Attributive Adjectives vs. Predicative Adjectives

Attributive Adjectives vs Predicative Adjectives

Difference between Attributive Adjectives and Predicative Adjectives

Adjectives make sentences colorful and interesting by giving more details about nouns. They can stand in different places in a sentence, which changes their meanings. Two important types of adjectives are attributive and predicative adjectives. Let’s explore the difference between them and see how they work with examples.


Attributive Adjectives:

Attributive adjectives are like close friends to nouns. They usually come right before the noun and give us information about the noun’s qualities. They help us see what kind of noun we’re talking about. Here are some examples of attributive adjectives:

  • She has a red car.
  • The happy children played in the park.
  • He wore a warm sweater.
  • The tall tree provided shade.
  • The delicious pizza smelled amazing.

In these examples, the adjectives (red, happy, warm, tall, delicious) come before the nouns (car, children, sweater, tree, pizza) and describe their qualities.


Predicative Adjectives:

Predicative adjectives, on the other hand, come after linking verbs (like “is,” “are,” “was,” “were”) and describe the subject of the sentence. They tell us more about what the subject is like. Here are some examples of predicative adjectives:

  • The car is fast.
  • The children are excited.
  • The soup smells delicious.
  • She seems tired.
  • The sky looks clear.

In these examples, the adjectives (fast, excited, delicious, tired, clear) follow linking verbs and tell us more about the subjects (car, children, soup, she, sky).

Difference in Usage:

Remember, attributive adjectives are buddies with nouns and stand right before them, while predicative adjectives come after linking verbs and describe the subjects. Both types help make sentences more interesting by adding descriptions to nouns.


In short, attributive adjectives are noun’s pals, standing before nouns and describing them directly. Predicative adjectives work with linking verbs, adding details about the subject. By understanding the difference between these two types, you can bring more life and color to your sentences.


Exercise on Attributive Adjectives and Predicative Adjectives

Here are some sentences that contain attributive adjectives and predicative adjectives. Read the sentences and find adjectives. Remember, attributive adjectives stand with nouns, while predicative adjectives work with linking verbs. Use them wisely to make your sentences shine!

  • The blue sky looks beautiful.
  • The sky is clear today.
  • His old bicycle needs repair.
  • The cake smells delicious.
  • The big elephant amazed everyone.
  • They seem happy with the gift.
  • The cozy cabin is perfect for a vacation.
  • The soup is hot and comforting.
  • She bought a tiny kitten.
  • The flowers look bright in the garden.


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