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Hello all

As far as I know it is OK to say:

- Of all the available colours, the blue is...

- You will be given all the necessary information.

- ...in the best possible scenario.


....as well as this:


- Of all the colours available, the blue is...

- You will be given all the information necessary.

- ...in the best scenario possible.



Then, I wonder why the following senetnce is incorrect:


- All rivers navigable are being patrolled.


Why is it ok to say "navigable rivers" and not "rivers navigable"?


Thank you

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Most linguists will tell you that when an adjective is placed before a noun, it represents a permanent or characteristic quality. When it is placed after a noun, it represents something more temporary or true for a given occasion.

Some adjectives are regarded as inherently permanent, possibly by tradition rather than by any strict logical reasoning (a tall woman; a strong bridge), so they are always found before the noun they modify. Others, not so much.

With 1) below we tend to think that the reference is to rivers which are characteristically navigable, as if these existed on a permanently established list of rivers. With 2) we tend to think that the reference is only to rivers which are navigable on this particular occasion, which might happen in cases of flooding, hurricanes, or other such events, thus temporarily altering the hypothetical list of navigable rivers mentioned above.

1) All navigable rivers are being patrolled.
2) All rivers navigable are being patrolled.

In addition, post-modifying adjectives seem to call for something to complete them. The context may hold the clue to this, but additional words can also be added:

3) All rivers currently navigable are being patrolled.
4) All rivers navigable by flat-bottomed boats are being patrolled.

CJ

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- All rivers navigable are being patrolled.

Why do you think this is wrong?

Clive

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Comments  

Thank you. Great news it is possible to use both.


I have also been told that the following are incorrect too:

  • The website focuses on all languages existing, including English.
  • There are available two colours (to choose from).

Even to me, the latter sounds bad to me. However, I don't see any difference compared e.g. the sentences in my original question here above (available colours/necessary information/possible scenario) . That said, I like "languages existing". If that wasn't really correct, is it possible, at least to some extent, definy why it is so?


Thanks a lot!

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Let's start with your second example.

There are available two colours.

This doesn't work because numbers go first. It should be

There are two available colours.

(Consider that no one would ever say I saw black two bears.)

If you add 'to choose from' you have a decision to make. Should you split 'available to choose from' by 'colours' or not? Some readers prefer not to see them split, so they want to see There are two colours available to choose from. The other word order might not bother everybody, however, so you could also have There are two available colours to choose from.


The website focuses on all languages existing, including English.

There is nothing to add after 'existing', e.g., existing in the southern hemisphere, so there is no reason to place the adjective after the noun.

... focuses on all existing languages ... is the expected grouping.

CJ

The website focuses on all languages existing, including English.

There is nothing to add after 'existing', e.g., existing in the southern hemisphere, so there is no reason to place the adjective after the noun.

... focuses on all existing languages ... is the expected grouping.


I experimented with "The website focuses on all languages existing, including English." because as far as I know after structures such as "Completing the exercises suggested would take X." I don't have to add anything and the sentence works fine too.


I mean, the sentence can end like:


- .......exercises suggested.

.- ..the problem discussed.


For this reason, I thought it would be possible to do that with "....languages existing." Emotion: sad

I haven't made a study of it, but I think past participles work better than present participles after a noun. But don't quote me on that. Emotion: smile

CJ

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The website focuses on all languages existing, including English.

There is nothing to add after 'existing', e.g., existing in the southern hemisphere, so there is no reason to place the adjective after the noun.

... focuses on all existing languages ... is the expected grouping.


But "languages existing" (at the end of the sentence or like in my example) itself isn't incorrect, is it? It's just hard to come up with a context where this would fit?'


As far as I know sentences in English can end like:


....birds singing.

.....people missing.


So it may be that "existing" (used at the end of the sentence) needs a proper context?

anonymousSo it may be that "existing" (used at the end of the sentence) needs a proper context?

Yes. You can look through the list below (link) and see if you find the kind of thing you're interested in.

https://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?hardm=1&t=0&l=0&p=1&q=existing+%2Fr%3Ae

CJ