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Question

How do you identify whether it is adjective or verb for the word ‘disparaging’ ?

From my own understanding, disparaging is an adjective as it ends with -ing . However, shouldn’t disparaging be a verb as well since it ends with -ing. 

Please help me understand!! Extremely confused. 

Answer

Disparaging is a word which can be both an adjective and a verb. It’s important to know this because adjectives usually come before nouns, while verbs usually come after them in the same sentence. If you are unsure of whether or not a word is a verb or an adjective, there are some things you should look for to help you figure it out.
Be aware that these rules are exceptions to the general rules about adjectives and verbs, so don’t try to use them every time you encounter a word that could be either. There are other methods, such as checking the dictionary entry; if it identifies the word as an adjective only or verb only, then you can assume that with reasonable confidence wordle online

 

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Please refer to my reply in brackets […] below.

How do you identify whether it is adjective or verb [present participle] for the word ‘disparaging’ ? [In ‘disparaging remarks/comments’ it is an adjective as it describes the noun, ‘remarks/comments’. 

If you are disparaging (present participle) about someone or something, or make disparaging (adjective) comments about them, you say things which show that you do not have a good opinion of them.
 
The Minister was alleged to have made disparaging (adjective) remarks about the rest of the Cabinet.
 
When you are disparaging (present participle), you express negative, low opinions in order to lower someone’s reputation. Your friend will probably not appreciate it if you make disparaging (adjective) comments about his girlfriend.
 
The candidate made disparaging (adjective) remarks about his opponent, but they only made him seem small for insulting a worthy adversary.]

From my own understanding, disparaging is an adjective as it ends with -ing . However, shouldn’t disparaging be a verb as well since it ends with -ing.  [As shown above, besides using ‘disparaging’ as an adjective as in ‘disparaging remarks/comments’;,it could also be used as a present participle as in ‘are disparaging’. ]

Please help me understand!! Extremely confused. [I hope I have aided you in your understanding adequately.]

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Hi Collin, good question.

There is not a straightforward rule to differentiating between adjectives and verbs. For example, you wanted to differentiate using “-ing”, but unfortunately that’s not a universal rule to identifying verbs.

How I would think about it is to go back to the definition of what a verb and an adjective is.

Verb – a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen

Adjective – word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweet, red, or technical

The above definitions can be found on google, but intuitively, you can think about a verb as a word describing an action (eating, running, doodling, studying, writing, etc.), whilst adjectives are used to describe a noun.

The confusing part occurs when verbs are used as adjectives. For example, the ticking clock. “ticking” could be used as an adjective or a verb. As a verb, it would be “I could hear the clock ticking”. 

Verbs are used as adjectives, when the action is being done “all or most” of the time.

I hope the above helps you in your understanding of the differences.

All the best, and the best advice to differentiating it is to read more. Intuition in language can be quite helpful. 🙂

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