Exercise: attributive and predicative adjectives in context

Read the following  passage and find all the adjectives. Then decide whether they are attributive or predicative.

The young boy had never seen such a lovely house, with its colourful quaint windows and picturesque setting, shaded by ancient oaks and beeches. It was small and crooked, quite different to the manor-house in the distance with its stately towers and lofty battlements. To him, however, it looked comfortable and homely. He stood and stared, silent and respectful. Immersed in his own magical dream-world, he did not notice the slight, lone figure appear in the dark porch. As the old woman hobbled down the gloomy path, he was in a magical place, lost in dreams of full tables and warm beds. It was only the cold touch of an ancient hand that brought him back. And he fled, fearful. Wakened from a happy world to grim reality, he imagined the feeble owner of that cottage a cruel witch, yearning for his fresh young bones.


3 responses to “Exercise: attributive and predicative adjectives in context

  1. Sami

    thx ..that was very nice

  2. Meri

    You didn’t help me 😦

    • What seems to be difficult? Let me know and I might be able to help … but here are some basic tips.

      The first thing you need to be able to do is to spot a noun. Do you know the tests you can use to do this? These aren’t fool-proof, but they can help – try putting ‘the’ or ‘my’ in front of a word; try adding ‘-s’ to the end.
      e.g. house – the house; my house; houses
      threat – the threat; threats

      Once you’ve found a noun, look to see if there are any adjectives immediately before it giving us extra information about the noun – these are called attributive adjectives.
      e.g. the scary dog (‘scary’ is an attributive adjective)
      many dreadful adventures (‘dreadful’ is an attributive adjective)

      Predicative adjectives do exactly the same job, but they have a different position – they come after verbs like ‘be’, ‘grow’, ‘seem’, become’, ‘feel’
      e.g. the dog was scary (‘scary’ is a predicative adjective)
      many adventures seem dreadful (‘dreadful’ is a predicative adjective)

      The important thing about the position of the adjective is that predicative adjectives have a stronger meaning because they are in a more emphatic or stressed position.

      Hope this helps – let me know if you have any questions Smiley

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