Is the word "sadden" a verb or adjective?

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hereinchina
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 1:47 pm

Is the word "sadden" a verb or adjective?

Post by hereinchina » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:34 pm

"Hello,
Is the word "sadden" a verb or adjective in the following sentences?
1. He was greatly saddened by the death of his only son.
2. I was saddened when I heard about your father’s death.
3. It saddens me to think that we'll never see her again."

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:59 pm

It helps to read some articles on "How to find a verb" on Google. There are pages of them and they all offer different clues on how to find the verb. Once you have found the verb you can determine what parts of speech the others in the sentence are. A dictionary can help a lot.

fluffyhamster
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Post by fluffyhamster » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:02 pm

Sentence 3 is clearly a verb ('It'=subject, 'saddens'=verb, transitive, 'me'=object). Sentence 1 contains a clearer [passive] participle than sentence 2, as shown by the sustitutions (of the adjective 'sad') I've added:

1. He was greatly saddened/*sad by the death of his only son.
2. I was saddened/sad when I heard about your father’s death.
(3. It saddens/*sad me to think that we'll never see her again.)

hereinchina
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 1:47 pm

thanks you

Post by hereinchina » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:03 pm

Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

fluffyhamster
Posts: 3030
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

Post by fluffyhamster » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:47 pm

You're welcome, HIC! I just thought I'd add an explicitly passive paraphrase (that is, replace the subordinate when-clause containing the repeated subject 'I', instead with a prepositional by-phrase containing an "agent") of sentence 2:

I am/was saddened by (the news of) your father's death.

The active equivalent would be:

(The news of) your father's death saddened/saddens me.

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