Small clauses are clauses with "to be" deleted.

I found him (to be) difficult.

And as we all know, an adjective complement can be added afterward.

I found him (to be) difficult to work with.

I found him happy to do the job.

She appeared unable to work with me.

I considered him incapable of doing anything.

And there was this sentence:

a. I thought him angry at me.

Somehow, this sentence sounded extremely unnatural to me. Also this.

b. She called me different from others.

c. I called him incapable of doing anything.

Even though they are theoretically correct, since there is an adjective complement after the adjective in the small clause, they sound extremely strange with the adjective complement. Are those sentences grammatically wrong? Do they sound natural to you? I am not a native speaker, so it's rather hard for me to judge.

Also, is it true that an adjective complement can be used if there is an adjective in the sentence, no matter what? Is there a situation in which the adjective complement cannot be used with an adjective because of a grammatical issue, not context?

  • 2
    They sound absolutely fine to a native speaker. You are probably trying to transfer some aspect of your native language to English. – Peter Shor Oct 16 '15 at 2:20
  • Sentences b and c too? – Ivan Oct 16 '15 at 2:21
  • To me, it seems those complements should not be added... – Ivan Oct 16 '15 at 2:22
  • 1
    All of them are fine. Does your native language have adjective complements, and are they allowable with the verbs corresponding to called and thought? – Peter Shor Oct 16 '15 at 2:23
  • It is hard to tell... it depends on the sentence. – Ivan Oct 16 '15 at 2:27

In my dialect/idiolect (a) sounds archaic, if not obsolete; something one might find in a Dickens novel. (b) doesn't sound "native"; 'thought' or 'considered', however, is fine. (c) might pass for a native's utterance, but 'thought' sounds better & perfectly normal. To me the issue here is one of style, not grammar.

  • 3
    "In [your] dialect/idiolect" ... which is what? – TrevorD Apr 13 '16 at 20:58
  • As a native British English speaker it sounds a little archaic to me too! – BoldBen Oct 11 '16 at 10:20

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