Can multitask be an adjective?

Hi there

I've recently learned I've been using the word "multitask" complety wrong, I've always thought it was an adjective, then I could say "Ben is a multitask guy" but I was checking on the dictionary and turns out it's a noun and a verb, so instead of saying "Ben is a multitask guy" I would have to say "Ben has been multitasking", but calling somebody a multitask person sounds so natural to me, doesn't it exist at all?


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6 respostas
Henry Cunha 3 17 182
You can try it this way:

As a noun: Ben is a multitasker. (or)
As an adjective: Ben is a multitasking guy.
As a verb: Ben multitasks well.

But in everyday parlance, you will probably hear someone say "Ben is a multitask guy." You'll find "multitask tool" being used, for instance. So I wouldn't worry about this one too much.
Donay Mendonça 22 103 1.5k
''But in everyday parlance, you will probably hear someone say "Ben is a multitask guy''
Neste bom exemplo do Henry, "multitask" tem função de adjetivo: precede um substantivo qualificando-o. "Ben é um cara multitarefa".
e isso que pensei logo de inicio, mas dai quando eu chequei o dicionario nao tinha nenhuma opcao de adjetivo dai fiquei confusa se isso existe na lingua informal ou nao, achei que estava falando um absurdo.

Thanks guys :-)
Henry Cunha 3 17 182
Come to think of it, probably most nouns in English can function as adjectives merely by their positioning in a sentence:

The sea lanes are crowded with ships.
The office secretary takes care of that.
His dog collar is coming loose.

So, are there any that don't, or can't be used as adjectives, in their noun forms? I can think of some: tropic, equator, north, meaning, man

The tropical heat of the equatorial latitudes flows in a northern and southern direction.
That is not a meaningful statement. In fact, it's meaningless.
His manly behaviour is admired by all.

I am guessing that adjectival markers such as -ern, -ly, -ful, etc. usefully make meaning more obvious, but aren't always needed or pre-established by constant use. So you can flexibly turn nouns into adjectives when you need to.
Henry, as you know I also live in Canada, my husband is canadian and we've been discussing this expression for days, I insist that I've heard people saying "he is a multitask guy" before when I used to live in England and he insists that he has never heard of it, that's why my doubt if people really use multitask as an adjective or they made it up ( I used to live with lots of foreigners also english english learners so I can't really say if they were speaking something right or wrong). He says your explanation makes totally sense, however, he would never use it that way at all... so now my confusion is if I use a noun as an adjective "multitask" for instance is it goning to be considered gramatically wrong? I don't care about informal english, people will make an effort to understand you, but I do worry about the future in case I take an english test and I write something like that and I lose points because it's not considered right gramatically speaking...
Henry Cunha 3 17 182
Sophia, I don't think there is a grammar-based question here about the appropriateness of the expression. There is nothing ungrammatical about it. Now, your husband is a native speaker and has never heard the expression; and neither had I (until now), for that matter. Fair enough, we've heard enough English to be considered good judges of whether something is conventional English or not; so, if there is a question it's about usage, and not grammar. Some English teacher might consider the expression "awkward" (jargon) or might fault it for "diction" (there is after all an adjectival form with '-ing' available), but these are usage problems, not grammatical problems. Let's agree it's an unusual expression without many antecedents. Knowing all that, and knowing what kind of teacher you have, you decide if it's worth using it.

Antecedents? The expression "multitask tools" is all over Google. You even find "multitask experts", but note the amount of jargon in this example:

"It plans to increase synergies between over-air and over-internet journalism operations, and is turning journalists into multitask experts who can report and handle a camera and editing equipment from the field." From

Unless you're in the business, whoever says "over-air journalism operations"? Would anybody say "over-print journalism operations" for the regular print press?

So these are language usage preferences and standards, which can vary depending on the background of the teacher.