What is a Predicate Adjective? Useful Predicate Adjective Examples

Have you ever wondered what a predicate adjective is and how it functions in a sentence? It is an important part of many sentences and can help to add meaning and depth to your writing. In this article, we’ll explore what predicate adjectives are, how they differ from other types of adjectives, and provide examples of how to use them effectively in your writing. Happy learning!

Key Takeaways

  • Predicate adjectives describe the subject and follow a linking verb.
  • Linking verbs, such as “is,” “seem,” or “become,” connect predicate adjectives to the subject.
  • Correct use of predicate adjectives enhances clarity and richness of the English language.

Understanding Predicate Adjectives

Predicate Adjective

What Are Predicate Adjectives?

Predicate adjectives are essential elements of English grammar that enrich and provide clarity to sentences. They are adjectives that follow a linking verb and describe the subject of the sentence. For example, in the sentence “The sky is blue,” “blue” is the predicate adjective describing the subject “The sky.”

Structure Using Predicate Adjectives

The most common sentence structure using this type of adjective is: [Subject] + Linking Verb + Predicate Adjective

The subject of a sentence is usually a noun, pronoun or noun phrase and easy to identify.

The linking verbs most commonly associated with predicate adjectives include forms of “to be” such as isamarewas, and were. Other verbs like appearseemfeellooksoundsmell, taste, sound, and turn can also serve as linking verbs. Here is a simple table to illustrate this point:

Subject Linking Verb Predicate Adjective
The cake tastes delicious
She feels tired
The sounds seem eerie
My neighbors are friendly

Predicate Adjectives vs. Adverbs

One frequent mistake learners make is confusing adjectives with adverbs in the predicate. Adjectives describe nouns, whereas adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Predicate adjectives describe the subject of the sentence and not how the action of the verb is performed.

Incorrect Use (Adverb) Correct Use (Adjective)
The soup tastes nicely. The soup tastes nice.
She looks beautifully. She looks beautiful.

To test if an adjective is used correctly, one can try replacing the phrase with ‘is/are/am’ followed by the adjective. If the sentence still makes sense, the word in question is likely an adjective.

More information can come after the adjective, but let’s keep things light for now. In summary, we start the sentence with the subject, use a linking verb to make a connection with a description, and finish the thought with that description.

Usage of Predicate Adjectives

In Positive Sentences

In positive sentences, predicate adjectives describe a characteristic or attribute of the subject. The basic structure of a positive sentence with a predicate adjective is as follows:

[Subject] + Linking Verb + Predicate Adjective

Here are a few examples:

  • The flowers are beautiful.
  • She looks happy today.
  • His performance was outstanding.

In each of these examples, the predicate adjective (in italics) follows a linking verb (in bold) and provides a description of the subject.

In Negative Sentences

In negative sentences, predicate adjectives express the absence of a particular quality or attribute. To form a negative sentence with a predicate adjective, add a negation word (e.g., not, never) before the predicate adjective. The basic structure of a negative sentence with a predicate adjective is as follows:

[Subject] + Linking Verb + Negation Word + Predicate Adjective

Here are a few examples:

  • The weather is not warm today.
  • He seems never satisfied with his job.
  • They were not prepared for the exam.

In these examples, the predicate adjective (in italics) still follows a linking verb (in bold) and describes the subject, but a negation word is added to express the absence of the quality or attribute.

Linking Verbs in Detail

What are Linking Verbs?

Linking verbs play a crucial role in sentences with predicate adjectives. They do not express action but rather connect the subject of the sentence to more information about it. Common examples of linking verbs include “be” verbs, such as “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” and “were,” as well as verbs like “seem,” “appear,” and “become.”

In a sentence with a predicate adjective, the linking verb connects the subject to the adjective that describes it. For example, in the sentence “The cake is delicious,” the subject is “The cake,” the linking verb is “is,” and the predicate adjective is “delicious.” The verb “is” links the subject to the adjective that provides further information about it.

It is important to note that not all verbs can function as linking verbs. Action verbs, such as “run,” “eat,” or “write,” describe actions and are not used to connect the subject with predicate adjectives. For example, in the sentence “She eats quickly,” the verb “eats” is an action verb, and “quickly” is an adverb, not a predicate adjective.

Here are a few examples of sentences with linking verbs and predicate adjectives:

  • The flowers are fragrant.
  • Her performance was impressive.
  • He feels confident about the presentation.
  • Close the window so the temperature stays warm.

Common Linking Verbs

Here’s a shortlist of common linking verbs with their examples:

  • Be: “He is very sad.”
  • Become: “She wants to become better everyday.”
  • Seem: “The movie seems interesting.”
  • Appear: “The sky appears blue.”
  • Feel: “I feel happy today.”
  • Look: “The dress looks beautiful on you.”
  • Smell: “The flowers smell sweet.”
  • Sound: “The music sounds loud.”
  • Taste: “The soup tastes salty.”
  • Grow: “The plants are growing quickly.”
  • Remain: “The situation remains unchanged.”
  • Stay: “She stayed mad all day.”
  • Turn: “The leaves turn yellow in the fall.”
  • Prove: “The evidence proves credible.”
  • Keep: “She kept calm through the procedure”
  • Get: “She gets angry easily.”
  • Make: “The rain makes the roads slippery.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of commonly used predicate adjectives?

Predicate adjectives provide information about the subject and typically follow a linking verb. Some common examples are:

  • Amelia is happy.
  • The flowers smell fragrant.
  • The dog looks tired.

In these cases, the predicate adjectives (in italics) describe or modify the subject.

How can you differentiate between a predicate noun and a predicate adjective?

Predicate nouns and predicate adjectives both serve as complements to the subject. The main difference is that predicate nouns rename or identify the subject, while predicate adjectives describe or modify it. Predicate nouns are linked to the subject through a linking verb, and typically come after the verb. Predicate adjectives also follow a linking verb but describe the subject’s attributes.

Which linking verbs are typically used with predicate adjectives?

The most common linking verb used with predicate adjectives is “to be” in its various forms (am, are, is, was, were, etc.). Other linking verbs include appear, become, feel, grow, look, seem, smell, sound, and taste. These linking verbs connect the subject to the predicate adjective.

How do attributive and predicative adjectives differ?

Attributive adjectives come before the noun or pronoun they modify, while predicative adjectives follow the noun or pronoun and are connected by a linking verb. For example:

  • Attributive: She has long hair.
  • Predicative: Her hair is long.

In what ways can a participle function as a predicate adjective?

A participle can function as a predicate adjective when it takes the form of a past or present participle (verbs ending in -ed or -ing) and modifies a noun or pronoun. For example:

  • The window was broken.
  • The cake is baking.

In these sentences, the participles (broken and baking) are predicate adjectives describing the state of the subject.

What is the process of identifying a predicate adjective in a sentence?

To identify a predicate adjective, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the subject of the sentence.
  2. Find the linking verb that connects the subject to the rest of the sentence.
  3. Look for an adjective that follows the linking verb and modifies the subject. This is the predicate adjective.