Talk:cloth

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what is cloth

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Cloth is an adjective as well, no? "She had a cloth bag." Bag is the noun, cloth (the adjective form) is describing as the bag as being made out of cloth (the noun form). Why is this form not represented? I would do it myself but I'm unfamiliar as yet with Wiktionary editing. Shadowviking 20:20, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Because in English virtually all nouns can be used in this way (attributively) we don't have separate adjective entries. If we had them, they would merely be rewordings of each sense of the noun into an adjectival definition. Sometimes such nouns assume other characteristics of adjectives. When they do we include an adjective section with the definitions for the senses involved. One test to distinguish a true adjective from a noun is: Can it be modified by "too" or "very"? "Cloth" fails this test. DCDuring TALK 11:27, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I think this is an important distinction that is not really respected throughout wiktionary. As you said, there are many attributive nouns in English, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily adjectives. The confusion is probably partly because most other European languages don't have attributive nouns, but English does.