a brilliant gold or brilliant gold?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by schuka, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. schuka Member

    Japanese
    I saw this sentence:

    The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops a brilliant gold.

    I understand the meaning. But I wonder why " gold " which is an adjective needs an article "a".

    The adjective " brilliant" requires " a"?

    Without " brilliant" , can I say " The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops gold" ?

    Would anyone explain it to me?
     
  2. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    I think you can say it with or without, here.
     
  3. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    "Gold" is a noun which has an adjectival use to mean "the colour of gold". All colours can be used as both noun and adjective. It's a brilliant gold as opposed to a dull gold. As suzi said, you can write it either way - with or without the article. It is not the presence of the modifier "brilliant" which requires the article, but if there is no modifier there would also be no article.
    The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops a brilliant gold.
    The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops brilliant gold.
    The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops gold.
    The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops a gold. :cross:
     
  4. schuka Member

    Japanese
    Thank you for your precise answer. I appreciate your help.
     
  5. schuka Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much for writing all the correct sentences. I appreciate your help.
     
  6. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    Think of it as being "a brilliant gold [colour]."
     
  7. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    gold is not an adjective in this sentence. It is a noun meaning a color.

    There are a large variety of different specific colors that are golds. Some of those colors are brilliant golds. The first rays of the sun painted the mountops with a color that was one of those brilliant golds, so we say that specific color is "a brilliant gold".

    That is what "a brilliant gold" means in the sentence: a color that is one of many brilliant gold colors.
     

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