What is a predicate adjective?
A predicative adjective is not part of the noun phrase headed by the noun it modifies; rather, it is the complement of a copulative function that links it to the noun.
For example, The book is big.
The predicative adjective big is linked by the verb is to the noun book, which it modifies.
Most general descriptive adjectives, as well as adjectives indicating color, can be used as predicate adjectives. In the following examples, the predicate adjectives are underlined.
The bag is red.
The big bear is brown.
The brown bear was big.
The horse is black.
The streets are long and narrow.
It is large, heavy and awkward.
The answer is puzzling.
These envelopes are small.
The bucket was heavy.
The weather will be cool and dry.
That child is young.
The cake is round.
The leaves are red, yellow and orange.
The package is small and light.
The weather is clear, cold and dry.
The footstool is round and black.
The clothes were clean and dry.
The dancers were tall, slender and graceful.
The children are asleep.
Our friends are here.
Their assistant is afraid.
Her brother is alone.
The performers are ready.
The bird is alive.
Pronouns can be used with predicate adjectives.
He is happy.
She is proud.
We are careful.
They are successful.
Proper adjectives are sometimes used as predicate adjectives.
That car is American.
This one is Japanese.
Hyphenated adjectives containing past participles are frequently used as predicate adjectives.
The orator was long-winded.
The belief is wide-spread.
Adjectives used only Predicatively
A few adjectives differ in meaning, depending upon whether they are used as predicate adjectives or attributive adjectives.
The treasurer was present.
the present treasurer.
Robin Harris was late.
the late Robin Harris.
My friend is poor.
my poor friend.