Predicative Adjective



Predicative Adjective :



Some Adjectives are used attributively.
Some other Adjectives are used predicatively.

Attributive adjective : (of an adjective, noun or phrase) - describing and coming before a noun

In "a major success", "major" is an attributive adjective.
In "the school bus", "school" is an attributive adjective.
"school" is in attributive position - attributively (adverb)

Predicative adjective : (especially of an adjective or phrase) - coming after a verb in - He is alive.

"alive" is a predicative adjective.

An old friend. (here - it means the friend is known for a long time.)
My friend is quite old. (here - it means the friend is old in age.)

An old friend - the adjective 'old' is used attributively - before the noun friend.
My friend is quite old. (here - the adjective 'old' is used predicatively - after the verb 'is.')

It is a live fish. - (Attributive use of the Adjective)
That fish is still alive. (Predicative use of Adjective)
This broadcast comes to you live from Delhi. (Adjective used predicatively)

We say, "It is a nice little house".
But we do not say, "The house is little."
We say, 'The house is small'.

Note that 'mere' and ’sheer' are always used attributively.
He is a mere child. What does it know?
What you say, is, sheer nonsense.

He is a one-eyed man.
'one-eyed' - compound adjective - used attributively
It is not used predicatively.


Afloat, afraid, alike, alight, alive, alone, asleep, awake


A number of adjectives beginning with 'a' are used only in predicative position - after a verb

afloat (adjective) : floating on water & floating at sea
afloat (adverb) :

1. Help me get the boat afloat.
2. How long did you spend afloat?

Afloat : covered with water, flooded, out of debt

The company somehow managed to keep afloat.

afraid (adjective) : full of fear & frightened

I am always afraid of dogs.
They are not afraid of hardwork.

"I'm afraid" is often used as a polite phrase, when you are giving someone unpleasant information.

We're afraid. We’re unable to offer you the job.

Yes, sir, but 'I am afraid' you haven't quite understood my point.

alike : (adjective) : the same or similar & like one another

alike : (adverb) : I treat all my children alike.

Men and women are treated alike here.

alight - (adjective) : on fire - in flames

The dry wood - pieces caught alight (- began to burn)

Alight : (with) having the lights on : lit up

Every window was alight.

Alight : (verb) : (alighted) or (alit) - (from, on) - to get off or down from something especially at the end of a journey - come down from above

Passengers should not alight from the bus until it has stopped.

Alive : (adjective) : (no comparison) - having life - not dead

My grand parents are still alive.
Dear Mr. Minus, I am alive.

alone : (adjective) : without (or) seperated from others
alone : (adverb) : I live alone.

To be alone requires resources.

asleep : (adjective) : sleeping
He was found asleep.

awake : (adjective) : not asleep
She lay awake for hours, thinking about him.

Note : We do not soy, "very awake" - But we say, "wide awake."

So also not "very alone" - But "very much alone."

But we can say very lonely or very much lonely.

So also we say, "He is fast asleep", not "He is very asleep".

Predicative Adjective



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