Is "prejudiced" a verb or adjective?

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Is "prejudiced" a verb or adjective?

Post by hereinchina » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:53 pm

I'm not sure if the word "prejudiced" is a verb or adjective in the following sentence. Please note that the sentence is just an example, it doesn't reflect my true thinking.
"I'm prejudiced against women."

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Post by azamouri » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:33 pm

since the function of adjective is to modify a noun the 'I' in this sentence the word "prejudiced" would be an adjective. However, it can be a verb in the past participle.

I my opinion, the word can be an adjective and a verb.

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Post by Lorikeet » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:15 am

In your sentences, I think it is an adjective.

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Post by JuanTwoThree » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:30 am

Present passives have to have an active form. 'I am prejudiced against women by my upbringing' can be made into 'My upbringing prejudices me against women'.

Similarly 'The window's broken' is subtly different from 'The window's broken every weekend' ('Somebody breaks.........').

In a context like: 'I wake up. I go to school. I'm prejudiced against women. I go home. I have lunch. In the afternoon I'm prejudiced against women, again' 'prejudiced' is verbal.

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Post by fluffyhamster » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:40 pm

Thanks for chipping in, JTT! (I'd posted a quick "socratic" reply, IIRC it went 'What is it in I'm prejudiced against women by my upbringing? :twisted: ', but decided to delete it lest it prove too subtle or "brain-bending" for anyone. Perhaps you caught it before the delete? [I'm a bit loath to say "Or is it simply that great minds...", because I don't think I'm generally as sharp as you!]).
Present passives have to have an active form. 'I am prejudiced against women by my upbringing' can be made into 'My upbringing prejudices me against women'.
To further add to your more helpfully explicit guidance, I'd advise whoever to note the presence or absence of the by phrase - that is, why would anyone think the 'prejudiced' in simply 'I'm prejudiced against women' not an adjective; as for what it becomes with the addition of the by phrase, well, that would be a passive participle (versus the active -ing participles in those progressive/continuous-aspect constructions we all know and love: Look, Fluffyhamster is typing, and better than a monkey writing Shakespeare!; These examples shouldn't prejudice/be prejudicing [anyone] but rather hopefully simply [are] enlighten[ing] [people], assuming of course that they [=these examples] are correct in their assumptions! But lo! and further note LOL [HIC] how the presence of an object will make the -ings clear active participles rather than simply adjectives...but I'm sort of repeating myself a bit here, sorry 'bout that! [From here: ... 2771#42771 ]. Then, for anyone who wants to punish themselves by thinking about combinations of -ings and -eds/-ens though, there's stuff like the following to "enjoy"! ... 915#847915 ).

So basically it is usually extended co-text* that makes a form change its function. The corollary I suppose to all this is that without that extended co-text and thus context, why not interpret a form as simply as would/should only seem possible given its more limited environment/setting? :wink:

Oh, and page 16~ (of Chapter 2) in Willis' The Lexical Syllabus might be of interest:

*(To summarize:) Here in this thread, the examples offered or alluded to of extended co-text have been: the addition of by phrases (to what were functionally adjectives); the addition by JTT of stuff like 'every weekend' to 'The window is broken'; or JTT's repeating 'I'm prejudiced against women' twice, the second with the addition of 'again', so that it becomes very clear (not that these grammatical processes would become conscious to the average/non-TEFLing native-speaker reader) that we are reading a narrative written in the present tense; or the addition of an object (albeit unnecessary in e.g. 'My job is tiring + !me' (versus e.g. 'My job will probably tire you, but thanks for offering to fill in for me this week')) to what was a pretty adjective-like -ing form.

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Post by daleglendale » Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:25 pm

Hello hereichina,

Many adjectives are formed by verbs in the past participle: regular (interested, tired, prejudiced) or irregular (written, torn, broken). As my colega Juan states, these adjectives imply something was done to cause this condition:

Someone or something has torn the curtain ACTIVE VOICE
The curtain has been torn (by someone or something) PASSIVE VOICE
It's a torn curtain. ADJECTIVE

Someone or something has prejudiced (or prejudices) me against women. ACTIVE VOICE
I've been prejudiced against women or I'm prejudiced against women . PASSIVE VOICE
I'm prejudiced (against women). ADJECTIVE

To try to summarize, “prejudiced” in your original sentence, functions as an adjective, although it comes from the verb form.

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thanks for all your answers

Post by hereinchina » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:39 am

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to answer my question.

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