What kind of word is "science" in science fiction?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Hutschi, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    What kind of word is "science" in science fiction?

    I have a question to the word form "science fiction".

    What kind of word is "science" in "science fiction"? Is it a noun or is it an adjective here in the compound form "science fiction"? Or is it another kind of word?

    Context: after the spelling reform, the German spelling depends on the word form. I need some help to verify the form in the German Wikipedia.

    Please note, it is an English question about the English usage of the word.

    Unfortunately, I posted it into the German form but this was wrong. There are also German answers there, that's why I post it here again.

    I hope, this is not against the rules.

    Best regards
  2. Old Novice

    Old Novice Senior Member

    USA, English
    "Science" is a noun acting as an adjective. "Science" fiction is a type of fiction. Sorry, but I don't remember my grammar well enough to give you the "official" term for a noun acting as an adjective. :(
  3. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Thank you very much :) . If this can be verified by others, it is a really great help.
  4. jess oh seven

    jess oh seven Senior Member

    UK/US, English
    ^ I agree. It is describing the type of fiction.

    Modern fiction
    Science fiction
    Scottish fiction
    English fiction

    etc. they are all adjectives in this sense.
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is a difference, though, between science and the rest.
    Modern, Scottish and English are adjectives.
    Scottish and English are the adjectives formed from the nouns Scotland and England.
    Science is a noun being used attributively.
    The normal adjective formed from science (scientific) is not used in this context.

    If you are feeling really brave, and don't mind being confused, there is a recent thread about this topic:
    Adjectives and nouns
  6. Old Novice

    Old Novice Senior Member

    USA, English
    I agree about the listed cases, but just so there's no confusion, there are plenty of other examples of nouns serving as adjectives to describe genres of fiction. "Crime fiction", "murder mystery", and "police procedural" come to mind immediately.
  7. Kevman Senior Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    USA English

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