I'm learning English grammar. I have come across the parts of speech: noun, adjective, adverb, and preposition.

But I could not decide on what part of speech 'excess' is in the sentence below:

Therefore no employee will be eligible to accumulate leave in excess of 2 years entitlement at any point of time.

What is the part of speech of the word "excess" in the above sentence?

1 Answer 1


"Excess" can be a noun or an adjective.

If you say, "He has two days excess leave", you are using it as an adjective. It is modifying the noun "leave", and saying what kind of leave, that is, excess leave.

If you say, "He has an excess of leave", you are using it as a noun. He has an excess. The thing that he has is an excess. So excess is being used as a thing, a noun.

In your example, it is being used as a noun. It's a tricky case; I think "in excess of" is something of an idiom. But to be "in something", there has to be a thing there. You can't be "in" a verb or an adjective.

See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/excess

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