In this sentence, what part of speech is 'frightening':

"Halloween can also be frightening for pets."

Is it a participle? Or is it acting as a verb?

  • 1
    frightening is a adjective.
    – bak1936
    Nov 17, 2021 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


Frightening is an adjective. There is a natural process in which participles (which can be used as modifiers) become fixed as adjectives. It can be confusing when you try to parse a sentence. However if you check a dictionary you will find "frightening" listed as an adjective.

In a simpler example

Dracula is a frightening monster (adjective)

Dracula is frightening. (probably an adjective)

But if there is a direct object, it must be a verb.

Dracula is frightening the boys. (present continuous of verb "to frighten")

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