There are numerous different grammatical constructions and terminologies used in the English language. Let us look into this topic thoroughly with the help of the word “handsome”.
The term “handsome” is used as an adjective depending on the context, the word choice, or where it appears in a particular statement, but it cannot be used as a verb.
Let us look at this subject in more detail now utilising some information, example phrases, and explanations.
When is “handsome” an adjective?
There are a limited number of grammatical uses for the word “handsome.” Let us examine one of them.
“Handsome” is considered an adjective when it is used as a qualifier for a noun or when it comes directly before a noun.
Example: Mr. Duke is a very handsome man and has many marriage proposals piling up.
Explanation: The term “handsome” in this case has been clearly used as an adjective since it is being put to use as a way of describing the noun ‘man’. It acts as a qualifier to the said noun and is also placed directly before the noun. “Handsome” in this case means ‘good looking’.
Is “handsome” a descriptive adjective?
A specific subtype of an adjective may provide a better definition for the word “handsome.” Let us go into further detail about that.
“Handsome” is a descriptive adjective since it directly refers to or characterizes the condition of the noun it is used before.
Example: That is a handsome amount of money they were compensated with.
Explanation: Here too, the word “handsome” can be considered as an adjective since it is used as a descriptor of the noun ‘amount’. It is used directly before the noun and therefore serves a descriptive quality that extends to said noun. Over here the term “handsome” refers to ‘substantial’ as the context it is being used in is a certain kind of measurement.
When is “handsome” a descriptive adjective?
“Handsome” is a descriptive adjective when it aids in elaborating the state or quality of the noun it is used to describe. “Handsome” as an adjective means ‘good-looking’ in some contexts and ‘substantial’ in other contexts.
For a better comprehension of this subject, let us look at a few additional instances of the descriptive adjective “handsome” that have also been discussed on the side.
|1. He has been dubbed as the most desirable and handsome athlete to ever exist.||In this instance, the word “handsome” has been used to describe the noun ‘athlete’, therefore it is obvious that it is being employed as an adjective. It is placed immediately before the noun and serves as a qualifier for it. In this context, “handsome” denotes someone who is ‘good looking’.|
|2. They gave the police a handsome lump sum of cash to not go ahead with the investigation.||The word “handsome” can be regarded as an adjective in this context as well because it is used to describe the noun ‘lump sum’. Given that it comes before the noun, its descriptive function facilitates the noun itself. The word “handsome” corresponds to ‘substantial’ in this case since it is being used to describe a certain type of measurement.|
|3. Contestant number three is handsomer than most other contestants that have auditioned with us until now.||In this example, the term “handsomer” is not placed directly before the noun it still qualifies as a descriptive adjective as it is used in reference to describe a particular noun. In this case that noun is ‘contestant number three’. Once again, over here this particular term refers to someone that possesses a good physical appearance. Also, the comparative form of the word “handsome” has been used in this sentence.|
|4. Back in my college days I had taken a trip to Europe and met the handsomest man I had ever met in my entire lifetime and today I do not even remember his name.||It is clear that the word “handsomest” is being used as an adjective in this context because it is used to describe the noun ‘man’. It serves as a qualifier for the noun and is inserted right before it. “Handsome” here refers to someone who possesses excellent looks. This particular sentence uses the superlative form of the adjective “handsome”.|
|5. These are a handsome number of books that you own; perhaps, you are not thinking of packing all of it with you, are you?||Since “handsome” is used to describe the noun ‘number’ it can also be considered an adjective in this situation. Its descriptive role assists the noun itself because it comes before the noun. Since “handsome” is being used to describe a certain degree of measure, it is equivalent to ‘substantial’ in this context.|
|6. Look at this old picture of my grandfather, he was so handsome when he was younger.||Even if the word “handsome” is not used right before the noun in this instance, it still counts as a descriptive adjective because it is being used to characterize a specific noun. Adjectives need not always be placed directly before nouns to be deemed as adjectives. The noun in question in this situation is the ‘grandfather’. Once more, the expression in this context means someone who has a great physical appearance.|
|7. She earns a handsome salary so she must manage without any trouble.||In this particular statement, the noun ‘salary’ has been described with help of the descriptive adjective “handsome”. In this case the said adjective is placed directly before the noun serving its primary function as an adjective. Also, over here the term “handsome” means ‘significant’ in terms of degree of certain measurement.|
Is “handsome” a verb?
The term “handsome” having any other grammatical forms apart from an adjective can be rare. Let us take a deeper look.
“Handsome” is not regarded as a verb. This is because under no circumstance can this particular term be put to action and made to make sense as a verb.
It can be inferred from this that a word like “handsome” cannot have a wide range of flexible usages in more than a couple grammatical forms, however, its meaning as a word (in some cases) may even change.