You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/Is the word "solar-powered" an adjective?

Advertisement


Question
Hello Ted,
Is the word "solar-powered" an adjective in the following sentence?
"I bought a solar-powered car."

Answer
Dear Glen:

Is the word "solar-powered" an adjective in the following sentence?
"I bought a solar-powered car."

*** It is a COMPOUND ADJECTIVE.  The two words must be hyphenated, because, standing alone, they do not both modify the noun "car."

Test it yourself:

I bought a solar car.
I bought a powered car.

The word "powered" is the past participle of the verb "to power."  Participles are NOT VERBS; they are VERB FORMS that are used as other parts of speech.  Whether the participle is present [powering] or past [powered], it is used as an adjective -- NOT A VERB.  Another adjective, SOLAR, describes the kind of power.

It makes no sense unless the two words are used as one, a compound adjective.   That's why the hyphen is used -- to combine the two words into one word.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.