Complements Of Adjectives

Some adjectives can be followed by other words and expressions which complete their meaning. These adjective ‘complements’ can be of different kinds. For example, some adjectives are followed by preposition + noun / -ing form. Others are followed by infinitives.

  • She is interested in philosophy. (Here the adjective interested is followed by a preposition + noun.)
  • She is interested in learning philosophy. (Here the adjective interested is followed by a preposition + -ing form.)
  • We are ready to start. (Here the adjective ready is followed by an infinitive.)
  • You don’t look happy to see me.

If the infinitive has its own subject, it is introduced by for.

  • She is anxious for her daughter to get a good job. (= She is anxious that her daughter should get a good job.)

Many adjectives can be followed by more than one kind of complement.

  • I am pleased about your success. (preposition + noun)
  • I am pleased to accept this invitation. (to-infinitive)
  • I am pleased that you are doing well in your studies. (that-clause)

Note that if the adjective is followed by a noun, we put the complement after the noun.

  • He is a difficult person to work with. (NOT He is a difficult to work with person.)

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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