What are Predicate Adjectives: Meaning, Types, & Examples

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Imagine a world without predicate adjectives. The food will be simply food, the sky will be simply sky and the music will be simply adjectives. Everything would be bland and boring, without any of the rich and varied descriptions predicate adjectives provide. 

Now what are predicate adjectives? Predicate adjectives are like a cherry on top or icing on the cake. They add a flair to your writing and help us to create more vivid and descriptive images in our readers’ minds. The blog article below will help you uncover the definition of predicative adjectives, their definition, and how to use them. Let’s uncover!

What are Predicate Adjectives?

To put it simply, Predicate Adjectives is a complicated term that simply means “adjective in the second part of the sentence”. They help provide more information about the subject of a sentence depending on which one you use. 

Also Read: Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples and Usage

Using Linking Verbs 

A predicative adjective comes right after a linking verb, to give a descriptive subject to a sentence. They are just like other adjectives. However, they are used in the predicate of a sentence, ie, after the subject. For example: 

  • The cat is cute. (Predicate adjective cute modifies the subject cat)
  • She seems happy. (Predicate adjective happy modifies the subject she)
  • The soup smells wonderful! (Predicate adjective wonderful modies the subject soup)

Also Read: History of English Literature

Using Linking Verbs With Predictive Adjectives

A linking verb must be used to establish a connection between the predicate adjective and the subject. All forms of the word “be” (am, are, is, being, were, was) and the following are examples of linking verbs:










It will make it easier for you to identify the predicate adjective when you see one of these verbs in a phrase. Just keep in mind that these verbs are only considered connecting verbs when the subject is renamed by an adjective, noun, or pronoun that follows them.

Also Read: Adverbs – Definition, Types, Use, Examples & Exercises

Examples of Predictive Adjectives

Here are some examples of predictive adjectives:

  • Descriptive adjectives: beautiful, delicious, exciting, fast, funny, happy, interesting, kind, loud, quiet, sad, slow, smelly, soft, sweet, tall, ugly, wet.
  • Comparative adjectives: better, bigger, brighter, colder, darker, deeper, easier, faster, fuller, harder, higher, hotter, less, smaller, softer, sweeter, taller, wetter.
  • Superlative adjectives: best, biggest, brightest, coldest, darkest, deepest, easiest, fastest, fullest, hardest, highest, hottest, least, smallest, softest, sweetest, tallest, wettest.

Predictive adjectives can be used to describe the subject of a sentence in various ways. For example, they can be used to:

  • Describe the subject’s physical appearance: The sky is blue. The flowers are beautiful.
  • Describe the subject’s personality: The teacher is kind. The dog is playful.
  • Describe the subject’s emotional state: The little girl is happy. The boy is sad.
  • Describe the subject’s abilities: The runner is fast. The student is intelligent.
  • Describe the subject’s senses: The food tastes delicious. The music sounds beautiful.

Predicate adjectives can also be used to compare and contrast two or more things. For example:

  • The red car is faster than the blue car.
  • The new house is bigger than the old house.
  • The mountain is the highest in the range.

Also Read: Want to improve your English? You should definitely read these Best English Grammar Books.

Predicative Adjectives vs Attributive Adjectives

Now that you know about predicative adjectives, let’s come to attribute adjectives. As we know, predicative adjectives come right after the modifying noun, attributive adjectives are just vice versa. The attributive adjectives come right before the nouns. To make it easier for you to understand, the table below shows the differences between both adjectives with suitable examples. 

FeaturePredicate AdjectiveAttributive Adjective
PositionAfter a linking verbBefore the noun or pronoun it modifies
FunctionDescribes the subject of the sentenceDescribes the noun or pronoun it modifies
ExamplesThe dog is happy. The ball is red. The children are smart.The big dog barked. The red ball rolled away. The happy children played.

Must Read: Career in Functional English


What is a predicate adjective?

A predicate adjective is an adjective that comes after a linking verb to describe the subject of the sentence. 

How can I identify a predicate adjective in a sentence?

To identify a predicate adjective, look for an adjective that comes after a linking verb. 

How can I use predicate adjectives effectively in my writing?

Predicate adjectives can be used to make your writing more descriptive and interesting. For example, instead of writing “The cat is white,” you could write “The snow-white cat curled up on the sofa.”

Hopefully, this blog was able to help you get a better understanding of Predicative 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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