Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 3 weeks ago

In the sentence "I wandered lonely as a cloud." What part of speech is the word 'lonely'?

Is it an adverb for the word 'wandered' or is it an adjective for the word 'cloud'? Please explain why in your answer.

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago
    Best Answer

    Here is the key: A is as [adjective] as B. Only an adjective can go in that slot. The catch is that we sometimes omit the first "as." "He's strong as an ox." "It's hot as hell in here." If it said prosaically "While I wandered I was as lonely as a cloud is" it would be clear that "lonely" is an adjective, but it wouldn't be very poetic. Don't ask me if clouds are really lonely. Who are we to contradict someone named Wordsworth?

  • 3 weeks ago

    The word 'lonely' is an adjective. It is always an adjective. In the poem it clearly refers to 'I'.

    I wandered, and I was as lonely as a cloud.

    There are many adjectives that end in -ly. It's always very funny when people who think they understand grammar tell writers to 'delete all the words ending in -ly'; the results can be hilarious.

  • 3 weeks ago

    it clearly does not apply to cloud. the question is truly whether it applies to wandered or to "I". Am I the lonely that is lonely as a cloud *a lonely person wandering), or is the wandering lonely (alone, singular), as a cloud would be. Lonely in the sense of alone rather than the feeling of being alone, so clearly it refers to the wandering and not the self (or the cloud, although the cloud is used to give that idea of singularity by comparison, by analogy). I wandered as a unique entity, similar to how a cloud wanders as a unique entity. One could also speak of it as a piece of flotsam on a storm-tossed sea, to give the same idea of lone and independent travel lacking any form of self-direction.

  • Bill B
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    Lonely is an adjective describing both "I" and "cloud"; it is never an adverb.

    Don't be fooled by its ending in "-ly"

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Is it an adverb for the word 'wandered'.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I think because it is poetry you will not be able to parse it as easily as you would if it were prose.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Lonely is an adjective modifying the pronoun I. Not all words ending in -ly are adverbs [cf. a sprightly tune, a bristly beard].

    I, lonely, wandered. How lonely was i? [As] lonely as a cloud that ...

    By the way, Wordsworth doesn't seem to be using the word 'lonely' in our modern sense of 'lonesome.' It is more like 'floating unattached" here, especially as he later refers to "in vacant or in pensive mood."

    Source(s): English teacher
    • hiniikken3 weeks agoReport

      I think you're right with this. It is poetry after all.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Lonely is an adverb qualifying the verb wander. 

    As a rule of thumb, most (not all) adverbs end -ly and adverbs don't qualify nouns so that should help you decide what it is doing and to what.

    It is part of a similie which indicates just how lonely he means.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      In the poem 'lonely' is an adjective describing ''I". It is not an adverb.

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