I am writing this in the context of writing to a university:

The [name] university is well known in the scientific community and its courses are of very respected academic value.

I would like to know if the construct “are of very” is grammatically correct.

  • 1
    What would you like to know? – Tyler James Young Jan 24 '14 at 22:15
  • @TylerJamesYoung the are of very is correct gramatically or not? – Marco Dinatsoli Jan 24 '14 at 22:15
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    Yes. It says the courses are of value—what kind of value? Very respected academic value. – Tyler James Young Jan 24 '14 at 22:23

It's not “are of very” but “are of [adjective] [noun]” where [adjective] is the adjectival phrase “very respected” and [noun] is the noun phrase “academic value”. The construction “X is of [adjective] [noun]” means “the [noun] of X is [adjective]” and can be used for nouns expressing qualities with an adjective quantifying the quality. It is also possible to directly qualify the noun: “an X of [adjective] [noun]”.

This topic is of great importance.
This woman is of considerable means.
I see a man of average height.
He is a man of little faith.

  • i will say depending of my understanding to your answer. first you implied that my sentence means that "the academic value of the courses are very respected " right? Also, from you asnwer can i implied that "its courses are of respected academic value" the correct one? – Marco Dinatsoli Jan 24 '14 at 23:08
  • @MarcoDinatsoli Yes, or rather “the academic value of the courses is very respected” (by the way, highly would be more idiomatic than very here). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 24 '14 at 23:12
  • "idionmatic" means more bad or more good pleaes? – Marco Dinatsoli Jan 24 '14 at 23:17
  • Also why you said the academic value of the courses. and not the academic value of its courses please? – Marco Dinatsoli Jan 24 '14 at 23:19
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    @MarcoDinatsoli Unlike "more better", which is something a native speaker would not say :-) Just "better" will do. – snailplane Jan 24 '14 at 23:29

You might be able to stretch the rules of grammar to allow that sentence construction, but it's very awkward and sounds wrong.

It sounds to me like you're trying to say that

The [name] university is well known in the scientific community and its courses are very respected for their academic value.

Besides some set phrases, like "a man of average height", it's probably best to avoid this construction.

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