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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #1

    Help me understand why these are predicate adjectives!

    Help! My son is learning about predicate nouns and predicate adjectives. I really thought I understood the difference, but I must not since I gave him incorrect direction on two questions. He had to identify if the last word in each of these sentences is a predicate noun or a predicate adjective. I believe they are predicate nouns, but his teacher says they are predicate adjectives.

    But Ned's project was a disaster.
    The evening sky was a spectacle.

    Are "disaster" and "spectacle" really predicate adjectives? I just don't get it... please help explain it to me!

    Thank you!!!

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    #2

    Re: Help me understand why these are predicate adjectives!

    But Ned's project was a disaster.

    This is a predicate adjective because "disaster" describes the main noun with the linking verb "was"

    project / was / disaster

    If it were a noun, it could replace (interchange with) the main noun.

    But we can't say Ned's disaster was a project.

    Sample of predicate noun:
    Ned's project was a model car.


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    #3

    Re: Help me understand why these are predicate adjectives!

    Thank you! That is helpful. All of the examples I have found on predicate adjectives feature words that are always adjectives. The examples noted above are confusing because the predicate adjective could be a noun in another application. Your explanation about how you must be able to interchange the two words (subject and predicate noun) clarifies things. Much appreciated!


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    #4

    Re: Help me understand why these are predicate adjectives!

    That pesky little determiner 'a' leads me, no great grammar parser atall, to believe that these are predicate nouns. I can't think of any adjective that makes use of an article/determiner.

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    #5

    Re: Help me understand why these are predicate adjectives!

    River - you are right!

    But Ned's project was a disaster.
    The evening sky was a spectacle.
    These are predicate nouns.


    Ned's project was disasterous.
    The evening sky was spectacular.
    These are predicate adjectives.

    I hope I did not thoroughly confuse the original poster!

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