Adjectives (прилагателни)

An adjective is a word like clever, beautiful, green, hungry, brave, which is used when we describe people, things, events etc. Adjectives are used in connection with nouns and pronouns.

Position of adjectives

Most adjectives can go in two main positions in a sentence:

a) before a noun (attributive position)

b) after be, seem, look and other copular verbs (predicative position)

Adjectives – Attributive position

Attributive adjectives go before the nouns they qualify.

Attributive adjectives after nouns

  1. Attributive adjectives can be put after nouns. This happens in certain fixed phrases.

Examples are: Attorney General, court martial, poet laureate, time immemorial, heir apparent etc.

2. Certain adjectives ending in ‘-ible’ and ‘-able’ are also put after the nouns they qualify.

3. Adjectives are always placed after words like something, everything, anything, nothing, somebody, everybody, somewhere etc.

Adjectives used only in attributive position

Some adjectives are used only in attributive position.

Common examples are: elder, eldest, live, little, mere, sheer etc.

After a verb, other words must be used.

Adjectives – Predicative position

Adjectives can be placed after be (is, am, are, was, were) and other copular verbs like look, seem, appear, feel etc. In this case, the adjective describes the subject of the sentence.

Adjectives used only in predicative position

  1. Some adjectives beginning with the letter ‘a-‘ are used mainly in predicative position.

Examples are: afraid, afloat, alight, alike, alive, alone, asleep, awake etc.
Before nouns we use other words.

2. The adjectives ill and well are most common in predicative position.
Before a noun, we use other words.

Adjectives without nouns

Adjectives are not normally used without nouns.

There are, however, some exceptions.

The + adjective is often used to talk about certain well known groups of people. The common expressions of this kind are: the blind, the deaf, the rich, the poor, the disabled, the jobless, the young etc.

Points to be noted

1. The above expressions are always plural: the blind means all blind people and the dead means all dead people or the dead people.

2. However, a few fixed phrases like the accused, the deceased, the former etc., can have a singular meaning as well.

3. Adjectives are not normally used in this way without the. However, adjectives without the can be used after possessives, certain quantifiers (many and more), and in paired structures with and or or.

4. These expressions cannot be used with a possessive ‘s.

The problems of the poor must be properly addressed. (NOT The poor’s problems…)

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