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Parts of speech for "... eyes of such a very undecided blue ..."

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    I am truly puzzled and shocked today in class.

    My English teacher told me that
    very --> adverb
    undecided --> verb
    blue --> adjective

    To the matter of truth, I had to approach her and express my concern.

    So, I told her that my take on this is that
    very --> adverb
    undecided --> adjective
    blue --> noun

    I explained that adv + verb + adj just doesn't work as a structure and "something of something" (eyes of ... blue) has to be "noun of noun", not "noun of adjective", if we simplified the language.

    She insisted that this is Dickens' creative writing and the structure doesn't have to be as traditional as I see it.

    Furthermore, I raised the example of dark blue, with dark being the adjective and blue being the noun. She still said no and told me that blue is still an adjective.

    Can anyone explain to me how her analysis works? I truly cannot see it.

    Thanks a lot.
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    (Original post by ntulearning)
    I am truly puzzled and shocked today in class.

    My English teacher told me that
    very --> adverb
    undecided --> verb
    blue --> adjective

    To the matter of truth, I had to approach her and express my concern.

    So, I told her that my take on this is that
    very --> adverb
    undecided --> adjective
    blue --> noun

    I explained that adv + verb + adj just doesn't work as a structure and "something of something" (eyes of ... blue) has to be "noun of noun", not "noun of adjective", if we simplified the language.

    She insisted that this is Dickens' creative writing and the structure doesn't have to be as traditional as I see it.

    Furthermore, I raised the example of dark blue, with dark being the adjective and blue being the noun. She still said no and told me that blue is still an adjective.

    Can anyone explain to me how her analysis works? I truly cannot see it.

    Thanks a lot.
    It's a matter of context. Language is guided by what is effective rather than what is logical, so it is not always easy to fit words into a category.
    So, for your example: 'decide' is a verb, but it is not possible to 'undecide', and so you are correct; 'undecided' is an adjective.

    However, in the phrase 'dark blue', blue is also an adjective. Nouns are 'things', and blue doesn't exist except as a description of something else. If he had written 'she had blue eyes', blue would definitely be an adjective. You can have several adjectives in a row, such as 'My old, rusty, dirty, green broken-down car.'

    However (again!) there are exceptions. For example, when choosing a paint colour for your room you might say 'I like the red'. Red appears to act like a noun. It could be argued though that this is actually ellipsis, and what you mean is 'I like the red (paint)', where 'paint is the unspoken noun.
    It is more straightforward, and possibly more accurate, to look at 'such a very undecided blue' as an adjectival phrase. In other words, all five words together describe one colour.
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    Thanks.

    My understanding is

    Dark blue --> a type of blue --> blue is a noun (dark is the adj, describing the blue)
    Dark blue shirt --> a type of shirt --> blue is an adj.
 
 
 
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Updated: September 29, 2016
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