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.


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

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.