He stared open-mouthed

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nemo eve walle

Senior Member
chinese
He stared open-mouthed. "That's it!" he said.
From The First Men in the Moon.

''Open-mouthed'' is an adjective, such as ''an open-mounthed person'', but Wells use it as an adverb, this is wrong! Is that right?
 
  • nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Or what else could it be? An adjective? Because it is after a verb ''stared'', so I think it should be adverb, but ''open-mouthed'' is an adjective.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    A lot of verbs describing appearance can be used as linking verbs with predicate adjectives: He seemed open-mouthed, he looked open-mouthed. Stare is uncommon in this usage, but not impossible.
     

    nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    chinese
    He stare at something open-mouthed(ly), it is not ''not impossible'', it is possible.
    He was open-mouthed as he stared.
    This doesn't solve my question, because
    She took up the rabbit carefully.:thumbsup:
    She is carefully as she took up the rabbit.:cross:

    He has a open-mouthed face, it means he has a face with open-mouthed,
    first open-mouthed is adjective, I mean the whole word, the second open-mouthed is a noun, mouth is the noun, open is modifier.
    Word+word + being modified object, the word+word is the feature of the object, so I can only be used when it is before a noun. (Yes, this is my point, I have been thinking for a long time and never found that this is what perplexed me!)
    It is an adjective, and it is not an adverb, but open-mouthed in He stared open-mouthed stand at a wrong place, an adverb place, so I think it is wrong.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    He stared open-mouthed at the moon.

    He stared at the moon with his mouth open.
    He stared open-mouthed at the moon.

    "Open-mouthed" is explaining how​ he stared.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I am struggling to follow your points, but must point out that this is not correct:

    it means he has a face with open-mouthed,
     

    nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Anyway, do you mean ''open-mouthed'' also can be an adverb? Because I think it only can modify nouns, as an adjective.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'Open-mouthed' is an adjectival expression and therefore qualifies a noun or pronoun, but in the sentence 'He stared open-mouthed' it is being used predicatively. That means it has some of the force of an adverb.
    As Nunty says,
    "Open-mouthed" is explaining how​ he stared.
    Other examples of this predicative use:

    He fell flat on the floor.
    He won the fight single-handed.
    He was caught red-handed.
    He came second in the race.
     
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