The question is raised from the viewpoint of a foreign language learner.

-ed is known to be added to a verb to mean past tense or past participle, but some phrases like four-legged animals, winged birds, are in the form of noun+-ed, why is it so? What is the logic behind such a structure?

1 Answer 1


This comes about because it is not unusual to use NOUN as a verb meaning “to provide [object] with NOUN

We bordered the image (in red) = We supplied the image with a (red) border.
He armed the men (with swords) = He supplied the men with (swords as) arms.

The -ed suffix is thus a past-participle form with the passive sense “supplied with” or “equipped with”

a four-legged animal is an animal supplied with four legs
a winged bird is a bird supplied with wings.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .