So what is a predicate adjective? They are adjectives that appear in the predicate part of a sentence. The predicate is the part of the sentence that contains the verb and provides information about the subject.
When an adjective is placed in the predicate part of a sentence, it describes or provides more information about the subject.
In English, a simple sentence structure consists of a subject, a verb, and an object, with additional elements like adjectives and adverbs. When we introduce predicate adjectives into this structure, they typically follow this pattern:
Subject + Linking Verb + Predicate Adjective
The flowers were beautiful
In this sentence, "beautiful" is the predicate adjective that describes the subject "The flowers."
The subject is the noun or pronoun the sentence is about, the linking verb connects the subject to the predicate adjective, and the predicate adjective describes the subject.
If we shift the adjective around to before the noun, it is then an attributive adjective:
Linking verbs, also known as copular verbs, play a crucial role in connecting the subject and the predicate adjective. They don't express an action but instead link or equate the subject to a state or condition.
Common linking verbs in English include:
Let's see how some of these linking verbs work with predicate adjectives:
Here are more examples of sentences with predicative adjectives.
Adjective phrases, which are groups of adjectives that work together to describe a noun, can also be used as predicate adjectives in sentences with linking verbs.
Participles are verb forms that can function as adjectives and they can be used as predicate adjectives in sentences. There are:
These are examples of how they are used as predicate adjectives:
Predicate adjectives may seem similar to another grammatical concept called predicate nominatives as they both follow linking verbs, but there are distinct differences. Let's clarify the differences:
In the sentence "She is happy", "happy" is a predicate adjective describing the subject "She."
In the sentence "She is a doctor", "a doctor" is a predicate nominative that renames or identifies the subject "She." It doesn't describe a characteristic of the subject; it provides an additional identification.
And you'll note that the predicate nominatives is not an adjective, but a noun.
So, while predicate adjectives describe the subject, predicate nominatives rename or identify it. They both work with linking verbs, but their roles in a sentence differ.
Understanding predicate adjectives is a valuable step in enhancing your English language skills. They help you convey more information about the subject of a sentence and add depth to your expressions.
By knowing how to use linking verbs with predicate adjectives, recognising adjective phrases in this context, and understanding participles as predicate adjectives, you're well on your way to mastering this grammatical concept.
Additionally, distinguishing predicate adjectives from predicate nominatives will make your sentences more precise and meaningful.
So, the next time you write or speak in English, remember to sprinkle in some predicate adjectives to make your language more vivid and engaging.
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