Is it grammatical to coordinate adjectives and nouns as follows?

Steve is a helpful classmate, a good friend, and wise when you turn to him.

I have not come across sentences like that, at least in school; maybe I should say I do not remember seeing a construction like the one below whereby you have a mix of nouns and adjectives joined by a coordinating conjunction such as "and", "or", or "but".

Noun1 is a noun2, a noun3 and adj1.

Steve is a helpful office mate, a good friend, and wise when you turn to him.

Source: made it up

  • It's fine. All the coordinates are predicative complements referring to "Steve". – BillJ Nov 11 '17 at 7:13

The restriction is not the categories (e.g. verb, adjective, adverb etc.), but the functions (e.g. complement, subject, adjunct etc.) of the expressions. Since they're all complements of the linking verb "is," the coordination is fine.

Note that this sentence ungrammatical by virtue of having an adverb as a complement of a linking verb: *He is cute and nicely

  • Thanks. I got it, but this makes me want to brush up and read up on two things, complements and the linguistic "word classes?". I was wondering if function is a grammar term. I'll google right away. Thanks once again. – learner Nov 12 '17 at 1:49
  • category vs function – learner Nov 12 '17 at 1:54

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.