2011/12/07

Attributive adjectives after nouns


Most adjectives can go in two main places in a sentence: in attributive position and predicative position.
In attributive position, an adjective comes before the noun it modifies.
  • She is a nice girl.
  • She married a rich businessman.
In predicative position, an adjective goes after the verb.
  • She is nice.
  • He looked upset.
While attributive adjectives usually go before the nouns, a few can be used after nouns. This, for example, happens in some fixed phrases.
  • Secretary General
  • Poet Laureate
  • Attorney General
  • Court martial
Some adjectives ending in -able/-ible can also be used after nouns.
  • It is the only solution possible.
  • Book all the tickets available.
After something, everything etc.
Adjectives come after words like something, everything, anything, nothing, somebody, anywhere etc.
  • I would like to go somewhere quiet. (NOT I would like to go quiet somewhere.)
  • I heard something interesting today. (NOT I heard interesting something today.)
In most expressions of measurement adjectives come after the measurement noun.
  • ten years older (NOT Older ten years) (NOT ten older years)
  • six feet deep
  • two miles long
Verb + object + adjective
Adjectives can be placed after the object.
  • You make me happy.
  • Can you get the children ready for school?

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