light is < flashing >

Esad Nr

Senior Member
If the blue light is flashing, it means that nearby Bridger Bowl has more than two inches of fresh snow.

I saw this in an article. I wonder if “flashing” is used as an adjective or a verb in this sentence? If it is a verb,why is the present continuous tense used here?
  • It’s a verb in the third person, present progressive.

    What is the light doing? It’s flashing on and off. When it does that/When you see it doing that, it means……
    "is flashing" is a verb (present continuous tense). This means "When the blue light flashes [Every time the blue light flashes], it means..."
    I couldn’t give any example but I wonder if there is any possibility that “flashing” is used as an adjective in such a sentence. For example,we say “the flashing light” . In this phrase “flashing” is an adjective. Would “flashing” also be an adjective in the sentence “ the light is flashing”?
    We’ve both just answered that. The answer is no. In “such a sentence” it’s a finite verb form, in the progressive/continuous aspect:

    “The light is/was/has been/had been flashing.”

    It's a continuous action. The light is going on and then off and then on and then off. There is no other verb in the clause and it needs a verb.

    (If I got my grammar terminology right.)
    Well, "is" can be a verb all on its own: (If the light is red, traffic must stop.)

    I agree that "is flashing" is the verb phrase here (progressive/continuous aspect). The light is flashing repeatedly. "If the light flashes..." would imply: "If the light flashes once..."
    Flashing is an adjective in this construction:
    The flashing blue light indicates that nearby Bridger Bowl has more than two inches of fresh snow.