Attributive and Predicative Adjectives
|Most adjectives can occur
both before and after a noun:
Adjectives in the first position - before the noun - are called ATTRIBUTIVE adjectives. Those in the second position - after the noun - are called PREDICATIVE adjectives. Notice that predicative adjectives do not occur immediately after the noun. Instead, they follow a verb.
the Princess Royal
the worst conditions imaginable
the best hotel available
Most adjectives can freely occur in both
the attributive and the predicative positions. However, a small number
of adjectives are restricted to one position only. For
example, the adjective main (the main reason) can only occur
in the attributive position (predicative: *the reason is main).
Conversely, the adjective afraid (the child was afraid)
can only occur predicatively (attributive: *an afraid child).
copyright The Survey of English Usage 1996-1998
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