"Part" can be used as an adverb meaning to some extent, and I have observed that when it is used with nouns then articles are ommited. For example: "Mike was part teacher, " or "The city was part slum." My obsevation based on "the Oxford dictionary," so is it correct to omit articles in such construction, or It would be better to say "Mike is part a techer"?

  • 2
    Do you really think that adverbs can modify nouns?
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 12:38
  • That is what I saw, There some cexamples on oxford dictiony. Here it is "The comic book nickname said it all: he was part superman, part inspirational leader." Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 13:21
  • I'd say that it should be hyphenated as 'part-teacher', a compound noun, as opposed to a syntactic construction. For example, "Mike was part-teacher, part-engineer", where both items are 'bare role' noun phrases, the kind with no determiner (cf. "Mike was treasurer, and Kim was secretary").
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


In these examples “part teacher” and “part slum” are noun adjuncts and so they act as adjectives rather than nouns.

Compare the grammar in your examples with:

“Mike was part happy and part tired.”

“The city was part new and part ancient.”

  • How can "part-teacher" and "part-slum" be adjectives? What are they modifying?
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 5:48

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