Difference Between Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective

Main Difference – Predicate Nominative vs Predicate Adjective

Linking verbs are verbs that express a state. Predicate nominative and predicate adjective complete the meaning of a sentence containing a linking verb. The main difference between predicate nominative and predicate adjective is that predicate nominative is a noun that follows a linking verb whereas predicate adjective is an adjective that follows a linking verb. A predicate nominative renames the subject whereas a predicative adjective describes the subject.Difference Between Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective- infographic

What is a Predicate Nominative

A predicate nominative is a noun that follows the linking verb. This noun renames the subject of the sentence. The following examples will help you to understand this concept better.

Her father is a doctor. (Her father = subject, is = linking verb, doctor= predicative nominative) 

Marian is the shortest girl in the class.

He is the best teacher I’ve ever met.

Her friend is a captain of a ship.

You are a bad liar.

This play is a comedy.

The underlined nouns and noun phrases are all predicative nominatives. They follow the linking verb and refer back to the subject. In other words, they rename the subject. Predicate nominatives should not be confused with direct and indirect objects.

You can easily identify a predicative nominative by checking these guidelines:

Is it a noun or noun phrase?

Does it follow a linking verb?

Does it rename the subject?

Difference Between Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective

Elaine is a ballerina.

What is a Predicative Adjective

A predicative adjective is an adjective that follows the linking verb. These adjectives describe the subject of the sentence. Predicative adjectives can be used with a variety of linking verbs or state verbs. For example,

He felt sad (He = subject, felt = linking verb, sad= predicative adjective)

She seems pleasant.

We are happy.

This smells really bad.

The play seems very long.

You look so pretty.

The best way to identify predicative adjectives is to make sure that they complete the following requirements.

It is an adjective or an adjective phrase.

It follows a linking verb.

It describes the subject.

Main Difference - Predicate Nominative vs Predicate Adjective

The herbs smell good.

Difference Between Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective

Connection to Linking Verb

Predicate Nominative is a noun that follows the linking verb.

Predicate Adjective is an adjective that follows the linking verb.

Effect on Subject

Predicate Nominative renames the subject.

Predicate Adjective describes the subject.

Linking Verbs

Predicate Nominative is mainly used with the verb be.

Predicate Adjective can be used with many linking verbs.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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