As such, they ascribe a certain characteristic to a noun by preceding it. For example, "I admired the pretty sky." In this example, "pretty" is not only an adjective, it's an attributive adjective because it came before the noun "sky." Makes sense, right? Let's take a closer look.
Adjectives tell us more about the nouns in a sentence. This can include the noun's appearance, color, shape, size, age, origin, and more. For example, "That's an English saddle," or, "He's a talented programmer."
Although there are many different types of adjectives, they'll either be positioned before the noun or after it.
Now that we're familiar with their place before the noun as an attributive adjective, let's take a look at their place after the noun. These types of adjectives are called predicate adjectives. While it's true these nouns will appear after the noun, there will always be a linking verb in between the two.
The job of a linking verb is to connect the subject of the sentence (typically, a noun) with more information. Linking verbs are often "to be" verbs. Common linking verbs include:
For example, "She is pretty," or, "The dog appears content." These modifiers are still adjectives because they're providing us with more information about the subject (noun) of the sentence.
As you can see, attributive adjectives are generally more straightforward than their counterparts, predicate adjectives. Let's enjoy a dozen sample sentences.
This is the greenest land I've ever seen.
It was a captivating, enticing, and most peculiar novel.
The soaring eagle sped gracefully across the misty sky.
The rose-colored petals waved softly to the floor.
Is that an English rose?
Come, sit by the crackling fire; he spins a marvelous tale.
The scented candles flickered in the night.
What a grim, nasty, ineloquent divorce.
My aching back won't give me a rest.
The soft pillows lulled me straight into a deep sleep.
Her porcelain skin was constantly remarked upon.
The dog's bushy tail wagged all the way home.
Like any other member of the descriptor family, adjectives shouldn't be overused. In fact, it's best to be cautious with long lists of adjectives. If you can remove several words that are meant to describe another word and opt for one strong word instead, then you're doing well.
That said, nouns abound and adjectives love to adorn them. So, have at it! Just remember to moderate your usage to instances where the adjective will do wonders for your prose. While your drafting your next bit of writing, feel free to include adjective phrases in your first draft. Then, during the editing phase, be ruthless. Only keep the modifiers that truly take a stand.