I've came across the sizzling of [something] and I've found out sizzling is an adjective. However, I can't understand the construction the [adj] of [sth]. All I know is the construction the [adj] as in the rich (meaning rich people).

This is the context of a description of a kitchen.

There’s the sizzling of a frying pan, chairs being scraped back, metal chopsticks clinking against bowls as someone sets the table. Probably Sarah. It sounds like everyone is in the kitchen.

  • There’s the sizzling of a frying pan**= **hissing sound of a frying pan
    – Sam
    Oct 8, 2022 at 11:45
  • It is really helpful... ! Thank you so much😭
    – Hello
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:40
  • "Sizzling" qualifies as a noun by virtue of the presence of the determiner "the" and by the of PP as its complement. Adjectives don't take determiners or PP complements.
    – BillJ
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:42
  • @BillJ Oh ! I got it :)))) if so, the noun 'sizzling' is a gerund from the intransitive verb 'sizzle'?
    – Hello
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:45
  • As Kate Bunting says, "Sizzling" can be an adjective, but your sentence uses the present participle of the verb "sizzle" as a noun. Doing that is very common in English, and very useful! For example, "She shouts"..."I hear shouting". You might find this helpful. Oct 8, 2022 at 12:47

2 Answers 2


Sizzling is an adjective in a sentence like

I picked up the sizzling frying pan.

However, the passage you quote is a description of the sounds coming from the kitchen. Here, sizzling is a noun; the name of the sound that the hot pan makes.

  • 1
    Wow,,,,,,,,,,, It seems like I got an e-mail from my English teacher.. Thank you :)
    – Hello
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:39
  • I'm sorry but I think the sizzling of a frying pan is fine as it is the noise produced overall by the stuff being fried in it.
    – Lambie
    Oct 9, 2022 at 18:20
  • @Lambie - Why do you think I said there was anything wrong with it? I merely pointed out that it isn't an adjective as the OP thought. Oct 10, 2022 at 7:50
  • Yes, it can be an adjective, sure, but here it isn't.
    – Lambie
    Oct 10, 2022 at 15:40


There is the sizzling of a frying pan, the scraping back of a chair, the clinking of metal chopsticks against bowls as someone is setting the table.

Now, it's parallel but slightly over the top. The historic present is used here.

ing added to verbs make them gerunds, some people say gerund nouns. However, it is common in English to get this structure:

  • the barking of dogs in the street
  • the cawing of crows in the treet.

Now, many of these gerunds can be used also as adjectives:

The barking dogs The cawing crows The clinking chopsticks

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .