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Part-of-Speech Tagging Guidelines for the Penn Treebank Project (3rd Revision, 2nd printing)
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Part-of-Speech Tagging Guidelines
for the Penn Treebank Project
(3rd Revision, 2nd printing)
Beatrice Santorini
June 1990 1
1 Second printing (February 1995) updated and slightly reformatted by Robert MacIntyre. The text of this version
appears to be the same as the rst printing, but subtle di erences may exist. The tags for proper noun and personal
pronoun were altered in late 1992 in order to avoid con icts with bracketing tags; this version re ects the new tag
names.

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Contents
1 Introduction
1
2 List of parts of speech with corresponding tag
1
3 List of tags with corresponding part of speech
6
4 Problematic cases
7
4.1 Confusing parts of speech : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
7
4.2 Speci c words and collocations : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
22
5 General tagging conventions
31
5.1 Part of speech and syntactic function : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
31
5.2 Vertical slash convention : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
31
5.3 Capitalized words : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
32
5.4 Abbreviations : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
32
1

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1 INTRODUCTION
1
1 Introduction
This section addresses the linguistic issues that arise in connection with annotating texts by part of speech
(\tagging"). Section 2 is an alphabetical list of the parts of speech encoded in the annotation system of the
Penn Treebank Project, along with their corresponding abbreviations (\tags") and some information
concerning their de nition. This section allows you to nd an unfamiliar tag by looking up a familiar part
of speech. Section 3 recapitulates the information in Section 2, but this time the information is
alphabetically ordered by tags. This is the section to consult in order to nd out what an unfamiliar tag
means. Since the parts of speech are probably familiar to you from high school English, you should have
little di culty in assimilating the tags themselves. However, it is often quite di cult to decide which tag is
appropriate in a particular context. The two sections 4.1 and 4.2 therefore include examples and guidelines
on how to tag problematic cases. If you are uncertain about whether a given tag is correct or not, refer to
these sections in order to ensure a consistently annotated text. Section 4.1 discusses parts of speech that
are easily confused and gives guidelines on how to tag such cases, while Section 4.2 contains an alphabetical
list of speci c problematic words and collocations. Finally, Section 5 discusses some general tagging
conventions. One general rule, however, is so important that we state it here. Many texts are not models of
good prose, and some contain outright errors and slips of the pen. Do not be tempted to correct a tag to
what it would be if the text were correct; rather, it is the incorrect word that should be tagged correctly.
If you have questions that you do not nd covered, be sure to let us know so that we can incorporate
a discussion of them into updates of this guide.
2 List of parts of speech with corresponding tag
Adjective|JJ
Hyphenated compounds that are used as modi ers are tagged as adjectives (JJ).
EXAMPLES: happy-go-lucky/JJ
one-of-a-kind/JJ
run-of-the-mill/JJ
Ordinal numbers are tagged as adjectives (JJ), as are compounds of the form n-th X-est, like f ourth-largest.
Adjective, comparative|JJR
Adjectives with the comparative ending -er and a comparative meaning are tagged JJR. M ore and less
when used as adjectives, as in more or less mail, are also tagged as JJR. M ore and less can also be tagged
as JJR when they occur by themselves; see the entries for these words in Section 4.2. Adjectives with a
comparative meaning but without the comparative ending -er, like superior, should simply be tagged as JJ.
Adjectives with the ending -er but without a strictly comparative meaning (\more X"), like f urther in
f urther details, should also simply be tagged as JJ.
Adjective, superlative|JJS
Adjectives with the superlative ending -est (as well as worst) are tagged as JJS. M ost and least when used
as adjectives, as in the most or the least mail, are also tagged as JJS. Most and least can also be tagged as
JJS when they occur by themselves; see the entries for these words in Section 4.2. Adjectives with a
superlative meaning but without the superlative ending -est, like f irst, last or unsurpassed, should simply
be tagged as JJ.

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2 LIST OF PARTS OF SPEECH WITH CORRESPONDING TAG
2
Adverb|RB
This category includes most words that end in -ly as well as degree words like quite, too and very,
posthead modi ers like enough and indeed (as in good enough, very well indeed), and negative markers like
not, n’t and never.
Adverb, comparative|RBR
Adverbs with the comparative ending -er but without a strictly comparative meaning, like later in W e can
always come by later, should simply be tagged as RB.
Adverb, superlative|RBS
Article|DT (see \Determiner")
Cardinal number|CD
Common noun, plural|NNS (see \Noun, plural")
Common noun, singular or mass|NN (see \Noun, singular or mass")
Comparative adjective|JJR (see \Adjective, comparative")
Comparative adverb|RBR (see \Adverb, comparative")
Conjunction, coordinating|CC (see \Coordinating conjunction")
Conjunction, subordinating|IN (see \Preposition or subordinating conjunction")
Coordinating conjunction|CC
This category includes and, but, nor, or, yet (as in Y et it’s cheap, cheap yet good), as well as the
mathematical operators plus, minus, less, times (in the sense of \multiplied by") and over (in the sense of
\divided by"), when they are spelled out.
For in the sense of \because" is a coordinating conjunction (CC) rather than a subordinating conjunction
(IN).
EXAMPLE:
He asked to be transferred, for/CC he was unhappy.
So in the sense of \so that," on the other hand, is a subordinating conjunction (IN).
Determiner|DT
This category includes the articles a(n), every, no and the, the inde nite determiners another, any and
some, each, either (as in either way), neither (as in neither decision), that, these, this and those, and
instances of all and both when they do not precede a determiner or possessive pronoun (as in all roads or
both times). (Instances of all or both that do precede a determiner or possessive pronoun are tagged as
predeterminers (PDT).) Since any noun phrase can contain at most one determiner, the fact that such can
occur together with a determiner (as in the only such case) means that it should be tagged as an adjective
(JJ), unless it precedes a determiner, as in such a good time, in which case it is a predeterminer (PDT).

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2 LIST OF PARTS OF SPEECH WITH CORRESPONDING TAG
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Exclamation|UH (see \Interjection")
Existential there|EX
Existential there is the unstressed there that triggers inversion of the in ected verb and the logical subject
of a sentence.
EXAMPLES: There/EX was a party in progress.
There/EX ensued a melee.
Foreign word|FW
Use your judgment as to what is a foreign word. For me, yoga is an NN, while b^ete noire and persona non
grata should be tagged b^ete/FW noire/FW and persona/FW non/FW grata/FW, respectively.
Gerund|VBG (see \Verb, gerund or present participle")
Interjection|UH
This category includes my (as in My, what a gorgeous day), oh, please, see (as in See, it’s like this), uh,
well and yes, among others.
List item marker|LS
This category includes letters and numerals when they are used to identify items in a list.
Modal verb|MD
This category includes all verbs that don’t take an -s ending in the third person singular present: can,
could, (dare), may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, would.
Negation|RB (see \Adverb")
Noun, plural|NNS
Noun, singular or mass|NN
Numeral, cardinal|CD (see \Cardinal number")
Numeral, ordinal|JJ (see \Adjective")
Ordinal number|JJ (see \Adjective")
Participle, past|VBN (see \Verb, past participle")
Participle, present|VBG (see \Verb, gerund or present participle")
Particle|RP
This category includes a number of mostly monosyllabic words that also double as directional adverbs and
prepositions. Consult the headings \IN or RB," \IN or RP" and \RB or RP" in Section 4.1 for further
details.

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2 LIST OF PARTS OF SPEECH WITH CORRESPONDING TAG
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Past participle|VBN (see \Verb, past participle")
Past tense verb|VBD (see \Verb, past tense")
Personal pronoun|PRP (see also \Possessive pronoun")
This category includes the personal pronouns proper, without regard for case distinctions (I , me, you, he,
him, etc.), the re exive pronouns ending in -self or -selves, and the nominal possessive pronouns mine,
yours, his, hers, ours and theirs. The adjectival possessive forms my, your, his, her, its, our and their, on
the other hand, are tagged PRP$.
Possessive ending|POS
The possessive ending on nouns ending in ’s or is split o by the tagging algorithm and tagged as if it
were a separate word.
EXAMPLES: John/NNP ’s/POS idea
the parents/NNS ’/POS distress
Possessive pronoun|PRP$ (see also \Personal pronoun")
This category includes the adjectival possessive forms my, your, his, her, its, one’s, our and their. The
nominal possessive pronouns mine, yours, his, hers, ours and theirs are tagged as personal pronouns
(PRP).
Possessive wh-pronoun|WP$
This category includes the wh-word whose.
Predeterminer|PDT
This category includes the following determinerlike elements when they precede an article or possessive
pronoun.
EXAMPLES: all/PDT his marbles nary/PDT a soul
both/PDT the girls
quite/PDT a mess
half/PDT his time
rather/PDT a nuisance
many/PDT a moon
such/PDT a good time
Preposition or subordinating conjunction|IN
We make no explicit distinction between prepositions and subordinating conjunctions. (The distinction is
not lost, however|a preposition is an IN that precedes a noun phrase or a prepositional phrase, and a
subordinate conjunction is an IN that precedes a clause.)
The preposition to has its own special tag TO.
Present participle|VBG (see \Verb, gerund or present participle")
Present tense verb|VBP or VBZ (see \Verb, present tense, other than 3rd person singular" and \Verb,
present tense, 3rd person singular)"
Pronoun, personal|PRP (see \Personal pronoun")

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2 LIST OF PARTS OF SPEECH WITH CORRESPONDING TAG
5
Pronoun, possessive|PRP$ (see \Possessive pronoun")
Proper noun, plural|NNPS
Proper noun, singular|NNP
Subordinating conjunction|IN (see \Preposition or subordinating conjunction")
Superlative adjective|JJS (see \Adjective, superlative")
Superlative adverb|RBS (see \Adverb, superlative")
Symbol|SYM
This tag should be used for mathematical, scienti c and technical symbols or expressions that aren’t words
of English. It should not used for any and all technical expressions. For instance, the names of chemicals,
units of measurements (including abbreviations thereof) and the like should be tagged as nouns.
T here, existential|EX (see \Existential there")
to|TO
To is tagged TO, regardless of whether it is a preposition or an in nitival marker.
Verb, base form|VB
This tag subsumes imperatives, in nitives and subjunctives.
EXAMPLES: Imperative: Do/VB it.
In nitive:
You should do/VB it.
We want them to do/VB it.
We made them do/VB it.
Subjunctive: We suggested that he do/VB it.
Verb, past tense|VBD
This category includes the conditional form of the verb to be.
EXAMPLES: If I were/VBD rich, : : :
If I were/VBD to win the lottery, : : :
Verb, gerund or present participle|VBG
Verb, past participle|VBN
Verb, present tense, other than 3rd person singular|VBP
Take care to correct VB to VBP where appropriate.
Verb, present tense, 3rd person singular|VBZ
Wh-determiner|WDT

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3 LIST OF TAGS WITH CORRESPONDING PART OF SPEECH
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This category includes which, as well as that when it is used as a relative pronoun.
Wh-pronoun|WP
This category includes what, who and whom.
Wh-pronoun, possessive|WP$ (see \Possessive wh-pronoun")
Wh-adverb|WRB
This category includes how, where, why, etc.
W hen in a temporal sense is tagged WRB. In the sense of \if," on the other hand, it is a subordinating
conjunction (IN).
EXAMPLES: When/WRB he nally arrived, I was on my way out.
I like it when/IN you make dinner for me.
3 List of tags with corresponding part of speech
This section contains a list of tags in alphabetical order and the parts of speech corresponding to them.
1.
CC
Coordinating conjunction
2.
CD
Cardinal number
3.
DT
Determiner
4.
EX
Existential there
5.
FW
Foreign word
6.
IN
Preposition or subordinating conjunction
7.
JJ
Adjective
8.
JJR
Adjective, comparative
9.
JJS
Adjective, superlative
10.
LS
List item marker
11.
MD
Modal
12.
NN
Noun, singular or mass
13.
NNS
Noun, plural
14.
NNP
Proper noun, singular
15.
NNPS
Proper noun, plural
16.
PDT
Predeterminer
17.
POS
Possessive ending
18.
PRP
Personal pronoun
19.
PRP$
Possessive pronoun
20.
RB
Adverb
21.
RBR
Adverb, comparative
22.
RBS
Adverb, superlative
23.
RP
Particle
24.
SYM
Symbol
25.
TO
to
26.
UH
Interjection
27.
VB
Verb, base form
28.
VBD
Verb, past tense
29.
VBG
Verb, gerund or present participle

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4 PROBLEMATIC CASES
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30.
VBN
Verb, past participle
31.
VBP
Verb, non-3rd person singular present
32.
VBZ
Verb, 3rd person singular present
33.
WDT
Wh-determiner
34.
WP
Wh-pronoun
35.
WP$
Possessive wh-pronoun
36.
WRB
Wh-adverb
4 Problematic cases
This section discusses di cult tagging decisions. Section 4.1 discusses parts of speech that are easily
confused and guidelines on how to tag such cases. Section 4.2 contains an alphabetical list of speci c
problematic words and collocations.
4.1 Confusing parts of speech
This section discusses parts of speech that are easily confused and gives guidelines on how to tag such cases.
CC or DT
When they are the rst members of the double conjunctions both : : : and, either : : : or and neither : : : nor,
both, either and neither are tagged as coordinating conjunctions (CC), not as determiners (DT).
EXAMPLES: Either/DT child could sing.
But:
Either/CC a boy could sing or/CC a girl could dance.
Either/CC a boy or/CC a girl could sing.
Either/CC a boy or/CC girl could sing.
Be aware that either or neither can sometimes function as determiners (DT) even in the presence of or or
nor.
EXAMPLE:
Either/DT boy or/CC girl could sing.
CD or JJ
Number-number combinations should be tagged as adjectives (JJ) if they have the same distribution as
adjectives.
EXAMPLES: a 50{3/JJ victory (cf. a handy/JJ victory)
Hyphenated fractions one-half, three-fourths, seven-eighths, one-and-a-half, seven-and-three-eighths should
be tagged as adjectives (JJ) when they are prenominal modi ers, but as adverbs (RB) if they could be
replaced by double or twice.
EXAMPLES: one-half/JJ cup;
cf. a full/JJ cup
one-half/RB the amount; cf. twice/RB the amount; double/RB the amount
CD or NN

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Sometimes, it is unclear whether one is cardinal number or a noun. In general, it should be tagged as a
cardinal number (CD) even when its sense is not clearly that of a numeral.
EXAMPLE:
one/CD of the best reasons
But if it could be pluralized or modi ed by an adjective in a particular context, it is a common noun (NN).
EXAMPLE:
the only (good) one/NN of its kind
(cf. the only (good) ones/NNS of their kind)
In the collocation another one, one should also be tagged as a common noun (NN).
Hyphenated fractions one-half, three-fourths, seven-eighths, one-and-a-half, seven-and-three-eighths should
be tagged as adjectives (JJ) when they are prenominal modi ers, but as adverbs (RB) if they could be
replaced by double or twice.
EXAMPLES: one-half/JJ cup;
cf. a full/JJ cup
one-half/RB the amount; cf. twice/RB the amount; double/RB the amount
CD or RB
Number-number combinations should be tagged as adverbs (RB) if they have the same distribution as
adverbs.
EXAMPLES: They won 50{3/RB. (cf. They won handily/RB.)
Hyphenated fractions one-half, three-fourths, seven-eighths, one-and-a-half, seven-and-three-eighths should
be tagged as adjectives (JJ) when they are prenominal modi ers, but as adverbs (RB) if they could be
replaced by double or twice.
EXAMPLES: one-half/JJ cup;
cf. a full/JJ cup
one-half/RB the amount; cf. twice/RB the amount; double/RB the amount
DT or CC|see CC or DT
DT or NN
When determiners are used pronominally, i.e. without a head noun, they should still be tagged as
determiners (DT)|not as common nouns (NN).
EXAMPLES: I can’t stand this/DT.
I’ll take both/DT.
Either/DT would be ne.
DT or PDT
When potential predeterminers precede an article or possessive pronoun, they are predeterminers (PDT).
When they do not, they are determiners (DT).

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EXAMPLES: all/DT girls; all/DT young girls
The girls all/DT left.
both/DT boys; both/DT little boys
The boys both/DT left.
all/PDT the girls; all/PDT the young girls
both/PDT the boys; both/PDT the little boys
EX or RB
Existential there is unstressed and triggers inversion of the in ected verb and the logical subject of a
sentence.
EXAMPLES: There/EX was a party in progress.
There/EX ensued a melee.
By contrast, when there is used adverbially, it receives at least some stress and does not trigger inversion.
EXAMPLES: There/RB, a party was in progress.
There/RB, a melee ensued.
Existential and adverbial there can both occur together in the same sentence.
EXAMPLE:
There/EX was a party in progress there/RB.
IN or RB
It is often di cult to distinguish prepositions and adverbs. In general, prepositions are associated with an
immediately following noun phrase. However, they may be \stranded," i.e. their object may occur
someplace other than immediately following the preposition. For instance, in the example below, the
stranded preposition without is associated with the credit card.
EXAMPLE:
the credit card you won’t want to do without/IN
Prepositions may also immediately precede prepositional phrases. This means that one preposition can
precede another (to counts as a regular preposition in this context), as in the following examples:
EXAMPLES: blaze out/IN into/IN space
come out/IN of/IN the woodwork
look up/IN to/TO someone
because/IN of/IN her late arrival
to plant on/IN into/IN spring
About and around when used to mean \approximately" should be tagged as adverbs (RB), not as
prepositions (IN).
Close(r) and near(er) in collocation with to should be tagged as adverbs (RB), not as prepositions (IN).
If a putative preposition is not associated with an explicitly expressed object anywhere in the clause, it
should be tagged as an adverb (RB)|or as a particle (RP) (see \RB or RP").
EXAMPLE:
We’ll just have to do without/RB.

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IN or RP
Both prepositions and particles occur in collocation with verbs and are often di cult to distinguish from
one another. It is important to realize that the idiomaticity of a collocation is not a foolproof criterion that
a word is a particle. After brie y discussing the syntactic properties of prepositions, we give some
diagnostic tests for the distinction between prepositions and particles.
As noted above (\IN or RB"), prepositions are generally associated with an immediately following noun
phrase. However, they may be \stranded," i.e. their object may occur at the beginning of a clause rather
than immediately following the preposition. For instance, in the examples below, the stranded prepositions
at and against are associated with the picture and what, respectively.
EXAMPLES: the picture (which/that) we will look at/IN next
He doesn’t know what he is up against/IN.
Prepositions may also immediately precede prepositional phrases. This means that one preposition can
precede another (to counts as a regular preposition in this context), as in the examples below. To be
tagged as IN rather than as RP, a putative preposition must be more closely associated with the following
prepositional phrase than with the verb.
EXAMPLES: blaze out/IN into/IN space
come out/IN of/IN the woodwork
look up/IN to/TO someone
because/IN of/IN her late arrival
take millions of dollars out/IN of/IN circulation
(cf. *take out millions of dollars of circulation)
If a putative preposition is not associated with an object anywhere in the clause, it should be tagged either
as a particle (RP)|or as an adverb (RB) (see \RB or RP").
A word is a particle (RP) rather than a preposition (IN):
if it can either precede or follow a noun phrase object.
EXAMPLE:
She told o /RP her friends;
she told her friends o /RP.
if when you replace a noun phrase object by a pronoun, the pronoun must precede the word.
EXAMPLES: She told them o /RP; *she told o /RP them.
He peeled it o /RP; *he peeled o /RP it.
If the results of this test con ict with the results of the rst test, go by the results of the second.
EXAMPLE:
???to run a bill up/RP; to run up/RP a bill;
to run it up/RP; *to run up/RP it
if it can be part of a noun that is derived from a particle-verb collocation.
EXAMPLES: to break down/RP;
breakdown
to break through/RP; breakthrough
to be left over/RP;
leftovers
to push over/RP;
pushover
to put down/RP;
putdown

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11
The results of this test are one-directional only; if there is no related noun, the word can still be a
particle.
EXAMPLES: to pass out/RP; *passout
to pull o /RP; *pullo
if it bears stress in clause- nal position (this criterion only applies to monosyllabic words).
EXAMPLE:
Why don’t you come by/RP?
(vs. Real bargains are hard to come by/IN)
While particles usually occur in construction with verbs, they can occur together with parts of speech that
are derived from verbs as well.
EXAMPLES: the cutting/NN o /RP of the top
the setting/NN up/RP of the problem
He looks worn/JJ out/RP.
A word is a preposition (IN) rather than a particle (RP):
if it must precede a noun phrase object.
EXAMPLE:
She stepped o /IN the train;
*she stepped the train o /IN.
if when you replace a noun phrase object by a pronoun, the pronoun cannot precede the word.
EXAMPLE:
She has been into/IN it for a year;
*she has been it into/IN for a year.
if it cannot bear stress in clause- nal position (this criterion only applies to monosyllabic words).
EXAMPLE:
Real bargains are hard to come by/IN.
(vs. Why don’t you come by/RP?)
IN or VBG, VBN
Putative prepositions ending in -ed or -ing should be tagged as past participles (VBN) or gerunds (VBG),
respectively, not as prepositions (IN).
EXAMPLES: Granted/VBN that he is coming
Provided/VBN that he comes
According/VBG to reliable sources
Concerning/VBG your request of last week
IN or WDT
When that introduces complements of nouns, it is a subordinating conjunction (IN).
EXAMPLES: the fact that/IN you’re here
the claim that/IN angels have wings

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12
But when that introduces relative clauses, it is a wh-pronoun (WDT), on a par with which.
EXAMPLE:
a man that/WDT I know
JJ or CD|see CD or JJ
JJ or JJR
Adjectives with the comparative ending -er and a comparative meaning are tagged JJR. M ore and less
when used as adjectives, as in more or less mail, are also tagged as JJR. M ore and less can also be tagged
as JJR when they occur by themselves; see the entries for these words in Section 4.2. Adjectives with a
comparative meaning but without the comparative ending -er, like superior, should simply be tagged as JJ.
Conversely, adjectives with the ending -er but without a strictly comparative meaning (\more X"), like
f urther in f urther details, should also simply be tagged as JJ.
JJ or JJS
Adjectives with the superlative ending -est (as well as worst) are tagged as JJS. M ost and least when used
as adjectives, as in the most or the least mail, are also tagged as JJS. Most and least can also be tagged as
JJS when they occur by themselves; see the entries for these words in Section 4.2. Adjectives with a
superlative meaning but without the superlative ending -est, like f irst, last or unsurpassed, should simply
be tagged as JJ.
JJR or JJ|see JJ or JJR
JJS or JJ|see JJ or JJS
JJ or NN
Nouns that are used as modi ers, whether in isolation or in sequences, should be tagged as nouns (NN,
NNS) rather than as adjectives (JJ).
EXAMPLES: wool/NN sweater (vs. woollen/JJ sweater)
terminal/NN type (vs. terminal/JJ cancer)
life/NN insurance/NN company
Hyphenated modi ers, on the other hand, should always be tagged as adjectives (JJ). Thus, we have
di erent part-of-speech assignments in examples like the following|depending on the orthographic
conventions used:
EXAMPLES: income-tax/JJ return; income/NN tax/NN return
value-added/JJ tax;
value/NN added/VBN tax
Prenominal modi ers that are gradable (i.e. they can be modi ed by a degree adverb or form a
comparative or superlative) should be tagged as adjectives (JJ), not as nouns (NN).
EXAMPLES: a fun/JJ party
(cf. a really fun party, the most fun party I ever went to)
Color words should be tagged as nouns (NN, NNS) when they are used as names since they have the
distribution of nouns|i.e. they can be modi ed by adjectives and they have an overt plural.

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13
EXAMPLES: That’s a nice red/NN.
Not too many reds/NNS go with that purple.
Also note the following contrast:
EXAMPLES: These plants are dark green/JJ.
These plants are a dark green/NN.
Generic adjectives should be tagged as adjectives (JJ) and not as plural common nouns (NNS), even when
they trigger subject-verb agreement, if they can be modi ed by adverbs.
EXAMPLES: The (very) rich/JJ in this country pay far too few taxes.
The (multiply) handicapped/JJ
But if a putative adjective can’t be modi ed by an adverb, it should be tagged as a common noun (NN).
EXAMPLES: Little good/NN will come of it.
(cf. *Very good will come of it.)
When used as prenominal modi ers, top, side, bottom, f ront and back should be tagged as adjectives (JJ).
JJ or NNP
Words that refer to languages or nations, like English or French, can be either adjectives (JJ) or proper
nouns (NNP, NNPS).
EXAMPLES: English/JJ cuisine tends to be uninspired.
The English/NNPS tend to be uninspired cooks.
In prenominal position, such words are almost always adjectives (JJ). Do not be led to tag such words as
proper nouns just because they occur in idiomatic collocations.
EXAMPLES: Chinese/JJ cabbage; Chinese/JJ cooking
Welsh/JJ rarebit; Welsh/JJ poetry
However, note:
EXAMPLE:
an English/NNP sentence
(cf. a sentence of English/NNP)
The two parts of compounds such as W est German or N orth Korean should be tagged identically|either
as JJ or NNP.
EXAMPLE:
the West/JJ German/JJ mark
He’s a West/NNP German/NNP.
Hyphenated compound proper nouns acting as modi ers, such as Gramm-Rudman in the Gramm-Rudman
Act, as well as compounds containing proper nouns as their second constituent, such as mid-March or
non-NATO, should be tagged as proper nouns (NNP) rather than as adjectives (JJ).

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JJ or RB
While most adverbs formed from adjectives end in -ly, not all do. The crucial criterion is whether a word
modi es a noun, in which case it is an adjective (JJ), or a non-noun, in which case it is an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES: rapid/JJ growth/NN
rapid/RB growing/VBG plants
Vexing cases arise in connection with compound adjectives that are spelled as two words, such as mild
avored. Tag both parts of such sequences as JJ|thus, mild/JJ avored/JJ.
Take care not to tag predicate adjectives as adverbs. Thus, in make life simple, simple is an adjective; cf.
the unacceptability of make life simply.
JJ or VBG
The distinction between adjectives (JJ) and gerunds/present participles (VBG) is often very di cult to
make. There are a number of tests that you can use to decide. Be sure to apply these tests to the entire
sentence containing the word that you are unsure of, not just the word in isolation, since the context is
important in determining the part of speech of a word.
A word is an adjective (JJ):
if it is gradable|that is, if it can be preceded by a degree adverb like very, or if it allows the
formation of a comparative.
EXAMPLE:
Her talk was very interesting/JJ.
Her talk was more interesting/JJ than theirs.
if there is a corresponding un- form with the opposite meaning.
EXAMPLE:
an interesting/JJ conversation;
an uninteresting/JJ conversation
if it occurs in construction with be, and be could be replaced by become, f eel, look, remain, seem or
sound.
EXAMPLES: The conversation became depressing/JJ.
That place feels depressing/JJ.
That place looks depressing/JJ.
That place remains depressing/JJ.
That place seems depressing/JJ.
That place sounds depressing/JJ.
if it precedes a noun, and the corresponding verb is intransitive, or does not have the same meaning.
EXAMPLES: an appealing/JJ face;
*a face that appeals
an appetizing/JJ dish;
*a dish that appetizes
a revolving/JJ fund;
*a fund that revolves
a winning/JJ smile;
*a smile that wins
But:

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the existing/VBG safeguards; safeguards that exist
a holding/VBG company;
a company that holds another one
a managing/VBG director;
a director who manages
the ruling/VBG class;
the class that rules
Note the following contrast:
a striking/JJ hat
*the hat will strike
the striking/VBG teachers
the teachers will strike
if there is no corresponding verb.
EXAMPLE:
a thoroughgoing/JJ investigation;
*thoroughgo
In connection with this point, note that striking meaning di erences need not be re ected in terms of
di erent parts of speech:
EXAMPLES:
the outgoing/JJ president; an outgoing/JJ type of guy;
*outgo
an outstanding/JJ record; outstanding/JJ debts
*outstand
JJ or VBN
The distinction between adjectives (JJ) and past participles (VBN) is often very di cult to make. There
are a number of tests that you can use to decide. Be sure to apply these tests to the entire sentence
containing the word that you are unsure of, not just the word in isolation, since the context is important in
determining the part of speech of a word.
A word is an adjective (JJ):
if it is gradable|that is, if it can be preceded by a degree adverb like very, or if it allows the
formation of a comparative.
EXAMPLE:
He was very surprised/JJ.
He was more surprised/JJ than she was.
if there is a corresponding un- form with the opposite meaning.
EXAMPLE:
a hurried/JJ meeting;
an unhurried/JJ meeting
Be sure to check whether there is a corresponding verb beginning with un-. If there is, you cannot
rely on this test to determine whether the word in question is an adjective or a participle, and you
will have to use the other tests.
EXAMPLE:
Your shoelace has been untied/JJ ever since we started.
I know|it got untied/VBN by accident.

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When applying the un- test, be sure to take the entire context into account. For instance, armed can
be either a JJ or a VBN, depending on its context.
EXAMPLE:
We need an armed/JJ guard.
(cf. We need an unarmed guard.)
Armed/VBN with only a knife, : : :
(cf. *Unarmed with only a knife, : : : )
if the word occurs in construction with be, and be could be replaced by become, f eel, look, remain,
seem or sound.
EXAMPLES: He became interested/JJ.
He felt interested/JJ.
He looked surprised/JJ.
He remained surprised/JJ.
He seemed surprised/JJ.
He sounded surprised/JJ.
However, if the complement of any of the verbs listed above is modi ed by a by-phrase, it should be
tagged as a participle (VBN) rather than as an adjective (JJ).
EXAMPLE:
He remains guided/VBN by these principles.
if the word occurs in construction with keep.
EXAMPLES: They should be kept well watered/JJ.
if it refers to a (resultant) state rather than to a (speci c) event.
EXAMPLES: At the time, I was married/JJ.
I was mistaken/JJ (= wrong) the other day.
a mistaken/JJ decision
if a collocation of the form \X-ed N" cannot be paraphrased as \N that has been X-ed."
EXAMPLES: a decided/JJ advantage; *an advantage that has been decided
a grown/JJ woman;
*a woman that has been grown
married/JJ life;
*life that has been married
worried/JJ faces;
*faces that have been worried
A word is a past participle (VBN):
if it can be followed by a by phrase. If this criterion clashes with the possibility of inserting a degree
adverb, tag the word as an adjective (JJ), not as a participle (VBN).
EXAMPLES: He was invited/VBN by some friends of hers.
He was very surprised/JJ by her remarks.
if it refers to an (speci c) event rather than to a (resultant) state.

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EXAMPLES: I was married/VBN on a Sunday.
I was mistaken/VBN for you the other day.
a case of mistaken/VBN identity
if the word occurs in construction with be, and be could be replaced by get, but not by become.
EXAMPLE:
I was married/VBN on a Sunday.
(cf. I got married, *I became married)
JJR or NN
M ore and less should be tagged as comparative adjectives (JJR), even when they occur without a head
noun, as in more of the same.
JJR or RBR
In collocations such as Shares closed higher/lower, higher and lower should be tagged as comparative
adverbs (RBR). Cf. Shares closed more reasonably/*reasonable today; also Shares closed up/RB by two
points.
JJS or NN
M ost should be tagged as a superlative adjective (JJS) even when it occurs without a head noun, as in
most of the time. The reason is that its distribution is parallel to that of other superlative adjectives; cf.
the following:
EXAMPLES: most apples;
most of the apples
most of the bunch
the ripest apples; the ripest of the apples
the ripest of the bunch
MD or VB
Forms of the auxiliary verbs be, do and have are tagged on a par with those of other verbs.
NN or CD|see CD or NN
NN or DT|see DT or NN
NN or JJ|see JJ or NN
NN or JJR|see JJR or NN
NN or NNS
Whether a noun is tagged singular or plural depends not on its semantic properties, but on whether it
triggers singular or plural agreement on a verb. We illustrate this below for common nouns, but the same
criterion also applies to proper nouns.
Any noun that triggers singular agreement on a verb should be tagged as singular, even if it ends in nal -s.
EXAMPLE:
Linguistics/NN is/*are a di cult eld.

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18
If a noun is semantically plural or collective, but triggers singular agreement, it should be tagged as
singular.
EXAMPLES: The group/NN has/*have disbanded.
The jury/NN is/*are deliberating.
On the other hand, if a noun triggers plural agreement on a verb, it should be tagged as plural, even if it
does not end in -s.
EXAMPLES: The faculty/NNS are on strike.
The police/NNS have arrived on the scene.
Some nouns, like data, trigger variable number agreement. Such nouns should be tagged according to their
usage in a particular text. If the agreement pattern cannot be determined, tag such nouns as NNjNNS (see
Section 5.2 for the vertical slash convention). Finally, note the following contrast:
Mechanics/NN is an established discipline.
The mechanics/NNS of the system are complex.
The only exception to the agreement rule concerns nouns denoting amounts, which trigger singular
agreement even though formally plural. Such nouns should be tagged as plural noun (NNS).
EXAMPLES: Three years/NNS is a long time.
Twelve inches/NNS is a foot.
NN or NNP
Chapter, Exhibit, Figure, Table and the like should be tagged as common nouns (NN) even when
capitalized as part of a reference. Abbreviations and initials should be tagged as if they were spelled out.
Thus, S&L (which stands for savings and loan) should be tagged as a common noun (NN), not as a proper
noun (NNP). By contrast, the U.S. should be tagged as the U.S./NNP.
Compounds containing proper nouns as their second constituent, such as mid-March or non-NATO, should
be tagged as proper nouns (NNP).
NN or PRP
The inde nite pronouns naught, none and compounds of any-, every-, no- and some- with -one and -thing
should be tagged as nouns (NN), not as pronouns (PRP). The sequence no one should be tagged no/DT
one/NN ; in its hyphenated form no-one, it should be tagged NN.
NN or RB
Nouns that are used adverbially should be tagged as nouns (NN, NNS, NNP or NNPS), not as adverbs
(RB).
EXAMPLE:
He comes by Sundays/NNPS and holidays/NNS.
Words denoting points of the compass are tagged as either nouns (NN) or adverbs (RB), depending on
their syntactic properties. For instance, in The nearest shopping center is two miles to the north of here,
north is preceded by an article and should be tagged as a common noun (NN). On the other hand, in the

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19
variant The nearest shopping center is two miles north of here, north is not preceded by an article and
should be tagged as an adverb (RB).
The temporal expressions yesterday, today and tomorrow should be tagged as nouns (NN) rather than as
adverbs (RB). Note that you can (marginally) pluralize them and that they allow a possessive form, both
of which true adverbs do not.
The locative expression home when used by itself in an adverbial sense should be tagged as an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES: Call me when you get home/RB.
Call me when you are at home/NN.
NN or VBG
It is often di cult to tell whether a form in -ing is a noun (NN) or a gerund (VBG), especially since both
nouns and gerunds can be preceded by an article or a possessive pronoun.
If a word in -ing allows a plural, it is a noun (NN).
EXAMPLES: The reading/NN for this class is di cult.
(vs. The readings/NNS for this class are di cult.)
While both nouns and gerunds can be preceded by an article or a possessive pronoun, only a noun
(NN) can be modi ed by an adjective, and only a gerund (VBG) can be modi ed by an adverb.
EXAMPLES: Good/JJ cooking/NN is something to enjoy.
Cooking/VBG well/RB is a useful skill.
Similarly, if the direct object of the verb underlying the -ing form is expressed in an of-phrase, the
-ing form is a noun (NN), but if it is expressed directly as a noun phrase, the -ing form is a gerund
(VBG).
EXAMPLES: GM’s closing/NN of the plant
(cf. GM’s repeated/*repeatedly closing of the plant;
GM’s closings of the plant)
GM’s closing/VBG the plant
(cf. GM’s *repeated/repeatedly closing the plant;
*GM’s closings the plant)
When an -ing form is preceded by a noun or a sequence of nouns, it is itself a noun. The resulting
combination can in turn precede a noun.
EXAMPLES: the plant/NN closing/NN
unsavory plant/NN closing/NN tactics/NNS
If a collocation X -ing N is equivalent (or similar) in meaning to N X-es, then the word is a gerund
(VBG).
EXAMPLES: the declining/VBG productivity of U.S. industry
(cf. The productivity of U.S. industry is declining)
the acting/VBG vice president
(cf. a person who is acting as vice president)

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If a collocation X -ing N is not equivalent (or similar) in meaning to N X-es, then the word is a noun
(NN). In such cases, the collocation can often be paraphrased in terms of an in nitive or a more
clearly nominal construction.
EXAMPLES: spending/NN reductions
(reductions in spending, not: reductions that are spending)
the mating/NN season
(the season for mating, not: the season that is mating)
a holding/NN pattern
(a pattern of holding, not: a pattern that is holding)
Finally, in many cases there is nothing to do but to use the vertical slash convention (see Section 5.2).
For instance, since anchoring devices could be analyzed as either devices that anchor (gerund) or as
devices for anchoring (noun), it should be tagged anchoring/NN jVBG.
NNS or NN|see NN or NNS
NNP or JJ|see JJ or NNP
NNP or NNPS|see NN or NNS
NNPS or NNP|see NN or NNS
PDT or DT|see DT or PDT
PRP or NN|see NN or PRP
PRP or PRP$
The nominal possessive pronouns mine, yours, his, hers, ours and theirs are tagged as personal pronouns
(PRP), not as possessive pronouns (PRP$).
PRP$ or PRP|see PRP or PRP$
RB or CD|see CD or RB
RB or EX|see EX or RB
RB or IN|see IN or RB
RB or JJ|see JJ or RB
RB or NN|see NN or RB
RB or RBR
Adverbs with the comparative ending -er but without a comparative meaning should also simply be tagged
as RB. For speci c words, see Section 4.2.

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RB or RBS
M ost, though usually a superlative form, is a simple adverb (RB) in the collocation most every-.
RB or RP
Adverbs and particles can be even more di cult to distinguish than particles and prepositions. Again, it is
important to realize that the idiomaticity of a particular collocation is not a diagnostic for the distinction.
A word is an adverb (RB) rather than a particle (RP) if you can insert a manner adverb between the verb
and the word.
EXAMPLE:
to sit calmly/RB by/RB
Note that striking meaning di erences are not always re ected in di erent part-of-speech assignment.
EXAMPLES: Bring the girls right up/RP. (= conduct)
Bring the girls right up/RP. (= educate)
O in badly o , better o , well o and worse o is a particle (RP), not an adverb (RB).
In contexts concerning the movement of currency or commodity prices, up and down should be tagged as
adverbs (RB), not as particles (RP).
RBR or RB|see RB or RBR
RBS or RB|see RB or RBS
RP or IN|see IN or RP
RP or RB|see RB or RP
VB or MD|see MD or VB
VB or VBP
If you are unsure whether a form is a subjunctive (VB) or a present tense verb (VBP), replace the subject
by a third person pronoun. If the verb takes an -s ending, then the original form is a present tense verb
(VBP); if not, it is a subjunctive (VB).
EXAMPLE:
I recommended that you do/VB it.
(cf. I recommended that he do/*does it.)
VBG or IN|see IN or VBG, VBN
VBG or JJ|see JJ or VBG
VBG or NN|see NN or VBG
VBN or IN|see IN or VBG, VBN
VBN or JJ|see JJ or VBN

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VBP or VB|see VB or VBP
WDT or IN|see IN or WDT
WDT or WP
If a wh-word precedes a head noun, it is a wh-determiner.
EXAMPLES: What/WDT kind do you want?
I don’t know what/WDT kind you want.
Be sure to wash whatever/WDT fruit you buy.
Which/WDT book do you like better?
I don’t know which/WDT book you like better.
Which/WDT one do you like better?
I don’t know which/WDT one you like better.
W hat(ever) is only tagged as a wh-determiner (WDT) when it precedes a head noun; otherwise, it is
tagged as a simple wh-word (WP).
EXAMPLES: Tell me what/WP you would like to eat.
I’ll get you whatever/WP you want.
W hich(ever), on the other hand, is tagged as a wh-determiner (WDT) even when it does not precede a
head noun. This is parallel to the tagging of determiners as DT when they are used by themselves.
EXAMPLES: Which/WDT do you like better?
I don’t know which/WDT you like better.
I’ll get you whichever/WDT you want.
WP or WDT|see WDT or WP
4.2 Speci c words and collocations
This section contains an alphabetical list of speci c problematic words and collocations.
about when used to mean \approximately" should be tagged as an adverb (RB), rather than a
preposition (IN).
all is usually a determiner (DT) or a predeterminer (PDT), but it can also be an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
all/RB around the Mediterranean
all/RB through the night
The collocation at all is tagged at/IN all/DT.
all but is tagged all/RB but/RB.
all right is tagged all/RB right/JJ.
another one is tagged another/DT one/NN.

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any can be a determiner (DT).
EXAMPLES:
We don’t have any/DT.
Don’t you want any/DT more/JJR?
However, when it precedes a comparative adverb, it is an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
I can’t run any/RB further/RBR.
I can’t go on like this any/RB more/RBR.
around when used to mean \approximately" should be tagged as an adverb (RB), rather than a
preposition (IN).
EXAMPLES:
The pound stabilized at around/RB 1.6973 dollars.
(cf. The pound stabilized at approximately 1.6973 dollars.)
But:
The pound stabilized around/IN 1.6973 dollars.
(cf. *The pound stabilized approximately 1.6973 dollars.)
as can be an IN.
EXAMPLES:
It’s just as/IN I thought.
As/IN an untenured faculty member, : : :
But when it has a meaning akin to ‘so’, it is an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
I’m not as/RB hungry.
This one is not as/RB good.
Both types of as occur in the collocation as : : : as.
EXAMPLES:
as/RB hungry as/IN me
as/RB many as/IN he has
at all is tagged at/IN all/DT.
back should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) when used as a prenominal modi er, as in back door.
bottom should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) when used as a prenominal modi er, as in bottom drawer.
but, though usually a coordinating conjunction, is a preposition (IN) when it means \except."
EXAMPLE:
everybody but/IN me
In very formal usage, it can be an adverb (RB) with the meaning \only."
EXAMPLE:
We can but/RB try.

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Chapter, as in Chapter 1, is an NN, not an NNP.
close(r) In the collocation close(r) to, close(r) is an adverb (RB) or comparative adverb (RBR).
EXAMPLE:
We were close/RB to home.
We were closer/RBR to home.
coming should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) by analogy to upcoming.
data triggers variable number agreement and should be tagged according to its use in a particular text. If
the agreement pattern cannot be determined, tag it as NNjNNS (see Section 5.2 for the vertical slash
convention).
dear in Oh dear and Dear me is an exclamation (UH). In Y es, dear, on the other hand, it is used as a
true vocative and should be tagged as a noun (NN). Finally, in salutations like Dear Martin, it
should be tagged as an adjective (JJ).
down should be tagged as an adverb (RB), not as a particle (RP), in contexts concerning the movement
of currency or commodity prices.
due in the collocation due to is a preposition (IN). Otherwise, it is an adjective (JJ).
EXAMPLES:
due/IN to/TO the storm
The books are due/JJ on the due/JJ date.
each other should be tagged each/DT other/JJ.
far, though usually an adverb (RB), can also be an adjective (JJ).
EXAMPLE:
She lives far/RB away.
She lives far/RB from/IN here.
The far/JJ side of the moon
In the collocation f ar(ther) from, f ar(ther) is an adverb (RB) or comparative adverb (RBR).
EXAMPLE:
We were far/RB from home.
We were farther/RBR from home.
Further is treated on a par with f arther.
Figure, as in Figure 1, is an NN, not an NNP.
t is an adjective (JJ) in the expression to see t.
for in the sense of \because" is a coordinating conjunction (CC), not a subordinating conjunction (IN).

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EXAMPLE:
He asked to be transferred, for/CC he was unhappy.
front should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) when used as a prenominal modi er, as in f ront door.
further, like f arther, is a comparative adverb (RBR) in the context f urther from.
half can be an adjective (JJ), a noun (NN) or a predeterminer (PDT). It is an adjective (JJ) if it
immediately precedes a noun, a predeterminer (PDT) if it immediately precedes an article or a
possessive pronoun, and a noun (NN) otherwise.
EXAMPLES:
a half/JJ point
half/PDT his time; half/PDT the time
half/NN of the time
The hyphenated fraction one-half should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) when it is a prenominal
modi er, but as an adverb (RB) if it could be replaced by double or twice.
EXAMPLES: one-half/JJ cup;
cf. a full/JJ cup
one-half/RB the amount; cf. twice/RB the amount; double/RB the amount
hers, as in That’s hers, is a PRP, not a PRP$.
his, as in That’s his, is a PRP, not a PRP$.
however is usually a simple adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
However/RB, that time has not yet come.
There seems to be a problem, however/RB.
It can also (rarely) be a wh-adverb (WRB).
EXAMPLES:
However/WRB much he wants to, he can’t.
I’ll do it however/WRB he wants me to.
later should be tagged as a simple adverb (RB) rather than as a comparative adverb (RBR), unless its
meaning is clearly comparative. A useful diagnostic is that the comparative later can be preceded by
even or still.
EXAMPLES:
I’ll get it around to it sooner or later/RB.
If you don’t hurry, we’ll arrive (even) later/RBR than your mother.
less should be tagged as a comparative adjective (JJR) when it is used without a head noun and it
corresponds to the object of a verb or preposition. It should be tagged as a comparative adverb
(RBR) when its use is parallel to other adverbs.

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EXAMPLES:
You should eat less/JJR (in terms of quantity).
(cf. You should eat less/JJR cheese.)
You should eat less/RBR (in terms of frequency).
(cf. You should eat rarely/RB.)
You should work less/RBR.
(cf. You should work harder/RBR.)
Less should be tagged as a comparative adjective (JJR) even when it occurs without a head noun, as
in less of a problem.
Less in the sense of minus should be tagged as a coordinating conjunction (CC).
little is an adjective (JJ) in a little bit, a little bit more and a little more.
lot is a noun (NN) in a lot and a lot more.
many is a PDT when it immediately precedes an article. In general, however, it is an adjective (JJ), since
it can be preceded by an article or a personal pronoun.
EXAMPLES:
many/PDT a/DT stormy night
the/DT many/JJ faces of God
maximum, as in maximum tolerance, is a noun (NN), not an adjective (JJ).
mine, as in That’s mine, is a PRP, not a PRP$.
minimum, as in minimum wage, is a noun (NN), not an adjective (JJ).
more should be tagged as a comparative adjective (JJR) when it is used without a head noun and it
corresponds to the object of a verb or preposition. It should be tagged as a comparative adverb
(RBR) when its use is parallel to other adverbs.
EXAMPLES:
You should eat more/JJR (in terms of quantity).
(cf. You should eat more/JJR fruit.)
You should eat more/RBR (in terms of frequency).
(cf. You should eat often/RB.)
You should relax more/RBR.
(cf. You should work harder/RBR.)
M ore should be tagged as a comparative adjective (JJR) even when it occurs without a head noun.
Again, however, if it lls the same position as an adverb, it should be tagged as a comparative adverb
(RBR).

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EXAMPLES:
more/JJR of my friends
grows to ve feet or more/JJR
It’s more/JJR of a vegetable garden.
cf. *It’s almost/RB of a vegetable garden.
But:
It’s more/RBR a vegetable garden.
It’s almost/RB a vegetable garden.
most, should be tagged as a superlative adjective (JJS) even when it occurs without a head noun, as in
most of the time. The reason is that its distribution is parallel to that of other superlative adjectives;
cf. the following:
EXAMPLES: most apples;
most of the apples
most of the bunch
the ripest apples; the ripest of the apples
the ripest of the bunch
In the collocation most every-, most is a simple adverb (RB).
much can be an adjective (JJ) or an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
He doesn’t have much/JJ energy left.
She said nothing, or at least not very much/JJ.
That’s much/RB better already.
I like that quite well; in fact, I like it very much/RB.
near can be an adjective (JJ), an adverb (RB) or a preposition (IN).
EXAMPLES:
The near/JJ side of the moon
They had approached quite near/RB.
We were near/IN the station.
But:
We were very/RB near/RB the station.
In the collocation near(er) to, near(er) is an adverb (RB) or comparative adverb (RBR). The
colloquial use of nearer without a following to should also be tagged as a comparative adverb (RBR).
EXAMPLES:
We were near/RB to the station.
We were nearer/RBR to the station.
We were nearer/RBR the station.
next can be an adjective (JJ), an adverb (RB) or (in archaic usage) a preposition (IN).

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EXAMPLE:
The next/JJ train
They live next/RB to/TO the park.
I grasp the hands of those next/IN me.
no can be a determiner (DT).
EXAMPLE:
We have no/DT solution to that di culty as yet.
It can also be an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLE:
She is no/RB longer her old self.
Finally, as the opposite of yes, it is an interjection (UH).
no one should be tagged no/DT one/NN ; in its hyphenated form no-one, it should be tagged NN.
not is an adverb (RB), as is its contracted form n’t.
o is a particle (RP) in the collocations well o , better o , badly o , worse o .
one In general, one should be tagged as a cardinal number (CD) even when its sense is not clearly that of
a numeral.
EXAMPLE:
one/CD of the best reasons
However, when it is used as an impersonal third person pronoun, it is a pronoun (PRP).
EXAMPLE:
One/PRP doesn’t do that kind of thing in public.
If it could be pluralized or modi ed by an adjective in a particular context, it is a common noun
(NN).
EXAMPLE:
the only (good) one/NN of its kind
(cf. the only (good) ones/NNS of their kind)
In the collocation another one, one is a common noun (NN).
only should be tagged as an adverb (RB), unless it can be paraphrased by sole.
EXAMPLE:
the only/JJ good ones
(cf. the sole/*solely good ones)
only/RB the good ones
(cf. solely/*sole the good ones)
other If other could be pluralized in a particular context, it is a common noun (NN).

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EXAMPLE:
One of them is good, but the other/NN is bad.
(cf. the others/NNS are bad)
ours, as in That’s ours, is a PRP, not a PRP$.
over in the collocation I t’s (all) over is an adverb (RB).
own in combination with possessive pronouns is an adjective (JJ).
EXAMPLES:
a room of one’s own/JJ
her own/JJ room
people is a plural noun (NNS), since it triggers plural agreement.
plenty is a common noun (NN), even in collocations like plenty warm.
public in the collocation to go public is an adjective (JJ).
rather in isolation is an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLE:
Tareyton smokers would rather/RB ght than switch.
In the collocation rather than, however, it should be tagged as a subordinating conjunction.
EXAMPLE:
But often it’s wiser to switch rather/IN than/IN to ght.
right The collocation all right is tagged all/RB right/JJ.
Section, as in Section 1, is an NN, not an NNP.
see t Fit is an adjective (JJ) in the expression to see t.
side should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) when used as a prenominal modi er, as in side door.
so in the sense of \to such a degree" is an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
So/RB many pieces are broken that we need a new one.
He was so/RB irresponsible we red him.
In the collocations so as to and so that and when it means so that by itself, so is a subordinating
conjunction (IN).
EXAMPLES:
He left the house quietly so/IN as/IN not to wake anyone.
I left early so/IN that/IN I would catch my train.
I gave him money so/IN he could buy it.

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So in the sense of \therefore" is an adverb (RB) rather than a subordinating conjunction (IN).
EXAMPLE:
He was unhappy, so/RB he asked to be transferred.
sooner If its meaning is not clearly comparative, sooner should be tagged as a simple adverb (RB) rather
than as a comparative adverb (RBR). A useful diagnostic is that the comparative sooner can be
preceded by even.
EXAMPLES:
I’ll get it around to it sooner/RB or later.
Let’s hurry, so we can arrive (even) sooner/RBR than your mother.
such Since any noun phrase can contain only one determiner, the fact that it can occur together with a
determiner (as in the only such case) means that it should generally be tagged as an adjective (JJ).
However, when it precedes a determiner, it should be tagged as a predeterminer (PDT).
Table, as in Table 1, is an NN, not an NNP.
that when used to introduce relative clauses is a WDT, not an IN.
theirs, as in That’s theirs, is a PRP, not a PRP$.
then can have a strictly temporal sense (\at that point in time") or a more general sense (\in that case").
In either case, it is an adverb (RB). Both uses can occur in the same sentence.
EXAMPLE:
Then/RB I’ll have to do it before then/RB.
Then can also be an adjective (JJ).
EXAMPLE:
The then/JJ governor of Massachusetts
top should be tagged as an adjective (JJ) when used as a prenominal modi er, as in top drawer or top
notch.
up should be tagged as an adverb (RB), not as a particle (RP), in contexts concerning the movement of
currency or commodity prices.
very, though usually an adverb (RB), can be an adjective (JJ).
EXAMPLE:
the very/JJ idea
vice, as in vice president, should be tagged as a common noun (NN) rather than as an adjective (JJ).
well is an adjective (JJ) when it means the opposite of sick. It is an adverb (RB) otherwise.

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EXAMPLES:
I’m quite well/JJ, thank you.
You did very well/RB on the exam.
I try to speak only well/RB of people.
when in a temporal sense is tagged WRB. In the sense of \if," on the other hand, it is a subordinating
conjunction (IN).
EXAMPLES:
When/WRB he nally arrived, I was on my way out.
I like it when/IN you make dinner for me.
worth is a preposition (IN) when it precedes a measure phrase, as in worth ten dollars.
yet can be a coordinating conjunction (CC).
EXAMPLE:
It’s expensive yet/CC worth it.
It can also be an adverb (RB).
EXAMPLES:
I’ve found yet/RB another error.
We have no solution to that di culty as yet/RB.
yours, as in That’s yours, is a PRP, not a PRP$.
5 General tagging conventions
5.1 Part of speech and syntactic function
We adopt the general convention that parts of speech are de ned on the basis of their syntactic
distribution rather than their semantic function. This convention has several important consequences. One
is that nouns in prenominal position that are being used as modi ers are tagged as nouns (NN), not as
adjectives (JJ) (see Section 4.1|JJ or NN).
EXAMPLES:
a cotton/NN shirt
the nearest book/NN store
Another is that nouns that are used as adverbial modi ers are tagged as nouns, not adverbs (see
Section 4.1|NN or RB).
EXAMPLE:
This week, I work mornings/NNS only.
5.2 Vertical slash convention
Linguistic or extralinguistic context generally resolves the question of what tag to assign to a token.
EXAMPLES:
Sampling/VBG data can be time-consuming.
Sampling/NN data can be full of errors.
Nevertheless, uncertainties can arise. Rather than attempting to forcibly resolve such uncertainties, with
the attendant risk of inconsistency, you should simply record them by separating the relevant tags by a

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vertical slash (this character appears as an interrupted slash on the keyboard). For instance, in the absence
of disambiguating context, examples such as the following should be tagged using the vertical slash.
EXAMPLES:
Sampling/NNjVBG data can be fun.
The Duchess was entertaining/JJjVBG last night.
The Duchess was guarded/JJjVBN last night.
5.3 Capitalized words
If a series of words is capitalized as part of a name, the capitalized words should be tagged as proper nouns
(NNP or NNPS).
EXAMPLES:
Constitution/NNP Avenue/NNP
the/DT Fulton/NNP County/NNP Grand/NNP Jury/NNP
Kansas/NNP City/NNP
Mount/NNP Everest/NNP
North/NNP Carolina/NNP
Supreme/NNP Court/NNP Justice/NNP
A/NNP Tale/NNP of/IN Two/NNP Cities/NNPS
the/DT United/NNP States/NNPS
Otherwise, titles should be tagged as if they were running text.
If a single word is capitalized because it is used as a title, it should be tagged as a proper noun (NNP). But
if a single word or series of words is capitalized as a result of gurative speech, it should be tagged as if it
weren’t capitalized.
EXAMPLES:
Mother/NNP, are you coming?
He was no good at rebelling against Society/NN.
5.4 Abbreviations
Abbreviations and initials should be tagged as if they were spelled out.
EXAMPLES:
Mr./NNP John/NNP Warner/NNP
Dr./NNP Elizabeth/NNP Blackwell/NNP
Ave./NNP of/IN the/DT Americas/NNPS
e.g./FW