List of Predicative Adjectives


What are Predicative Adjectives?
Where do they go in a sentence?
What is the difference between Predicative Adjectives and Attributive Adjectives?

 Predicative Adjectives

Predicative adjectives give extra information to a sentence by describing or modifying the subject(s) of a sentence. The predicative adjective must be connected to the subject with a “linking verb” or a verb phrase.

For example:

  • they seem scared of the movie” “scared” is the adjective and “seem” is the linking verb.
  • The children have been asleep for hours” “asleep” is the adjective and “have been” is the verb phrase.

Predicative adjectives differ from attributive adjectives as attributive adjectives come before a noun and predicative adjectives are placed after a linking verb.

Below I have listed examples that contain predicative adjectives. While reading the examples, look out for the linking verb and where it is placed in the sentence.

  • Afloat – the ship is afloat in the ocean.
  • Asleep – the boy was asleep when his parents came home.
  • Beautiful – the sunset was beautiful last night.
  • Bright – the girl seemed bright for her age.
  • Congested – during rush hour the traffic is congested.
  • Dark – the house was dark inside.
  • Disappointed – the students felt disappointed with their exam results.
  • Enormous – the airplane seemed enormous to children.
  • Excellent – the weather has been excellent all week.
  • Excited – the dog felt excited for his morning walk.
  • Extravagant – her wedding dress was extravagant.
  • Forlorn – she seemed forlorn.
  • Funny – the sitcom can be funny.
  • Great – the dinner smelled great.
  • Happy – the football team were happy when they won the match.
  • Healthy – you can be healthy if you want to be.
  • Hopeful – the police became hopeful when they discovered new evidence at the crime scene.
  • Ideal – the intern seemed ideal for the job position.
  • Intelligent – a doctor must be intelligent.
  • Japanese – the restaurant is Japanese.
  • Jolly – they became jolly during the celebrations.
  • Kind – the teacher was kind to her students.
  • King-size – they ordered a king-size bed.
  • Lazy – teenagers can be lazy.
  • Lively – the birthday party was lively.
  • Lucrative – the investment became lucrative.
  • Mature – he is mature.
  • Miserable – the fans were miserable when the lost the final.
  • Muddy – the rugby pitch became muddy during the heavy rainfall.
  • Naughty – children can be naughty at times.
  • Noisy – their neighbours become noisy when they host parties.
  • Odd – they thought the play was odd and wouldn’t recommend it to their friends.
  • Oily – a chain on a bike is oily.
  • Painless – the operation should be painless.
  • Paranoid – he can be paranoid at times.
  • Powerful – the political speech was powerful and grabbed the audience’s attention.
  • Qualified – all of our mechanics are qualified.
  • Ravishing – the bride looked ravishing on her wedding day.
  • Reckless – his driving can be reckless.
  • Soft – some mattresses are soft, others are hard.
  • Sweet and sour – the melon tasted sweet whereas the lime tasted sour.
  • Terrific – it has been a terrific holiday!
  • Tidy – his car appears tidy until you look at the back seats.
  • Unbiased – a judge must be unbiased.
  • Understanding – her parents have always been understanding.
  • Ungrateful – she seems ungrateful.
  • Vain – models can be vain sometimes.
  • Vindictive – the criminal is vindictive, he wants revenge.
  • Waterproof – hiking gear should be waterproof.
  • Warm – the sun felt warm on their skin.
  • Xenophobic – a person who is afraid of or hates anything foreign is xenophobic.
  • Yellow – the yolk of an egg is yellow.
  • Young – the students in this class are young.
  • Zesty – lemons taste zesty.

Predicative adjectives can be used more than once in a sentence, for example:

  • The play was impressive and though-provoking.
  • The Irish flag is green, white and orange.
  • Gabriel seemed friendly and confident.
  • Backpacking can be exciting and amazing.
  • The lamb stew was delicious and comforting.
  • The apartment was furnished, well-located and affordable.

As you can see from the examples above, there are many adjectives that can be used as a predicative adjective but they can also be used as an attributive adjective, it depends on where they are placed in the sentence.

Normally, a predicative adjective is placed after a linking verb or verb phrase whereas a attributive adjective is positioned before the noun in the sentence.

For example:

  • It is a difficult exam. (attributive adjective)
  • The exam is difficult. (predicative adjective)
  • He is a sad man. (attributive adjective)
  • He is sad. (predicative adjective)


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List of Commonly Used Participial Adjectives

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