For one thing, when Seamus Finnigan asked eagerly to hear how Quirrell had fought off the zombie, Quirrell went pink and started talking about the weather; for another, they had noticed that a funny smell hung around the turban, and the Weasley twins insisted that it was stuffed full of garlic as well, so that Quirrell was protected wherever he went.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

In the sentence highlighted, do we see complement plus complement - [stuffed][full of garlic], or link-like verbs plus compliment – [was stuffed][full of garlic], or others?

1 Answer 1


Stuffed is one of those awkward participles, like confused or convinced that is halfway to being a "deverbal" adjective.

I frankly don't know how you draw the line. I'm inclined to say it's still a participle if it takes a complement. For instance, in

I'm convinced that Homer was a woman

convinced is a participle. Likewise, stuffed here is a participle. But in

I'm stuffed (colloquial for "I've eaten too much")

stuffed is an adjective.

But I don't think it matters. I think the distinction between verb and adjective here is an artificial one.

A participle, after all, is called that because it participates in both verbal and adjectival uses at the same time, and I don't think that changes when the verbal use is called a "passive construction".

  • Can I accept that the participle, stuffed, has its complement, full of garlic?
    – Listenever
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 4:00
  • 1
    @Listenever That's how I'd read it: [Subject: someone] stuffed [Direct Object:*it] [Secondary/Object Complement: full of garlic] Commented May 18, 2013 at 10:18

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