also includes many past-tense seeming forms (well-lit). These alternatives to -ed may stem from actual irregular verbs made into past-tense whereas the rest of the words are pseudo-verbed nouns for the purpose of the adjective. I hope that helps.
24. Juli 2019
Hello, Tram. I understand you to mean that you wanted to know the meanings of the words in parentheses. Please see their definitions below. If you're interested in taking professional English lessons, I am a professional English teacher on Italki. I'm currently accepting new students and would be happy to work with you. Have a nice day! 1. long-legged - tall with very long legs The basketball player won the game because she was strong and long-legged. 2. three-footed table - a table (usually made from wood) that has 3 legs instead of the traditional 4 legs You can see images of three-footed tables here: https://www.ecosia.org/images?q=three+footed+table
24. Juli 2019
Tram Nguyen
Language Skills
English, Korean, Vietnamese
Learning Language
English, Korean