'taken' as an adjective

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019 lists 'taken' as an adjective only when followed by 'with':
adj.
  1. taken with, charmed or captivated by: He was quite taken with your niece.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers lists the same adjective 'taken':
adj
(postpositive) followed by with: enthusiastically impressed (by); infatuated (with)
Wikitionary lists this and one other use of 'taken' as an adjective:
Adjective[edit]
taken
(not comparable)
  1. Infatuated; fond of or attracted to. He was very taken with the girl, I hear.
  2. (informal) In a serious romantic relationship. I can't ask her out, she's taken.

On the other hand, this online Oxford Dictionary fails to list any adjective 'taken'. When 'taken' is searched, only the verb 'take' is listed.

But I can think of some other adjective uses of 'taken'.

For example, when a seat is empty in a theater, you can ask "Is this seat taken?" Here, I think "taken" is an adjective.
Also, I can say that the first two quotes are "taken" from the WordReference site, where I think "taken" is also an adjective.

And I think there should be some more examples of "taken" being used as an adjective.

So my question is why no dictionary lists these apparent 'adjective' uses of 'taken' as an "adjective.

I don't have access to OED. So I wonder if OED lists these and some other adjective uses of 'taken' as an adjective.
 
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  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    The full OED doesn't list any of those senses in its entry for taken; but they're there in the entry for take, though they take a bit of finding:
    8.
    a. transitive (in passive). Chiefly with with: to be attracted, charmed, or captivated by a person or thing. Frequently with intensifying adverb.
    38. transitive.
    (b) In passive. Of a person: to be involved in a romantic or sexual relationship (and therefore to be unavailable as a sexual or romantic partner); spec. to be married.
    64.
    d. transitive. In passive. Of an empty seat, space, etc.: to be reserved for or by someone.
    I presume they're not listed as taken [adj.] because dictionaries consider them merely passive uses of take.
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Many (most?) participles can behave as adjectives, and aren't usually listed in dictionaries.

    Adjectives that use the same word as a past participle but have a different meaning from the verb are always listed, as these do not derive from the verb (not in modern English, although they may have done once).
    The verb "take" does not mean to charm or to be charmed by, be fond of or be attracted to, so this meaning of "taken" has to be listed separately. The verb "take" can mean reserve, so this meaning is not listed separately under "taken".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The full OED doesn't list either of those senses in its entry for taken; but they're there in the entry for take, though they take a bit of finding:
    Thanks for looking it up in OED. I'm rather surprised that OED doesn't even list "taken" in "taken with" as an adjective.

    I presume they're not listed as taken [adj.] because dictionaries consider them merely passive uses of take.
    Although they can be used as a verbal passive, "taken" in the sense of 'charmed', 'captivated', 'infatuated', etc can also be used as an adjectival passive. This is clearly the case with the Wikitionary's example He was very taken with the girl, I hear.

    Many (most?) participles can behave as adjectives, and aren't usually listed in dictionaries.
    True.

    Adjectives that use the same word as a past participle but have a different meaning from the verb are always listed, as these do not derive from the verb (not in modern English, although they may have done once).
    The verb "take" does not mean to charm or to be charmed by, be fond of or be attracted to, so this meaning of "taken" has to be listed separately. The verb "take" can mean reserve, so this meaning is not listed separately under "taken".
    This distinction makes sense to me, but it doesn't seem to be the distinction dictionaries adopt. For example, the adjective "interested" has the same meaning as the verb "interest" but all the dictionaries I know of list "interested" as an adjective.
     
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    PaulMatthews

    New Member
    UK
    English
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019 lists 'taken' as an adjective only when followed by 'with':


    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers lists the same adjective 'taken':


    Wikitionary lists this and one other use of 'taken' as an adjective:



    On the other hand, this online Oxford Dictionary fails to list any adjective 'taken'. When 'taken' is searched, only the verb 'take' is listed.

    But I can think of some other adjective uses of 'taken'.

    For example, when a seat is empty in a theater, you can ask "Is this seat taken?" Here, I think "taken" is an adjective.
    Also, I can say that the first two quotes are "taken" from the WordReference site, where I think "taken" is also an adjective.

    And I think there should be some more examples of "taken" being used as an adjective.

    So my question is why no dictionary lists these apparent 'adjective' uses of 'taken' as an "adjective.

    I don't have access to OED. So I wonder if OED lists these and some other adjective uses of 'taken' as an adjective.
    "Taken" is clearly an adjective in "Ed is (very) taken with Liz", since it can be modified by "very", which can't modify verbs. Note also that adjectival "taken" selects a with complement.
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    This distinction makes sense to me, but it doesn't seem to be the distinction dictionaries adopt. For example, the adjective "interested" has the same meaning as the verb "interest" but all the dictionaries I know of list "interested" as an adjective.
    "Interested" is used to modify nouns: "He is an interested party". :tick:
    "Taken" is not used used in the same way:
    This is a taken seat.:cross:
    This seat is taken.:tick:

    I don't know if this is enough to justify the difference, but it seems to me that "interested" is far more of an adjective than "taken" is.
     
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