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Attributive and predicative adjectives. A few adjectives such as old, late and heavy can take on a different meaning when used attributively.

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Presentation on theme: "Attributive and predicative adjectives. A few adjectives such as old, late and heavy can take on a different meaning when used attributively."— Presentation transcript:

1 Attributive and predicative adjectives

2 A few adjectives such as old, late and heavy can take on a different meaning when used attributively.

3 Compare Agatha Withers is very old now (i.e. in years - predicative) He s an old friend (i.e. I've known him a long time - attributive)

4 Your suitcase is very heavy (i.e. in weight - predicative) Paterson is a heavy smoker (i.e. he smokes a lot - attributive)

5 You're late again (i.e. not on time - predicative) My late uncle was a miner (i.e. he's dead now - attributive)

6 Adjectives used predicatively The following are used predicatively in connection with health: –faint, ill, poorly, unwell and well What's the matter with him? - He's ill/unwell He feels faint How are you? - I'm very well thank you I'm fine thanks

7 Fine relating to health is predicative; used attributively it means 'excellent' (e.g. She's a fine woman).

8 The adjectives sick and healthy can be used in the attributive position where /// and well normally cannot:

9 What's the matter with Mr. Court? - He's a sick man Biggies was very ill but he s now a healthy man

10 Predicative adjectives beginning with 'a-' Adjectives like the following are used only predicatively: afloat afraid. alight alike, alive alone, ashamed asleep awake

11 The children were asleep at 7 but now they're awake We can express similar ideas with attributive adjectives:

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13 Predicative adjectives describing feelings, reactions, Some adjectives describing feelings, etc., (content, glad, pleased sorry upset) and a few others, e.g. far and near (except in e.g. the Far East/the Near East) are normally used only predicatively:

14 / am very glad to meet you [> 16.26] Your hotel is quite near here It isn't far from here

15 We can express the same ideas with attributive adjectives: –She is a happy (or contented) woman

16 Adjectives which restrict the reference of the noun are always attributive:

17 certain (a woman of a certain age); chief (my chief complaint); main (my main concern); only (the only explanation); particular (my particular aim); principal (the principal reason); sole (my sole interest) and very itself {the very man I wanted to see).

18 Adjectives after nouns in official titles The adjective follows the noun in a number of 'titles': e.g. Attorney General Governor General Postmaster General,

19 Adjectives which can come before or after nouns Adjectives before or after nouns with no change in meaning

20 A limited number of adjectives, mostly ending in -able and -ible, can come before or after nouns, usually with no change of meaning. Some of these are: available eligible, imaginable, taxable –I doubt whether we can complete our contract in the time –available/in the available time

21 Adjectives before or after nouns with a change in meaning A few adjectives change in meaning depending on whether they are used before or after a noun. Some of these are: concerned elect involved present, proper responsible

22 The concerned (= worried) doctor rang for an ambulance The doctor concerned (= responsible) is on holiday This elect (= specially chosen) body meets once a year The president elect (= who has been elected) takes over in May

23 It was a very involved (= complicated) explanation The boy involved (= connected with this) has left

24 Present employees (= those currently employed) number Employees present (= those here now) should vote on the issue

25 It was a proper (= correct) question The question proper (= itself) has not been answered

26 Janet is a responsible girl (= She has a sense of duty.) The girl responsible (= who can be blamed) was expelled

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