My dad is (a) racist.

In this sentence, is 'racist' used as a noun or an adjective? If it is used as an adjective, then is this sentence correct without the article?

  • Racist is a description, so it's an adjective; a racist is somebody who fits the description, so it's a noun. They're both correct and mean almost the same thing.
    – deadrat
    Nov 20, 2016 at 20:41
  • 2
    "My dad is a racist" = noun
    – iMerchant
    Nov 20, 2016 at 20:41
  • 2
    "My dad is racist." = adjective
    – iMerchant
    Nov 20, 2016 at 20:42
  • Related: Adjectival Usage of Racist
    – sumelic
    Nov 20, 2016 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


Using a definite ("my dad is the family racist") or indefinite ("my dad is a racist") article makes "racist" a noun. Otherwise the syntax makes it an adjective.

Not many words are that mutable.

You must log in to answer this question.