In this question, I want to say about the drawing which is less artistic and more problem solving. But problem solving is not adjective, as contrast to artistic.

Is there an adjective for problem solving?

  • 1
    What makes you think it's not an adjective?
    – Stephie
    Jul 8, 2015 at 13:17
  • First thought: "V-ing" is an action, right? Second thought: ahhhhhh, I see what you mean. Make it an answer and I'll accept yours.
    – Ooker
    Jul 8, 2015 at 13:25
  • We say "The raptors show problem-solving intelligence."
    – TimR
    Jul 8, 2015 at 13:43
  • @TRomano should I change my question to asking the adjective form for problem solving?
    – Ooker
    Jul 8, 2015 at 14:17
  • @TRomano But it appears that OP wants a term which can be employed predicatively. And it's not clear whether what's meant is "concerned with solving problems" or "{capable of/engaged in} solving problems". Jul 8, 2015 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


With the addition of a dash, problem-solving can be used adjectivally before a noun. In fact, a lot of similar adjectivals can be formed with the active participle ending in -ing: habit-forming, all-encompassing, ever-increasing, etc.

English is quite flexible on the way different parts of speech can serve as adjectives. Note that when numerical expressions are used in this way, they are never plural in form. There is a strict rule in English that adjectivals may not be pluralized. That's why you see forms like two-mile hike, three-minute phone call, twenty-year-old girl, etc.

  • May I ask what your native language is?
    – CocoPop
    Jul 8, 2015 at 14:22
  • You say: "problem-solving can be used adjectivally before a noun". What if there is no noun for it?
    – Ooker
    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:09
  • 1
    Then it's a noun (no dash): He's good at problem solving.
    – CocoPop
    Jul 10, 2015 at 2:40
  • I mean, is "less artistic and more problem solving" grammatical correct? Artistic is an adj, while problem - solving must be a noun since there is no noun after it.
    – Ooker
    Jul 10, 2015 at 2:45
  • 1
    It depends on the entire sentence. If you wanted to list ARTISTIC and PROBLEM-SOLVING as attributes, you might have to give it a little turn: He would make a good curator because he is both artistic and a good problem solver." or "... is artistic and has great problem-solving skills."
    – CocoPop
    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:27

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