0

The center's much-hyped attempt to privatise Air India by disinvesting 74 percent equity has come a cropper.

I am still not able to understand how "attempt" is considered as noun rather then verb.

Any tip on how to figure out if a word is a verb or noun.

Here, attempt seems to be subject's action and in simple present tense. So attempt is satisfying both conditions of a verb i.e action and timing.

The above sentence is a line from news paper editorial.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jun 5 '18 at 10:05

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • “Attempt” is a noun in that sentence. – sumelic Jun 5 '18 at 4:29
  • Everything in that sentence is singular. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 5 '18 at 4:38
  • makes sense. Any way to quickly identify if a word is being used a verb or noun? – shiva prasad Jun 5 '18 at 4:56
  • ... has come a cropper?!? – Jim Jun 5 '18 at 5:29
  • "Attempt" is not a verb here, but a noun. "The center's much-hyped attempt" is not subject+verb, but NP+NP. The first NP "the center's" is a genitive NP determining "much-hyped attempt". The latter can only be an NP, since verbs do not take determiners. – BillJ Jun 5 '18 at 7:30
1

"The center's much hyped attempt to privatise..."

I hope the following helps to explain why "attempt" is a noun in this case. Breaking this part of the sentence down, we get:

  1. "The" is the definite article and is used to introduce a noun.

  2. "center" is obviously a noun. It is followed by an "'s", which indicates that the "center" possesses something. Whatever that something is, it will also have to be a noun. There is not usually much distance between a possessive noun and the object that it possesses. Since "much hyped" is not an object, the noun has to be "attempt".

  3. "much hyped" is an adjective. Adjectives are usually followed by a noun, which in this case brings us back to "attempt".

  4. This leaves "to privatise", which shows what action was being taken, so it is a verb.

You are correct that attempt can also be used as a verb, e.g.:

Do not attempt to repeat this. I will attempt to climb the mountain. He tried to attempt the impossible.

-1

Ignoring the cruft, the sentence is "attempt has come".

"Attempt" is the subject.

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.