Daily Archives: March 12, 2019

Adjectives + Prepositions

Adjectives in English have a special place. There is a vast study of Adjectives. Understanding adjective meaning is not difficult with edumantra. Here we provide all adjective rules and adjective words that are used in the adjective exercise. With the help of some adjective examples, we will provide adjectives worksheets and adjectives quiz that will explain how to use adjectives in a sentence and how some examples of adjectives into adverbs. To study adjectives grammar learn the adjectives definition and find the adjectives kinds and adjective and be full of knowledge-

Adjectives + infinitive/that-clause/preposition constructions

(A)  due, due to, owing to, certain, sure, bound, confident

due, used of time, can take an infinitive:

  • The race is due to start in ten minutes.

But it can also be used alone:

  • The plane was due (in) at six. It is an hour overdue.

due to (preposition) means ‘a result of’:

  • The accident was due to carelessness.

 owing to means ‘because of’:

  • Owing to his carelessness we had an accident.

due to should be preceded by a subject + verb, but English people are careless about this and often begin a sentence with due to instead of with owing to.

 certain and sure take infinitives to express the speaker’s opinion.

bound is also possible here:

  • Tom is certain/sure/bound to win. (The speaker is confident of this.)

 But subject + certain/sure + that-clause expresses the subject’s opinion:

Tom is sure that he will win. (Tom is confident of victory.)

 confident that could replace certain/sure that above, but

confident cannot be followed by an infinitive.

 sure, certain, confident can be followed by of + noun/pronoun or gerund:

 Unless you’re early you can’t be sure of getting a seat.

bound can take an infinitive, as shown above, but not a that-clause.

 the bound + infinitive can also mean ‘under an obligation’:

According to the contract we are bound to supply the materials.

(B) afraid (of), ashamed (of), sorry (for or about)

 afraid of, ashamed of, sorry for/about + noun/pronoun or gerund:

  • She is afraid of heights/of falling.
  • He was ashamed of himself (for behaving so badly)ashamed of behaving so badly.
  • I’m sorry for breaking your window. (apology)
  • I’m sorry about your window. (apology/regret)
  • I’m sorry for Peter. (pity)

 afraid, ashamed, sorry can be followed by an infinitive.

  • She was afraid to speak. (She didn’t speak.)
  • I’d be ashamed to take his money. (I don’t/won’t take it.)
  • I’m sorry to say that we have no news.

 or by a that-clause:

  • I’m ashamed that I’ve nothing better to offer you.
  • She’s afraid (that) he won’t believe her. (fear)
  • I’m afraid (that) we have no news. (regret)
  • I’m sorry (that) you can’t come.

 (C) anxious (about), anxious + infinitive, anxious that

anxious (+ about + noun/pronoun) means worried:

  • I’m anxious (about Tom). His plane is overdue.

 be anxious (+ for + noun/pronoun) + infinitive = ‘to desire/to wish’:

  • I’m very anxious (for him) to see the Carnival.

anxious + that . . . + should is possible in very formal English:

  • The committee is anxious that this matter should be kept secret.

(D) fortunate and lucky can take either a that-clause or an infinitive, but there is usually a difference of meaning.

 It is fortunate/lucky that usually means ‘It’s a good thing that’:

  • It’s lucky that Tom has a car.
  • It’s lucky that he passed his test. (Now he can drive himself to the station/take the children to the seaside etc.)
  • It’s lucky for us that he has a car. (He can give us a lift etc.)

Subject + be + fortunate/lucky + infinitive, however, emphasizes the subject’s good fortune:

  • He’s lucky to have a car. (Many people haven’t got one.)
  • He was lucky to pass his test. (He wasn’t really up to the standard.)

is/are + fortunate/lucky + present infinitive is used mainly with static verbs. With was/were or the continuous or perfect infinitive there is a wider choice:

  • You were fortunate to escape unharmed.
  • You are lucky to be going by air.
  • He is lucky to have sold his house before they decided to build the new airport.

It is lucky/unlucky can, however, be followed by the infinitive of any verb:

  • It is unlucky to break a mirror. (It brings misfortune.)

fortunate and unfortunate are not used here but can be used in the other constructions. They are chiefly found in more formal English.

These adjectives can also be used alone or with a noun:

  • I wasn’t lucky. He’s fortunate.
  • Thirteen’s my lucky number. He’s a fortunate man.

(E) Possible, probable and likely can take a that-clause introduced by it. likely can also be used with a subject + infinitive

 (a) It’s possible that he’ll come today =

(b) Perhaps he’ll come/He may come today.

(a) It’s probable that he’ll come today =

(b) He’ll probably come today.

In each case, the (b) form is more usual than the (a) but the that-clause is convenient when we want to modify the adjectives:

 It’s just/quite possible that.

It’s not very probable that…

With likely both forms are equally useful:

  • It’s quite likely that he’ll come today =
  • He’s quite likely to come today.

 is/are + subject + likely + infinitive is very useful as it supplies an interrogative form for may (= be possible):

  • Is he likely to ring today?

possible, probable, likely can be used without a that-clause when it is quite clear what this would be:

  • Do you think he’ll sell his house? — It’s quite possible/probable/likely (that he’ll sell it).

(F) aware and conscious take a that-clause-or of + noun/pronoun or gerund:

  • It’ll be dangerous. — I’m aware that it’ll be dangerous/I’m aware of that.
  • I was conscious of being watched = I felt that someone was watching me.

conscious used by itself has a physical meaning:

  • I had only a local anaesthetic, I was conscious the whole time.

Position of Adjectives

Adjectives in English have a special place. There is a vast study of Adjectives. Understanding adjective meaning is not difficult with edumantra. Here we provide all adjective rules and adjective words that are used in the adjective exercise. With the help of some adjective examples, we will provide adjectives worksheets and adjectives quiz that will explain how to use adjectives in a sentence and how some examples of adjectives into adverbs. To study adjectives grammar learn the adjectives definition and find the adjectives kinds and adjective and be full of knowledge-

The position of adjectives: attributive and predicative use

(A) Adjectives in groups

this book              which boy           my dog

Adjectives in this position are called attributive adjectives.

(B) Adjectives of quality, however, can come either before their nouns:

a rich man               a happy girl

or after a verb such as (a) be, become, seem:

 Tom became rich.                        Ann seems happy.

appear, feel, get/grow (=become),  keep, look (=appear), make, smell, sound, taste, turn:

  • Tom felt cold.
  • He got/grew impatient.
  • He made her happy.
  • The idea sounds interesting.

Adjectives in this position are called predicative adjectives. Verbs used in this way are called link verbs or copulas.

(C) Note on link verbs

A problem with verbs is that when they are not used as link verbs they can be modified by adverbs in the usual way. This confuses the student, who often tries to use adverbs instead of adjectives after link verbs. Some examples with adjectives and adverbs may help to show the different uses:

  • He looked calm (adjective) = He had a calm expression.
  • He looked calmly (adverb) at the angry crowd. (looked here is a deliberate action.)
  • She turned pale (adjective) = She became pale.
  • He turned. Angrily. (adverb) to the man behind him. (turned here is a deliberate action.)
  • The soup tasted horrible (adjective). (It had a horrible taste.)
  • He tasted the soup suspiciously (adverb). (tasted here is a deliberate action.)

(D) Some adjectives can be used only attributively or only predicatively, and some change their meaning when moved from one position to the other.

Bad/good, big/small, heavy/light and old, used in such expressions as had sailor, good swimmer, big eater, small farmer, heavy drinker, light sleeper: old boy/friend/soldier etc., cannot be used predicatively without changing the meaning: a small farmer is a man who has a small farm, but The farmer is small means that he is a small man physically.

Used otherwise, the above adjectives can be in either position.

(For little, old, young, see also 19 B.)

chief, main, principal, slicer, utter come before their nouns.  frightened may be in either position, but afraid and upset must  follow the verb and so must adrift, afloat, alike (see 21 G), alive, alone, ashamed, asleep.

The meaning of early and late may depend on their position:

an early/a late train means a train scheduled to run early or late in the day. The train is early/late means that it is before/after its proper time:

poor meaning ‘without enough money’ can precede the noun or follow the verb.

 poor meaning ‘unfortunate’ must precede the noun.

poor meaning ‘weak/inadequate’ precedes nouns such as student, worker etc. but when used with inanimate nouns can be in either position:

He has poor sight.                  His sight is poor.

(E)     Use of and

With attributive adjectives and is used chiefly when there are two or more adjectives of colour. It is then placed before the last of these:

A green and brown carpet                       A red,  white and blue flag

With predicative adjectives and is placed between the last two:

The day was cold,        wet and windy.  

Order of adjectives of quality

 (A)Several variations are possible but a fairly usual order is: adjectives of

(a) size (except little; but see C below)

(b) general description (excluding adjectives of personality, emotion etc.)

(c) age, and the adjective little (see B)

(d) shape

(e) colour

(f) material

(g) origin

(h) purpose (these are really gerunds used to form compound nouns: walking stick, riding boots).

  • a long sharp knife
  • a small round bath
  • new hexagonal coins
  • blue velvet curtains
  • an old plastic bucket
  • an elegant French clock

Adjectives of personality /emotion come after adjectives of physical description, including dark, fair, pale, but before colours:

  • a small suspicious official
  • a long patient queue
  • a pale anxious girl
  • a kindly black doctor
  • an inquisitive brown dog

(B) little, old and young are often used, not to give information, but as part of an adjective-noun combination. They are then placed next to their nouns:

  • Your nephew is a nice little boy.
  • That young man drives too fast.

little + old + noun is possible: a little old lady. But little + young is not.

When used to give information, old and young occupy the position (c) above:

  • a young coloured man
  • an old Welsh Harp

 Adjectives of personality/emotion can precede or follow young/old:

  • a young ambitious man
  • an ambitious young man

young in the first example carries stronger stress than young in the second, so the first order is better if we wish to emphasize the age.

little can be used similarly in position (c):

  • a handy little calculator
  • an expensive little hotel
  • a little sandy beach
  • a little grey foal

But small is usually better than little if we want to emphasize the size.

 (C) fine, lovely, nice, and sometimes beautiful, + adjectives of size (except little), shape and temperature usually express approval of the size etc. If we say a beautiful big room, a lovely warm house, nice/fine thick steaks we imply that we like big rooms, warm houses and thick steaks.

fine, lovely and nice can be used similarly with a number of other adjectives:

  • fine strong coffee
  • a lovely quiet beach
  • a nice dry day

When used predicatively, such pairs are separated by and:

  • The coffee was fine and strong.
  • The day was nice and dry.

beautiful is not much used in this sense as a predicative adjective.

(D) pretty followed by another adjective with no comma between them is an adverb of degree meaning very/quite: She’s a pretty tall girl means She is quite/very tall. But a pretty, tall girl or, more usually, a tall, pretty girl means a girl who is both tall and pretty.