In the video about cloud computing, the instructor said:

After that we will begin to discuss security and Identity & Access Management. This is important to understand when you're getting started because as soon as you create an AWS account, you'll have some actionable knowledge on how to secure that account right from the start. Starting off secure is a good place to be.

What I understand is:

  • Starting off is a noun form (gerund?) of a phrasal verb start off.

But I don't understand how "secure" is used in the last sentence.


  • Is it an adjective? If not, what part of speech is it?
  • Why not use the adverb "securely" in the place of "secure" since it seems to modify a verb? (though that's a gerund in this case)
  • 1
    Is "secure" intended to refer to some piece of software, rather than the way of starting off?
    – BillJ
    Sep 10, 2022 at 10:46
  • @BillJ I just added more context in the post. Do you mean "secure" is a noun that denotes some software? I'm not sure if that's the case.
    – catwith
    Sep 10, 2022 at 11:43
  • 1
    I think you should interpret it as "starting off in a way that is secure". This fact probably should be part of an answer, but there is a difference between verb-ing adjective and verb-ing adverb; consider "growing up poor" vs. "growing up poorly".
    – stangdon
    Sep 10, 2022 at 12:48
  • 1
    I interpret it to mean, "Starting off with you being secure". This would make "secure" an adjective referring to a elided noun. I'm guessing in the sentence structure that it's an adjunct.
    – gotube
    Sep 10, 2022 at 14:39
  • @stangdon Thank you! The latter part of your comment gives me a clue. I guess the verb in the construction verb-ing adjective is sometimes called a linking verb.
    – catwith
    Sep 10, 2022 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


It's clearly informal spoken English that doesn't necessarily follow the rules or make sense. I edited the sentence below to make it more understandable:

Starting off [with a ] secure [AWS account] is a good place to be way to start.

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