Predicative Position Of Adjectives

Adjectives can be placed after be (is, am, are, was, were) and other copular verbs like look, seem, appear, feel etc. In this case, the adjective describes the subject of the sentence.

  • She is beautiful.
  • Our house is small.
  • This car is new, isn’t it?
  • She looked tired.
  • I felt sorry for her.
  • The fish tasted awful.
  • I was surprised to hear the news.
  • She seemed upset.

Adjectives used only in predicative position

1. Some adjectives beginning with the letter ‘a-‘ are used mainly in predicative position.

Examples are: afraid, afloat, alight, alike, alive, alone, asleep, awake etc.
Before nouns we use other words.

  • The baby fell asleep.
  • The deer saw a sleeping tiger. (NOT… saw an asleep tiger.)
  • He is afraid.
  • He is a frightened man. (NOT…an afraid man.)

2. The adjectives ill and well are most common in predicative position.
Before a noun, we use other words.

  • She is ill.
  • He is an unhealthy child. (NOT… an ill child.)
  • Who looks after the sick people? (NOT…ill people.)
  • She speaks English well.
  • I can speak good English. (NOT…well English.)

Manjusha Nambiar

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

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