Some words can be used as more than one part of speech: for example, 'orange' can be a noun that is the name or a fruit, or an adjective for a yellowy-red colour. This activity aims to increase your understanding of such words.

Task 1
Which adjectives and verbs can be used as nouns, without adding a prefix or suffix.
  1. best catch complain do find
    hopeful international investigate walk white

Task 2
Fill in the blanks with nouns where possible.

  1. A/an international is a football match, or rugby match etc. between teams from two different countries; a player who plays in one of these matches.
  2. A/an walk is a journey that you make on foot usually for pleasure.
  3. If you describe someone or something that has been discovered as a/an find, you mean that they are valuable, interesting, good or useful.
  4. If you refer to someone as a hopeful, you mean that they have an ambition that they very much want to achieve and that there is a possibility that they will achieve it.
  5. A/an catch is a hidden problem or difficulty in a plan or an offer that seems surprisingly good; a catch on a window, door or container is a device that fastens it; a catch is the total number of fish caught when people go fishing.
  6. Dos do's and don’ts are things which you must and must not do in a particular situation; a do is a party, dinner party or other social event (informal).
  7. A/an complaint is a statement in which you express your dissatisfaction with a particular situation.
  8. The white of an egg, especially a hen’s egg is the transparent liquid that surrounds the yolk.
  9. Someone’s best is the greatest effort or highest achievement or standard that they are capable of.
  10. A/an investigation is the act of trying to find out what happened or what the truth is.
Source: Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary. 1987. London: HarperColl
ins Publishers. http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/hand+in+hand

Task 3 Compound Adjectives
Fill in the blanks with the most appropriate word. You may need to fill in a blank with part of the compound adjective.

award-winning awe-inspiring bass-heavy
British-born female-featuring laughter-packed
out-of-the-way Rambert-trained star-studded
  1. If you describe a place as being out-of-the-way, you mean that it is difficult to reach and therefore not often visited; remote.
  2. If you describe someone or something as awe-inspiring, you are emphasizing that you think that they are remarkable and amazing although sometimes rather frightening.
  3. If you refer to someone as being British-born, you mean that they were born in part of the United Kingdom.
  4. A/an star-studded show, event or cast is one that includes a large number of famous performers.
  5. If you pack people into a place, there are so many of them that the place is full. If a show or programme has a lot of comedians, the bill can be described as a/an laughter-packed event .
  6. If an actor, play or film is described as a/an award-winning actor, play or film, you mean that he/it has won many awards.
  7. If women appear or feature in a band, (show, exhibition or magazine on radio or television), we can refer to it as a/an female-featuring band.
  8. A bass drum, guitar or musical instrument is one that produces a very deep sound and you can refer to performances with this sound of music as bass-heavy .
  9. You can describe someone as Rambert-trained if they have been trained at a famous ballet studio in London.

Task 4 Adjectives of Character
Fill in the blanks with the most appropriate adjective. You may need to use the same word more than once.
  • aloof
  • charismatic
  • cultured
  • devious
  • dogmatic
  • emotional
  • hospitable
  • meticulous
  • pragmatic
  • self-effacing
  1. If you describe someone as meticulous, you mean that they do things very carefully and with great attention to detail.
  2. Emotional means concerned with feelings such as happiness, love, anger or hatred.
  3. If you say someone is aloof, you are critical of them because they do not like to socialize and are not very friendly.
  4. Devious people are dishonest and secretive, often in a complicated way.
  5. A charismatic person attracts, influences and inspires people by their personal qualities.
  6. Someone who is self-effacing is modest and does not like talking about themselves or drawing attention to themselves.
  7. A/an pragmatic way of dealing with something is based on practical considerations, rather than theoretical ones. A/an pragmatic person deals with things in a practical way.
  8. If you say that someone is dogmatic, you are critical of them because they are convinced that they are right, and refuse to consider that other opinions might also be justified.
  9. If you describe someone as cultured, you mean that they have good manners, are well educated and know a lot about the arts.
  10. A/an hospitable person is friendly, generous and welcoming to guests or strangers.

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