"Will Mr. Collins be affected by the previous news on stocks INCREASE?"

Is increase a verb or a noun in this sentence? thank you very much

  • 2
    It's a "syntactically awkward" example of journalese ("cut-down" syntax as used in newspapers, etc.). It could be more clearly expressed as ...previous news on the increase in stocks - but even that version is just "shorthand" for ...the increase in the price of stocks. Grammatically speaking, stocks in the example is a noun adjunct (a noun used adjectivally to modify the "head" noun increase that follows). Feb 4, 2019 at 13:34
  • oh.. very complicated haha. Thank you for your help!
    – chie
    Feb 4, 2019 at 13:56
  • Complicated and awkward. Personally, I don't like previous (would prefer earlier), or on (would prefer regarding). And if I were writing it I'd have "reversed" those last two nouns anyway, and included the actual noun that has "increased" (more properly, "risen") - Will he be affected by the earlier news regarding rising stock prices? A few more words, but much easier to parse, even for native speakers. Feb 4, 2019 at 15:09
  • I'm not even sure it's grammatically valid even allowing for ellipsis.
    – SamBC
    Feb 4, 2019 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


As noted in comments, the sentence is awkward and complicated. Let us try to simplify

Mr Collins will be affected by previous news on stocks increase. (make a statement)

Previous news on stocks increase affects Mr Collins. (present tense and active)

The subject of this sentence is the noun phrase

"Previous news on stocks increase"

Here it is apparent that "stocks" is an attributive noun, describing the noun increase.

But the whole sentence is clumsy and ought to be rephrased:

Will Mr Collins be affected by the earlier news that stocks had increased in value?

There was news that stocks have increased. Will this affect Mr Collins?

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