It doesn’t do any good to sleep** extra** hours ahead of time when you know you will have to stay up late.

In this sentence, is 'extra' used as an adjective or an adverb? I think 'extra' is used as an adverb because 'sleep' is an intransistive verb.

  • 1
    Try to replace "extra" with "additional" or "three more" for instance. – MorganFR Nov 30 '16 at 9:58
  • Yes, I have tried it. You mean it works as an adjective?If so, how does "extra hours" emphasise the verb "sleep"? – learner Nov 30 '16 at 10:27
  • It's an adjective. – user178049 Nov 30 '16 at 11:20

"Extra hours" is a coherent phrase.  "Extra" directly modifies "hours".  "Extra" is an adjective, and "hours" is a noun. 

Either "to sleep" is transitive, which allows "extra hours" to act as the infinitive's direct object, or "to sleep" is intransitive, which requires "extra hours" to act as an adverbial. 

In this case, I find the adverbial explanation more sensible.  "Hours" is a temporal noun, and temporal noun phrases often act as adverbial constructions.  "To sleep extra hours" carries the same meaning as "to sleep for extra hours" or "to sleep through extra hours".  Wikipedia's entry on adverbials explicitly mentions temporal noun phrases as a common adverbial form. 

The extra hours in question do receive any action.  They merely represent the duration of the action. 

In this sentence, "extra hours" is an adverbial noun phrase which contains the adjective "extra". 

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.