FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Predicative adjective
Example
In the following examples, the adjective is highlighted in bold.
  • Attributive use:
    • It is a cold day.
    • He is a kind man.
    • I like blue sky.
  • Predicative use:
    • The sky is blue.
    • The joke she told was so funny, I could not stop laughing all day.
    • He went mad.

An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. However, adjective is not a universal word class; in other words, some languages do not have any adjectives. The Chinese languages, for example, have no adjectives; all the words that are translated into English as adjectives are, in fact, stative verbs. In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ... A noun, or noun substantive, is a part of speech (a word or phrase) that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ... Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ... A stative verb is one which asserts that one of its arguments has a particular property (possibly in relation to its other arguments). ...


A few linguists also classify possessive pronouns, such as his or her, and demonstratives, such as this or that as adjectives. A possessive pronoun is a word that attributes ownership to someone or something without using a noun. ... Demonstratives are deictic words that indicate which entities a speaker refers to, and distinguishes those entities from others. ...

Contents


Adjectives and adjectival phrases

An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ... A noun, or noun substantive, is a part of speech (a word or phrase) that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ...


An adjectival phrase is a phrase with an adjective as its head (e.g. full of toys). In English, an adjectival phrase may occur as a postmodifier to a noun (a bin full of toys), or as a predicate to a verb (the bin is full of toys). An adjectival phrase is a phrase with an adjective as its head (e. ... A phrase is a group of words that functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence. ... In linguistics and logic, a predicate is an expression that can be true of something. ...


Attributive and predicative

Adjectives are used in an attributive or predicative manner.


An attributive adjective is one which is part of a noun phrase with the noun which it modifies. In some languages, attributive adjectives precede the noun. This is the case in the Germanic languages, to which the English language belongs. In other languages, e.g. in French, the adjective follows the noun. The Germanic languages form one of the branches of the Indo-European (IE) language family. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


A predicative adjective is one which functions as the predicate, ie it is linked with the noun by a verb, often the copula (to be). In linguistics and logic, a predicate is an expression that can be true of something. ... The word copula originates from the Latin noun for a link or tie that connects two different things. ...


In English, most adjectives can occur in both predicative and attributive position. Some adjectives can't function as a predicate: They can only occur in attributive position. Examples include "main" and "former" (a "*" in front of an expression indicates that it is ungrammatical):

This is the main reason.
*This reason is main.
This is the former president.
*This president is former.

Other adjectives can only be predicative, i.e. they can't occur in attributive position. An example of this is "alone":

This man is alone.
*This is an alone man.

Nominal use of adjectives and adjectival use of nouns

Adjectives are sometimes used in place of nouns, as in many of the Beatitudes (e.g. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy"); these are called substantive adjectives. Such usage is very common in the Romance languages. In languages with grammatical genders, such as Latin, the gender of the adjective may indicate the gender of the implied noun; thus malus means the bad man; mala, the bad woman; malum, the bad thing. In some languages, participles are used as adjectives. The Beatitudes (from Latin, beatitudo, happiness) is the name given to a well-known, and to some, such as Henri Nouwen, definitive and central, portion of the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. ... The Romance languages, also called Romanic languages or New Latin languages, are a subset of the Italic languages, specifically the descendants of the Latin dialects spoken by the common people in what is known as Latin Europe (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish Europa latina, Catalan Europa llatina, French Europe latine, Romanian Europa... In linguistics, grammatical genders, also called noun classes, are classes of nouns requiring different agreement forms on determiners, adjectives, verbs or other words. ... In linguistics, a participle is an adjective derived from a verb. ...


English is rather unusual in that it allows nouns to be used attributively, as in a Georgia peach. These are not adjectives, as they cannot be used predicatively. While ripe has both roles (a ripe peach is similar in meaning to the peach is ripe), a Georgia peach cannot be rephrased as *the peach is Georgia.


Comparison of adjectives

In many languages that have adjectives, the adjectives may have comparative and superlative forms, as does English. Adjectives which can be compared in this way are called gradable adjectives. In grammar the comparative is the form of an adjective or adverb which denotes the degree or grade by which a person, thing, or other entity has a property or quality greater or less in extent than that of another. ... In grammar the superlative of an adjective or adverb indicates that a member of a set transcends the other members in some way. ...


Not all languages have comparative and superlative forms. For instance the Chadic language Bole uses verbs meaning "to surpass" and "to be equal to": "I am taller than you" would in Bole be something like "I surpass you concerning height", no comparative needed. As for showing equality, the verbs used mean "to reach", "to suffice" and even "to do": "I am as tall as you" would be "I do you concerning height". In some Romance languages, there are no superlative and comparative forms of adjectives per se, but they are instead constructed with adverbs meaning "more," "most," "less," and "least." So, in literal translation, a French speaker says not "I am taller than you," but "I am more tall than you."


Comparison of adjectives in English

Adjectives in English have comparative and superlative forms. These are formed in one of two ways: either by suffixes (big, bigger, biggest) or by the use of the grammatical particles more and most. Some adjectives in English have suppletive forms in their comparison, such as good, better, best. In grammar the comparative is the form of an adjective or adverb which denotes the degree or grade by which a person, thing, or other entity has a property or quality greater or less in extent than that of another. ... In grammar the superlative of an adjective or adverb indicates that a member of a set transcends the other members in some way. ... Suffix has meanings in linguistics, nomenclature and computer science. ... In linguistics and etymology, suppletion is the use of one word as the inflected form of another word when the two words are not cognate. ...


Which English adjectives are compared by which means is a complex matter of English idiom. Generally, shorter adjectives, Anglo-Saxon words, and shorter, fully domesticated French words (e.g. noble) use the suffixes. Longer words, especially those derived from Greek and Latin, require more and most. A fair number of words, especially longer adjectives that end in Anglo-Saxon derivative suffixes like -ly, can take either form. Look up Idiom on Wiktionary, the free dictionary An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not compositional—that is, whose meaning does not follow from the meaning of the individual words of which it is composed. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Latin is an Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...


Grammatical prescriptivists frequently object to phrases such as more perfect, on the grounds that being perfect is a quality that by definition admits to no comparison. Most speakers of English understand the phrase to mean more nearly perfect, however, and dismiss the prescriptivists' objection as pedantry. In linguistics, prescription is the laying down or prescribing of normative rules for a language. ...


General usage guide


Most one syllable adjectives take the suffixes -er/-est.


Two syllable adjectives tend to be split between the two possibilities. Some take either and the situation determines the usage. For example, one will see commoner and more common, depending on which sounds better in the context.


Adjectives with three or more syllables generally use more/most but there are exceptions. The use of -er/-est extends to more longer words in American English than British English.


There are a number of endings which generally do not use -er/est but there are exceptions. For example adjectives which end in ous do not take -er/-est yet you will find curiouser in both Websters Third and the Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition. This is only because Lewis Carroll used it incorrectly in curiouser and curiouser to produce a particular effect. It would not be used in good English except for effect.


Whilst most adjectives are gradable there are also many that are not gradable and therefore do not use either. For example in a planktonic organism the adjective planktonic simply means plankton-type and does not take either since there are no degrees or grades of planktonic; an organism is either one of those in plankton or it isn't. For gradable adjectives -er/-est and more/most are only used on the base form of the adjective (eg you do not use lessest).


A good general rule is to use whatever sounds natural and gives the desired effect. Shorter adjectives are generally well known and using -er/-est sounds natural and the meaning is clear. Longer adjectives are less well known and the use of -er/-est may not be clear and using more/most leads to clarity. It should be remembered in particular that the use of -er for adjectives is a relatively minor part of the overall usage of this ending. For example -er is extremely common as a way of converting action nouns to someone who does the action stated by the noun eg break gives breaker, talk gives talker, etc (there are thousands of these). Putting -er on an unfamiliar adjective can easily lead to confusion.


Order of adjectives

One of the details of proper English usage involves the conventional sequence in which adjectives are concatenated before a noun. Native speakers pick this up as a matter of course; those who are learning it as an adult have to memorize it. Other languages will have other sequences.


The adjectives which go nearest the noun may be called phrase-making adjectives; e.g., tree frog. Before this can come color adjectives; e.g., red tree frog, and before that, participial adjectives; e.g., whining red tree frog. The first adjectives are sometimes called absolute adjectives; e.g., nasty whining red tree frog. Articles, which may be considered a form of adjective, come first of all; e.g., the nasty whining red tree frog. The reason this must be learned is that the reverse order is incomprehensible; e.g., the *tree red whining nasty frog. Also, if there are more than one, the number, which is after all an adjective, precedes all other adjectives except for articles. e.g., the four nasty whining red tree frogs.

  • Number
  • Value/Opinion
  • Size
  • Age/Temperature
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Origin
  • Material

See also

  • Grammar
  • List of non-standard English adjectives

Grammar is the discovery, enunciation, and study of rules governing the use of language. ... Following is a list of infrequently used English adjectives that are non-standard, in that they are not derived from the same root as the corresponding noun, or they are based on the same root, but in a way that is non-intuitive even to a native English speaker. ...

References

  • Brown, K. and Miller, T. (1999) "Concise Encyclopedia of Grammatical Categories". Elsevier. ISBN 008043164X

External links

  • Adjective order in English
  • Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Downloadable Papers on Bole

  Results from FactBites:
 
What is an Adjective? (663 words)
An adjective is a word which acts to modify a noun in a sentence.
The first role is to act as a predicative adjective, in which the adjective modifies a preceding noun as a predicate, linked by a verb.
in which the adjective striped is linked the subject of the sentence, zebra, by use of the copula verb to be in the is form.
Adjective - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1737 words)
Similarly, possessive adjectives, such as his or her, are sometimes called determinative possessive pronouns, and demonstrative adjectives, such as this or that, determinative demonstratives.
In English, an adjectival phrase may occur as a postmodifier to a noun (a bin full of toys), or as a predicate to a verb (the bin is full of toys).
"Adjectives of relation" are adjectives formed from a noun, with the general meaning "of, relating to or like (the noun)" (the precise range of meanings, and shades of meaning, varies case by case).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m