Senior Member
I am eligible for positions abroad.

What is the word of case of "abraod"?
I think it is adverb, then, I am thinking how adverb can modify nouns like positions in this case.
What is the function of abroad here?

Thank you for your help.
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    According to the OED's entry for "abroad", it's an adverb in that usage.
    1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. 246 He had passed several years in diplomatic posts abroad.
    2007 Vanity Fair (N.Y.) Apr. 185/2 English comestibles, the sort of thing that Englishmen abroad are supposed to yearn for.
    It is only described as an adjective when used before the noun, like most adjectives.
    2007 South Bend (Indiana) Tribune (Nexis) 25 Apr. b3 While dean, he inaugurated a popular abroad program in which second-year law students studied in London for a year.
    I leave it to a grammarian to explain that.

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Many words have more than one function. 'Abroad' is very often an adverb telling us about place.
    In "Shall we holiday abroad this year?" abroad is modifying the verb 'to holiday'. We can use 'abroad' as a noun: "I can't stand abroad, it's full of Brits".

    In "I don't like holidays abroad", it's telling us what sort of holidays, modifying a noun. It's the same in 'I am eligible for positions abroad': 'abroad' tells us about the noun, 'positions'.

    In English most adjectives come before the noun, but there's a small group which come after, called 'post- posited'. 'Below' is one - we say 'the text below' not 'the below text'.

    popular abroad program
    My explanation for this oddity is that somebody on the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune doesn't write very well. It may well be the name of the programme but that should be indicated - '... the popular "Abroad Program ...".


    Senior Member
    British English
    My explanation for this oddity
    Not an oddity. That was but the most recent citation. This usage is recorded by the OED for a few hundred years. I hadn't seen it before and I was curious that the OED does not record "abroad" as a post-posited adjective.

    I haven't time now to look further, but Oxford Dictionaries Online doesn't record "below" as an adjective. This is comparable to the OP and is classed as an adverb: ‘he jumped from the window into the moat below’


    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    This merely highlights to me the uselessness of grammatical analysis for learners. Understanding why it's an adverb and how it can be used to modify a noun is possibly of some academic interest, but in terms of understanding how to interpret the sentence it's much simpler to say that it functions like an adjective.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Oh, I agree. I don't understand why abroad is classified as an adverb here, and I've got by in English for over 65 years. The problem for learners is that their books tell them "adverb" and that adverbs don't modify nouns. But this one does.
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