a brilliant gold or brilliant gold?

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?
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    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:
     

    schuka

    Member
    Japanese
    "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:
    Thank you very much for writing all the correct sentences. I appreciate your help.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The first rays of the sun painted the mountaintops a brilliant gold.
    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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