Attributive Adjective: Meaning and Examples 

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Attributive adjectives

Attributive Adjectives are a crucial part of the English Language. The main purpose of the adjective is to modify a noun and this can be done either by adding noun before or after the sentence. When we talk about attributive adjectives, they are typically placed directly before their antecedents. To learn more about attributive adjectives, with their types and examples, continue reading the blog article below. 

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What are Attributive Adjectives? – Meaning and Definition

An adjective that immediately follows the noun or pronoun and modifies it, is called an attributive adjective. Moreover, a linking verb does not divide an attributive adjective from a noun. 

Attributive adjectives provide more information about the noun they modify, making the sentence more descriptive and informative.

For example: “The red car is parked in the driveway.”

The adjective “red” is used to modify the noun “car.” This explains to us, that the car is red

Also Read: Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples and Usage

Examples of Attributive Adjectives

Here are some examples of attributive adjectives in sentences:

  • The big house is on the corner.
  • The delicious cake was eaten by everyone.
  • The intelligent student got top marks on the test.
  • The friendly dog wagged its tail.
  • The beautiful flowers bloomed in the spring.
  • The fast car sped down the highway.
  • The cold wind blew through my hair.
  • The dark night made it difficult to see.
  • The quiet library was a perfect place to study.
  • The busy street was full of people and cars.
  • The interesting book kept me up all night.
  • The challenging hike made my legs ache.

How to Use Attributive Adjectives

Here are some tips for using attributive adjectives:

  • Use attributive adjectives to modify nouns and pronouns.
  • Place attributive adjectives before the noun they modify, unless the adjective is part of a compound noun or phrase.
  • Use multiple attributive adjectives to describe a noun in more detail.
  • Be careful not to overuse attributive adjectives, as this can make your writing sound cluttered and difficult to read. 

Also Read: History of English Literature

Attributive Adjectives Exercises

Identify the attributive adjectives in the following sentences:

  1. The big red ball rolled down the hill.
  2. The old wooden house was creaky and drafty.
  3. The delicious chocolate cake melted in my mouth.
  4. The intelligent young girl solved the puzzle in minutes.
  5. The friendly black dog wagged its tail and barked happily.


  • big, red
  • old, wooden
  • delicious, chocolate
  • intelligent, young
  • friendly, black

Attributive vs Predicative Adjectives

Attributive vs Predicative adjectives are two different types of adjectives that are used in English Grammar. However, there is a slight difference between the two. The attributive adjectives are used before nouns and pronouns. Whereas, predicate adjectives come right after the noun or pronoun and are linked by the interlinking verb. Have a look at the table given below for a clear and concise description. 

Source: Turtlediary
DetailsAttributive AdjectivesPredicative Adjectives
PositionUsed before noun or pronoun modifies it.Used after noun and pronoun modifies it
Linking VerbNoYes
ExampleThe old man was sitting on the bench.The man is old.
Check Out the Complete List of Adjectives from A to Z


How do you recognize adjectives with attributes?

Adjectives that appear before the noun in the first place are referred to as Attributive adjectives. Predictive adjectives are those that come after the noun in the second position.

What are Attributive Adjectives? 

An attributive adjective in English grammar is one that typically appears before the noun it modifies without the use of a connecting verb.

What are the examples of attributive adjectives? 

Some common examples of attributive adjectives are chicken soup, prom queen, sports car, book store, nursery school etc. 

Hopefully, this blog was able to help you get a better understanding of Attributive Adjectives. If you want to improve your grammar for English Proficiency Tests such as SAT, IELTS and GMAT, check the courses at Leverage Live

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