Proper adjective


Proper adjective

In English usage, a proper adjective is an adjective that takes an initial capital letter. A common adjective is an adjective that is not a proper adjective. The term is used informally only; it is not used by grammarians or linguists.

Contents

Description of proper adjectives

In general, an adjective is a proper adjective if its meaning is "pertaining to "x", where "X" is some specific person, place, language, or organized group.[citation needed] Most proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns; for example the proper adjective Japanese is derived from the proper noun Japan. Occasionally the reverse is true; for example the proper noun Hispanic is derived from the proper adjective Hispanic.

Sometimes, a word is written as a proper adjective to designate an ethnic group with a shared culture, heritage, or ancestry. This usage asserts the existence of a unified group with common goals.[citation needed] For example, in Canadian government documents, Native and Aboriginal are capitalized.[1]

A proper adjective can become a common adjective when it takes on new, more remote meanings,[citation needed] such as chauvinistic.[2] In addition, over time, a proper adjective can become a common adjective by convention, generally when the word has overshadowed its original reference, such as gargantuan, quixotic, titanic, or roman in the term roman numerals.[2]

An adjective is not a proper adjective just because it is capitalized as part of a name or title.[citation needed] For example, great is not a proper adjective in Great Britain, and lost is not a proper adjective in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Proper adverbs

An adverb formed from a proper adjective is written with a capital letter. For example:

  • We have regularly received enquiries regarding the availability of Islamic finance products, in particular Islamically compatible finance to purchase both residential and commercial properties.[3]
  • There are people who express themselves 'Frenchly,' while others have forms of life that are expressed 'Koreanly' or 'Icelandicly.'[4]

Other parts of speech

Verbs such as Canadianize are written with a capital letter, although not generally described as "proper verbs".

See also

References

  1. ^ Fee, Margery; Janice McAlpine (1997). Guide to Canadian English Usage. Toronto: Oxford University Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-19-540841-1. 
  2. ^ a b Burchfield, R.W.; H.W. Fowler (first edited by) (1996). The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, 3rd ed.. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-19-869126-2. 
  3. ^ The Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance. "Islamic Banking". Archived from the original on 2006-05-05. http://web.archive.org/web/20060505093705/http://www.islamic-banking.com/aom/ibanking/ia_khan.php. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  4. ^ Margalit, A., 1997, "The Moral Psychology of Nationalism," in McKim and McMahan (eds.), 1997, The Morality of Nationalism Oxford University Press: Oxford, as quoted by Miscevic, Nenad. "Nationalism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nationalism/. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • proper adjective — noun An adjective derived from a proper noun, such as British derived from Britain. These two general classes of adjectives may also be divided into several others, of which the following are the most important: 1. A proper adjective is one that… …   Wiktionary

  • proper adjective — noun Date: 1905 an adjective that is formed from a proper noun and that is usually capitalized in English …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • proper adjective — Gram. an adjective formed from a proper noun, as American from America. [1900 05] * * * …   Universalium

  • proper adjective — prop′er ad′jective n. oce gram. an adjective formed from a proper noun, as American from America[/ex] • Etymology: 1900–05 …   From formal English to slang

  • proper adjective — noun : an adjective that is formed from a proper noun, takes its meaning from what is characteristic of the being or thing named by the noun, and is usually capitalized in English …   Useful english dictionary

  • proper — ► ADJECTIVE 1) truly what something is said or regarded to be; genuine. 2) (after a noun ) strictly so called: the World Cup proper. 3) suitable or appropriate; correct. 4) respectable, especially excessively so. 5) (proper to) belonging or… …   English terms dictionary

  • Adjective — Examples That s an interesting idea. (attributive) That idea is interesting. (predicative) Tell me something interesting. (postpositive) The good, the bad, and the ugly. (substantive) In grammar, an adjective is a describing word; the main… …   Wikipedia

  • proper — /ˈprɒpə / (say propuh) adjective 1. adapted or appropriate to the purpose or circumstances; fit; suitable: the proper time to plant. 2. conforming to established standards of behaviour or manners; correct or decorous. 3. fitting; right. 4.… …   Australian English dictionary

  • proper — properly, adv. properness, n. /prop euhr/, adj. 1. adapted or appropriate to the purpose or circumstances; fit; suitable: the proper time to plant strawberries. 2. conforming to established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous: a …   Universalium

  • proper — [präp′ər] adj. [ME propre < OFr < L proprius, one s own] 1. specially adapted or suitable to a specific purpose or specific conditions; appropriate [the proper tool for a job] 2. naturally belonging or peculiar (to) [weather proper to… …   English World dictionary


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