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There are three blue magnets. You ask the question: what color is it, by taking each magnet at a time. And the answer goes: 1. It's blue. 2. It's blue again. 3. It's "another" blue.

Is another possible here? If you were refering to the magnet, maybe. But the conversation is strictly lain on the color.

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    Yes, it's a perfectly natural usage. You're just bothered by the fact that the first two usages are adjectival (the colour of the magnet), but the last one is a noun (it is another blue one). This is a transparent switch for native speakers - they don't really even notice it. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 31 '15 at 16:11
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Yes, it's a perfectly natural usage.

All three of the answers are copular, with 'is' as the copula:

  1. It is blue.
  2. It is blue again.
  3. It is another blue.

You're just bothered by the fact that the first two end with adjectival phrases, but the last one ends with a noun phrase, where a 'blue' is a type of thing. This usage of 'blue' is called a nominalized adjective.

This is a transparent switch for native speakers - they don't really even notice it.

  • If the answerer knows there are three magnets, he/she won't say "it's blue again.", he/she would say "it's also blue", or "It's blue too". (Unless you are tricking a small child by pulling out one at a time, then hiding it, so the child doesn't know if there is one magnet or many—that's the only time it would make sense to say "It's blue again, or more likely "It's still blue".) – Brian Hitchcock Aug 10 '15 at 7:50
  • And the conversation isn't "stricly lain on the color". You assumed that questioner and answerer have the same understanding, when the ground rules were NOT EXPLAINED. That is, you assume the answerer heard "What color is it?", not "What color is it?" – Brian Hitchcock Aug 10 '15 at 7:56
  • @BrianHitchcock I was trying to figure these two comments out, thinking the second was some kind of response to the first, then I realized they were by the same person. I have no idea what you're talking about. – DCShannon Aug 10 '15 at 19:16
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That usage would be acceptable and most likely problem free.

Here is where the miscommunication could occur:

  1. It is blue.
  2. It is blue again.
  3. It is another blue.

For the first one, you are establishing it is blue. For the second one, by using "again" you are establishing that it is the same blue. For the third one, "another" could be misunderstood as meaning it is a different blue. IE:

  1. It is sky blue.
  2. It is sky blue again.
  3. It is navy blue.

To reiterate, there is nothing wrong with wording it "another blue", just trying to highlight where the potential for misunderstanding occurs.

For crystal clarity, Brian has the logic spot on again. Words like "also" and "too" indicate uniformity. "Another" is one of those tricky words that can either indicate uniformity or difference.

  • That's an interesting interpretation. The bit about "another" possibly indicating a second, different shade of blue makes a little bit of sense, but wouldn't have occurred to me (didn't occur to me). I can just see where you're coming from on "again" meaning the same shade of blue, but would not interpret it that way myself. Even if they're radically different shades of blue, they're both "blue": So, let X be the marble most recently pulled out of the bag. The first time it's sky blue, so X is blue. The second time it's navy blue, so X is blue again. – DCShannon Sep 22 '15 at 17:55
  • Totally agree. You had the answer pegged. I just jumped in there with the unlikely devils advocate type of angle where confusion would occur, because in my understanding, people have an amazing ability to create confusion where there should be none, and if it's not your native language, its tough to anticipate where the person you are talking to will subconsciously add in "shade of" when you didn't say that. – user2989297 Sep 22 '15 at 18:12

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