Examples of Predicate Adjectives

Updated December 16, 2021
Aspen leaves as Examples of Predicate Adjectives
    Aspen leaves as Examples of Predicate Adjectives
    Jen Peng / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

How do you describe a subject? You do it the same way as you describe any noun — with an adjective. But when the noun is the subject of the sentence, you use a predicate adjective and a linking verb to modify it.

How to Use Predicate Adjectives

Predicate adjectives, also known as predicate complements, follow this pattern: subject + linking verb + adjective. Examples include:

  • Andy's sports car is Italian. (Andy's sports car is the subject, is is the linking verb, Italian is the predicate adjective)
  • He seems afraid of the dog. (He is the subject, seems is the linking verb, afraid is the predicate adjective)
  • That music sounds wonderful. (That music is the subject, sounds is the linking verb, wonderful is the predicate adjective)

Predicate Adjectives in Sentences

You'll find predicate adjectives in any kind of sentence, from simple to compound-complex. As long as the clause has a subject and a predicate, you can use a predicate adjective!

Examples of predicate adjectives in a sentence include:

  • Children grow older every day with nurturing and care.
  • The baby remains happy during her bath, and she goes to sleep as soon as it's done.
  • Her lasagna smells scrumptious; even the neighbors want a bite!
  • All the kittens are asleep except for one.
  • The assignment proved difficult for our class, so my teacher explained it better.
  • My neighbors are Japanese-American, but they don't speak any Japanese at all.
  • Mary would be perfect for him.
  • The ocean was aglow from the setting sun.
  • Her costume is strange since it covers her entire face.
  • The director remains hopeful in spite of bad reviews.
  • Aspen leaves turn yellow in the fall.
  • The two instruments look similar in size and color.

Participial Adjectives as Predicate Adjectives

Can you use participial adjectives to describe a subject? You probably already know the answer — you can use any adjective at all, even a participial adjective that ends in -ed or -ing! For example:

  • Bosses can be demanding when they want a project done well.
  • His horses appeared well-groomed at the race.
  • Tornadoes appear menacing if you've never lived through one.
  • Traffic becomes congested after work because of the construction down the road.
  • The senator was long-winded as he rambled through his speech.
  • The road trip became horrifying as we got lost again and again.
  • Your offer sounds enticing, but I must reject it.
  • According to Jane, A Tale of Two Cities is an exciting book.
  • Kelly felt ashamed when her sister made fun of her.
  • We're talented enough to audition for the show.

Multiple Predicate Adjectives in the Same Sentence

You can even have two or more predicate adjectives in the same sentence! For example:

  • Apples taste sweet and delicious.
  • After my workout, I feel powerful and energized.
  • The speaker is convincing and intelligent.
  • Thank goodness you are alive and well.
  • Your team was muddy, victorious and jubilant.
  • This lemonade tastes sweet and refreshing.
  • The climate here appears idyllic and temperate.
  • The flowers were beautiful and fragrant.
  • You look healthy and fit.
  • Some football players are large, strong and agile.
  • Mario is always punctual and prepared.
  • The mountain air smells piney and clean.

Adjective Phrases as Predicate Adjectives

If you'd like to use a multi-word adjective phrase as a predicate adjective, you can do that too. Just make sure it follows a linking verb and the subject of the sentence! For example:

  • All the artifacts in the museum are extremely valuable.
  • The purchase of the black opal ring is quite extravagant.
  • The lumber is heavier than I thought.
  • My blanket feels incredibly soft.
  • This dish tastes too spicy.
  • His stand-up routine proved surprisingly funny.
  • The ballerina is delicately graceful.
  • For eons, these mountains have remained stoically majestic.

Be Sure to Complement Your Subjects

Predicate adjectives are an important part of varying sentence structure, but using them too much may result in a tedious-sounding paragraph. For more sentence variety, check out: