1

Usually, a word that has a segol such as "zecher" gets a tzerei when it becomes an adjective. Example - "mateh" becomes "matei" when used as an adjective as in "matei Levi".

Q - in the phrase זכר למעשה בראשית is the word זכר considered an adjective? On the one hand, I would say, yes by the fact that it has a tzerei. However, I am not sure because the next word starts with ל (meaning "to" or "for"), which is a preposition.

2

It's a noun. (As far as I know, zecher is always a noun.) Many a noun has a tzere, such as סֵפֶר and חֵלֶק. See Gesenius, 84aa and 93.

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