3

The sentence I came across,

The Qing regime still saw itself as supreme on the planet.

I might regard the word "supreme" as a noun because it follows a preposition word "as". But if it's a noun, I think it should be "a supreme". What's more, I find the word "supreme" is rarely used as a noun nowadays.

Then I pay attention to "as" here. Now I am not sure if it is a preposition.

Help me.

4

The Qing regime still saw itself as supreme on the planet.

Here the word is being used as an adjective - it is describing the Qing regime. Or rather, in this case, it is describing the Qing regime's own perception of the status of the Qing regime.

I see myself as a human being.

Here there is an indefinite article, followed by an adjective/noun pair. I am a being. What kind of being? a human being.

I see myself as the best dancer in the room.

Here there is a definite article, followed by a superlative phrase.

I see myself as fat.

No article, and an adjective.

In all cases, as is being used as a preposition.

  • "as" can be used as an adverb. – dennylv Nov 27 '15 at 7:11
  • The preposition "as" is unusual. Most prepositions take objects. "As" takes a complement. It's this unusual behavior that leads dictionaries to label it an adverb. – Gary Botnovcan Nov 27 '15 at 16:07
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a supreme? No!

The word supreme is not a noun. It's an adjective word there. Refer any dictionary. Being an adjective, it won't take any article.

Now, the placement.

A red apple (adjective 'red' followed by a noun 'apple')

Now, adjective can go without being followed by a noun!

An apple is red

Look at this example from Oxfordictionaries (#1.1):

'on the race track he reigned supreme.'

And from WordWeb

"Money reigns supreme here"

Now, following 'as'.

Adjectives may also follow the word they modify.

The technology is state-of-the-art.

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