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I mean adjectives like: ablaze, afloat, alive, ashore, ...

I did a quick Google search and found that they are called a adjectives. But I do remember that I came across a different denomination in a grammar book some time ago, but I have since forgotten that word.

Could anyone help?

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  • I believe they are simply called: "prepositional phrases" (e.g., asleep comes from the Old English PP “on sleep”). I don't know if that is the answer you are looking for, if it is, someone can expand and submit it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 14, 2016 at 12:25
  • Thx for your edit & for adding 'alive' @Mari-LouA. But I think I came across a different word than your suggestion.
    – user15851
    Feb 14, 2016 at 12:31
  • Closely related: What is the history of adding the a- prefix to form words?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 14, 2016 at 13:03
  • @Mari-LouA Interesting & informative but still not very helpful!
    – user15851
    Feb 14, 2016 at 13:12
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    @Mari-LouA Got to go and find da book; gosh, don't even remember what grammar book was it!
    – user15851
    Feb 14, 2016 at 13:26

1 Answer 1

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Oxford ALD refers to them as predicative adjectives usually occurring after copulative verbs such as Be, Seem, Get, Become, Look, etc. Also:http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/adjectives.htm

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  • Found the book -- it refers to them as predicative adjectives too.Thank you for your help.
    – user15851
    Feb 14, 2016 at 18:58
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    From the link: The most common of the so-called a- adjectives are *ablaze, afloat, afraid, aghast, alert, alike, alive, (etc.). These adjectives will primarily show up as predicate adjectives (i.e., they come after a linking verb). Not all adjectives that begin with an "a" are predicative. Not all predicative adjectives are "a-adjectives".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 15, 2016 at 14:17

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