Predicate Adjective

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Exploring the Uses of Predicate Adjectives

Every day we ask people to describe how they are feeling, saying “How are you?” The reply they give, such as “I’m fine” or “I’m a little sick today,” is a special kind of sentence that has a predicate adjective.

A predicate adjective is an adjectiveOpens in new window that comes after a linking verb and describes the subject of the sentence.

For Example:
  • The mission was interesting.
  • Roses are red.
  • Violets are blue.
  • His fingers are tiny.
  • Because his underarm deodorant is prune-scented, Gary is angry.
  • The new solar-powered laptop computers were expensive.

These sentences all contain predicate adjectives (words in bold) and linking verbs (words in italics).

As the examples illustrate, in a predicate adjective the subjectOpens in new window of a sentenceOpens in new window is linked with an adjective that describes the subject.

The verb that links the subject and the adjective is appropriately called a linking verbOpens in new window.

Every predicate adjective has a linking verb. Most of the time (but not always) the linking verb is some form of the verb to be.

Now, let’s pause a bit and take a quick look at linking verbs.

Linking Verbs: Forms of to be
will bebeingbeen
Predicate adjective example:
  • The facilities are excellent.
Other linking verbs
seemsmellsound (and) taste
Predicate adjective example:
  • The students looked confused.

Step by Step Guide to Write a Sentence with a Predicate Adjective

  • Step 1: Pick a subject: Sanitation
  • Step 2: Pick some adjectives that describe the subject such as strenuous, logical, exhausting, taxing
  • Step 3: Add a form of the linking verb to be (or other linking verb) to link the subject with the adjective. (See forms of Linking Verbs above)
  • Step 4: use steps 1 – 3 to form a Sentence with Predicate Adjective:
For Example:
  • Sanitation is strenuous.
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  • References
    • Olympiad Champs English Class 5 with Past Olympiad Questions 3rd Edition Descriptive Adjective (By Disha Experts, p. 69)
    • English Grammar for Students of Chinese What is a Descriptive Adjective(By Matthew B. Christensen, p. 86)

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