Unit 1.2

Attributive and Predicative Adjectives


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Introduction

Adjectives are determiners that can be placed in two different positions within a sentence to modify or describe a person or a thing.

They can be attributive or predicative, depending on their position.

Form

We use adjectives in two positions to modify or describe a person or a thing and we distinguish between:

  • attributive adjectives, that come before the noun;
  • predicative adjectives, that come after the verb.

NOTE: In literary language it is possible to find adjectives after nouns.

Example

Attributive adjectives:

  • I saw a black cat on the way home.
  • I watched a sad movie the day before yesterday.
  • I bought a large suitcase for my trip.

Predicative adjectives:

  • The cat I saw on the way home was black.
  • The movie I watched the day before yesterday was sad.
  • The suitcase I bought for my trip is large.

Use

We use some adjectives in attributive position and other adjectives in predicative position to modify or describe a person or a thing.

Summary

Adjectives are determiners used to describe or modify a person or a thing, and depending on their position in a sentence, they can be attributive or predicative.

In the attributive position, the adjective is followed by a noun; in the predicative position, the adjective is placed after a verb.

For example:
“A blue umbrella.” = The adjective blue is placed before the noun umbrella, therefore this is an attributive adjective.
“The umbrella is blue.” = The adjective blue is placed after the noun umbrella and after the linking verb to be, therefore this is a predicative adjective.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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