Is Adjective A Predicate? 7 Facts (Read This First!)


With the help of various examples, explanations and several interesting facts, we shall find out the answer to the question ‘is adjective a predicate?’ in this article.

A Predicate is nothing but the part of a sentence, that tells us about the subject or the action done by the subject (noun/ pronoun/ noun phrase) of the sentence. We shall see here, if adjective, words describing the noun (subject) in a sentence can be a part of the predicate or not.

What is predicate adjective?

Well, from the very name, we get an idea that, predicate adjective is an adjective that is present in the predicate part of the sentence and that is modifying the singular or plural subject (noun/ pronoun/ noun phrase) of the sentence.

Example: Aanchal looks beautiful today.

In this sentence, ‘beautiful’ is the adjective since it is describing the singular noun (subject) ‘Aanchal’ (a person) by telling us more information on how the subject looks. ‘Beautiful’ here can be specifically referred to as a predicate adjective as it is not present before the subject ‘Aanchal’ but is located after the verb in the predicate part of the sentence.

When is adjective a predicate adjective?

An adjective can be called as a predicate adjective when it is not placed before the noun (subject of the sentence) it is modifying, describing or quantifying, but is present in the predicate of the sentence, following the action word (linking verb) of the subject  and thereby giving us more additional details on the subject (nouns or noun phrases) by qualifying it.

Example: The old man was abandoned by his children.

The subject of the sentence is the ‘the old man’ and here, ‘old’ is the adjective that is describing the noun ‘man’ (a person) by telling more details about his age. ‘Old’ cannot be regarded as a predicate adjective since it is placed right before the noun it is describing and is part of the subject.

Example: The man is old to do all the work by himself.

In this sentence, the subject is ‘the man’. The adjective ‘old’ here is modifying singular noun ‘man’ in the subject. But however, the adjective ‘old’ is not present in front of the noun as a part of the subject, but is present in the predicate after the linking verb ‘is’, thus making it a predicate adjective.

Why is adjective a predicate adjective?

An adjective is a predicate adjective since it is a part of the predicate, even though it is qualifying or describing the nouns present in the subject of the sentence.

Example: The boys are very sincere when it comes to work.

‘Very sincere’ is the adjective in this sentence. To be more specific, it is a predicate adjective as it is placed after the linking verb ‘are’ as a part of the predicate, though it is telling us extra details about the plural countable noun ‘boys’ (people) in the subject ‘the boys’ of the sentence.

How is adjective a predicate adjective?

A predicate is a part of the sentence that tells us what the subject is doing or some extra information on the subject of the sentence. When the adjective that is giving us some more details about the subject by qualifying it is present in the predicate of the sentence, it becomes predicate adjective.

Example: Vihan seemed stressed and worried yesterday.

‘Vihan’ is the subject of the above sentence. ‘Stressed’ and ‘worried’ are the two adjectives utilized in the sentence to tell us more details about the state of Vihan. The adjectives ‘stressed’ and ‘worried’ are predicate adjectives as they follow the verb ‘seemed’ and is present in the predicate part of sentence thereby modifying the subject (noun) ‘Vihan’ ( a person).

Use of predicate adjectives in sentences

To know more about predicate adjectives, do go through the following examples.

  • 1. Our neighbor is friendly and kind.
  • 2. The movie was very scary.
  • 3. The gift that you gave appears expensive.
  • 4. The child is hungry from the morning.
  • 5. The temple’s sculptures are amazing.
  • 6. Ramya’s speech was extraordinary today.

Use of predicate adjectives in sentences with detailed explanations

Here we will pick out the predicate adjectives in each and every sentence and understand why they are categorized as predicate adjectives.

1. Our neighbor is friendly and kind.

‘Friendly’ and ‘kind’ are the adjectives in the sentence. Both the adjectives are modifying the noun ‘neighbor’ (a person) in the sentence’s subject ‘our neighbor’ by telling us more about the nature of the neighbor. Since, ‘friendly’ and ‘kind’ are present after the verb ‘is’ and is describing the subject, they can be regarded as predicate adjectives.

2. The movie was very scary.

In this sentence, the subject is ‘the movie’. The adjective ‘very scary’ here is modifying the singular noun ‘movie’ in the subject. But since, the adjective ‘very scary’ is not present in front of the noun as a part of the subject, but is present in the predicate after the linking verb ‘was’, it is a predicate adjective.

3. The gift that you gave appears expensive.

‘Expensive’ is the adjective in the sentence. It is modifying the noun ‘gift’ (a thing) in the sentence’s subject ‘the gift that you gave’ by telling us more information about the nature of the gift given by ‘you’. Since, the adjective ‘expensive’ is present after the verb ‘appears’, and is qualifying the subject, it can be regarded as predicate adjective.

4. The child is hungry from the morning.

In this sentence, the subject is ‘the child’. The adjective ‘hungry’ here is modifying the singular noun ‘child’ in the subject. But since, the adjective ‘hungry’ is not located in front of the noun as a part of the subject, but is present in the predicate after the linking verb ‘is’, it is a predicate adjective.

5. The temple’s sculptures are amazing.

‘Amazing’ is the adjective in the sentence. It is modifying the plural noun ‘sculptures’ (things) in the sentence’s subject ‘the temple’s sculptures’ by telling us more information about how the sculptures are. Since, the adjective ‘amazing’ is present after the verb ‘are’, and is qualifying the subject, it can be regarded as predicate adjective.

6. Ramya’s speech was extraordinary today.

In this sentence, the subject is ‘Ramya’s speech’. The adjective ‘extraordinary’ here is modifying the singular noun phrase ‘Ramya’s speech’ in the subject. But since, the adjective ‘extraordinary’ is not located in front of the noun as a part of the subject, but is present in the predicate after the linking verb ‘was’, it is a predicate adjective.

Difference between an adjective and a predicate adjective

While an adjective can be present anywhere in the sentence (in the subject or the predicate) and can modify the person, animal, thing or place (nouns or pronouns) in it, a predicative adjective is the one that is followed by an action word (a linking verb), the one that is present only in the predicate of the sentence and the one that modifies the subject of the sentence.

Example: The tall boy is the leader of the team.

In this sentence, the adjective ‘toy’ is present in front of the noun ‘boy’ that it is qualifying by saying to us more about the height of the boy. Here the adjective ‘tall’ is present in the subject of the sentence.

Example: My brother is smart and talented.

‘Smart’ and ‘talented’ are the adjectives in the sentence. Both the adjectives are modifying the noun ‘brother’ (a person) in the sentence’s subject ‘my brother’ by telling us more about how the brother is. Since, ‘smart’ and ‘talented’ are present after the verb ‘is’, and are qualifying the subject, they are known as predicate adjectives.

Conclusion

Though all the adjectives perform the same function of qualifying and modifying the naming words, according to the place where they occur in a sentence, they can be classified as predicate adjectives and subject adjectives.

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