A sentence expresses a complete thought as opposed to a phrase that can give a lot of information, but does not complete the whole thought. All sentences have a subject and a predicate. The subject is the person, thing, place, or idea that the sentence is about and can be a noun, a pronoun, or a noun phrase. The predicate tells something about the subject, like what it did or how it looks.
An example of a simple sentence where there is a noun for the subject and a verb for the predicate is “Mary jogs.” Sometimes the subject is implied in a sentence, like “Watch out!” The person you are addressing is the subject of the sentence, so the sentence is “You watch out!”
A simple predicate has a verb, a string of verbs, or a compound verb. Examples of these three are: “She swam.” “She has been swimming.” and “She swam, got tired, and climbed out of the pool.” The verb is “swam” the verb string is “has been swimming” and the compound verb is “swam, got tired, and climbed”
A predicate adjective is part of the predicate of a sentence and describes the subject. Most descriptive adjectives can become predicate adjectives. The predicate adjective is linked to the subject with a linking verb like: is, are, was, were, has been, or will be.
Here are some sample sentences to help answer the question, “What is a predicate adjective?” The predicate adjective is underlined.
Predicate adjectives can be used with pronouns, like in “I am happy” and “You are brilliant.” Predicate adjectives can be proper adjectives as in: “That chocolate is Swiss” and “The car is German.” A predicate adjective can be hyphenated, as in “The disease is wide-spread” or “The product is over-rated.”
A final example to answer the question, “What is a predicate adjective?” is a group of special words. These are adjectives that can only be used as a predicate adjective. They are: asleep, alone, alive, aglow, afraid, and afloat.
There are so many adjectives in the English language they can be classified many ways. Here are the main categories of adjectives according to their use and a few examples.
You should also know that there are many more out there that describe, or modify, nouns and pronouns. Some of these kinds of adjectives would be: emotion, personality, sound, touch, taste, smell, speed, temperature, distance, brightness, and time.