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Attribute and Predicate Adjectives

Grade 6
Aug 29, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. The shop that sells fruits seems empty. 
  1. The little girl is walking with her mother.    
  1. The young lady in the meat store is bargaining with the vendor. 

Attribute and Predicate Adjectives We know that an adjective is a word that modifies a noun. It tells us something about the noun. In the above sentences, it can be seen that the adjectives were used very effectively as they describe the nouns in some way. But a close look will give away something about the positions the adjectives have taken in each sentence. 

In the sentences “The shop that sells fruits seems empty,”, the adjective empty appears after the noun shop,which it describes. It does not appear before the noun, which is considered to be the typical position an adjective takes. 

In the following sentences, the adjectives little and young that modify the nouns girl  and lady respectively, appear before the nouns. 

This is because the adjectives take different positions in sentences according to the situation and the emphasis; sometimes before the noun they modify, and sometimes, after. 

Depending on the position they take, adjectives can be classified into two;Attribute adjectives and Predicate adjectives. 


Attributive adjectives: 

Read the sentence: 

  • David is a happy man. 

In this sentence, the adjective happy modifies the noun man. Here, we can see that the linking verb is,does not come in the way of the adjective happy and the noun man which it describes. It is right beside and is adjacent to the noun man. Therefore, we can say that in the above sentence the adjective happy is an attributive adjective

Now, let us define what an attributive adjective is: 

An attributive adjective is one that is immediately adjacent to the noun or pronoun that it modifies. It is not separated from the noun that it describes by a linking verb. 


  • I know him to be an honestman. 
  • Rachel is my bestfriend. 
  • The oldman works out for two hours a day. 
  • Dune is a brilliantmovie. 



Sometimes, it is possible for an attributive adjective to be used post positively, i.e., right after the noun or the pronoun that it modifies, like; 

  • We took the best decision possible
  • My friends gifted me something special

Predicate adjective: 

Read the sentence: 

  • The sky is blue

In this sentence, the adjective that describes the noun sky, is blue. But here, we can clearly see how the linking verb is, is coming in between the adjective blue and the noun sky, which it modifies. Since, the linking verb comes in the way of the adjective it describes, we can say that the adjective blue is a predicate adjective in the given sentence. 

 Now, let us define what a predicate adjective is: 

A predicate adjective is the one that comes after the noun it describes, and is separated by a linking verb. It describes the subject of the sentence. 


  • The movie was amazing. 
  • The show was funny
  • I am upset
  • The children are excited
Attribute and Predicate Adjectives


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