Hi ,everyone.

What is the part of speech of "the closest",in the following sentence ?

What's the closest you've ever come to stalking someone? Things done in adolescense count.

(From:https://www.quizony.com/how-crazy-are-you/21.html)

I understand that it comes from the structure  "come close to doing something.", so it should be an adjective.

But somebody would argue that "the closest (state?position?)" is a noun modifies by the sentence that follows.

What do you think?

 

 

 

Original Post
Robby zhu posted:

What is the part of speech of "the closest",in the following sentence ?

What's the closest you've ever come to stalking someone? Things done in adolescence count.

In the verb phrase "come close to" close is an adverb. Compare the sentence above with:

- What's the fastest you can run? (In run fast, "fast" is also an adverb.)

The peculiarity of both sentences is that both adverbs (which are in the superlative degree) are preceded by the interrogative pronoun "what," and this might lead us to think that "the closest" and "the fastest" are actually two nominalized adjectives (adjectives where the noun has been omitted), because "what" asks for something:

- What's the closest (situation) you've ever been to stalking someone? (I've changed "come" to "been" for the sentence to flow better.)

- What's the fastest (speed) you can run?

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