Question. Is there an attested technical term for the construction

'Object O is A.'

where O is a noun and A is an adjective?

Remarks. The phenomenon that I am hoping to read about, and find a usual terminology for, is that the adjective is not juxtaposed with the noun to modify it (as in e.g. 'the blue sky.'), but the noun is said to 'be' the adjecive (as in e.g. 'the sky is blue'). I need to know whether there are attested technical terms T1 and T2 with which one can modify the genus 'adjective' (here I use 'genus' in the biological sense) and speak of species called 'T1-adjectives' and 'T2-adjective', and in 'the blue sky', 'blue' is a 'T1-adjective', while in 'the sky is blue', 'blue' is a 'T2-adjective'.

1 Answer 1


The distinction you're looking for is between predicative and attributive adjectives. Predicative constructions take the form N V A where N is a noun in subject position, V is a verb (often the copula is but other verbs are possible) and A is the predicative adjective. Contrasted to this, an adjective used attributively will appear inside the noun phrase, modifying the noun, ie. A N. See: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/attributive-and-predicative-adjectives

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