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I'm preparing for an exam which will test the candidate's ability to identify different parts of speech. I know a word can work as different parts of speech based on its meaning in the sentence. But what if I don't know the exact meaning of a certain word.

As an example,

Depression is often hereditary.

In the above sentence, the word hereditary is an adjective. I didn't know the exact meaning of this word and I was quite sure that it was a noun when I first saw the question.

So is there any way to identify an adjective which works every time?

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    I don't know if there is a method that works every time, but I would suggest studying the suffixes and prefixes that commonly appear in adjectives. You can use Google to find lists of adjective suffixes and prefixes. "Hereditary" ends in "-ary" which is an adjective suffix. – SarahT Apr 5 at 23:58

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