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The movie description of Who Framed Roger Rabbit has a line:

Keeping an eye over his shoulder, Eddie heads down some darken stairs.

None of the dictionaries I consulted list darken as an adjective. "Darkened stairs" doesn't sound right either, and the audio doesn't sound like it. So is "darken" used as an adjective? I am putting the audio clip here for reference, uploaded to a Clyp, an audio sharing site.

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    It's probably a typo. Darkened stairs is correct, and means "stairs that have become dark". I definitely hear "darkened" when I listen to the audio. – stangdon Apr 4 '18 at 14:33
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    /nds/ -- A /d/ in that position is quite difficult to pronounce. In the absence of unnatural pauses, the /n/ makes an alveolar stop impossible and the /s/ both suppresses the voiced phonation and masks the plosive release. – Gary Botnovcan Apr 4 '18 at 14:34
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He's definitely saying "darkened." He says the "-ed" very quickly, but it's there.

Darkened is the past participle of "to darken" and is the correct way to turn the verb "to darken" into an adjective in this case.

You can use darkened to describe any number of things that are temporarily dark:

He started walking down the darkened alleyway.

He stared into the darkened closet, making sure there were no monsters.

  • Could enrich this answer with some typical collocations of darkened? It is not a word I see very often. – Eddie Kal Apr 4 '18 at 14:37
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    +1 His mood had been darkened by the news. He left the meeting with a darkened mood. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 4 '18 at 14:47
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Very good point! Darkened can be used metaphorically as well. – godel9 Apr 4 '18 at 14:48
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Well I also heard it as "darken".. But I'm getting the idea that darken is an adjective because you can compare as: 1) darken stairs (2) woollen sweaters... and you see that in (1) we see that stairs that are dark (so darken is adjective) and in (2) sweaters that are made of wooll (so woollen is adjective) ... Someone correct me if I'm wrong

  • This seems to me a comment rather than an answer. – StoneyB Apr 4 '18 at 15:58
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    @StoneyB: Looks like it's trying to argue for the affirmative, that "darken" is an adjective. So an answer, just a wrong one. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 4 '18 at 16:08
  • I'll leave it to the dictionaries at Wordnik to correct you: darken is an verb; darkened is an adjective. – J.R. Apr 4 '18 at 17:48
  • I tried to give the answer to the best of my knowledge and was willing to be stand corrected if I were wrong, so guys why have you gone so serious? – Raja Akmal Apr 4 '18 at 19:31

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