Consecutive Nouns


Senior Member
"Sports afford an exercise for dexterity and for the emulative ferocity and astuteness characteristic of predatory life."

In this sentence, bolded 'astuteness' and 'characteristic' are both nouns.
Is it possible to use consecutive nouns like this? If so, how can I interpret this phrase in this case?
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Characteristic' can be both noun and adjective, and here it's an adjective: the astuteness (which is) characteristic of . . .

    A relative clause could also use a noun: the astuteness which is a characteristic of . . . But this cannot be reduced in the same way.

    the astuteness typical of . . . [adjective only]
    the astuteness which is typical of . . .
    the astuteness which is a feature of . . . [noun only]
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