I'm very aware of how verbs, indirect objects, and direct objects relate.

I gave Sam a ball.

Sam - indirect object and ball - direct object. Very simple! But what about when an adjective comes after a direct object?

I find her utterly repulsive!

What role does repulsive play in this sentence? Could this be one of those uncommon instances in which the adjective comes after the (pro)noun?

  • How the heck is this a duplicate? Come on, you-all. Not even close.
    – user231780
    Aug 5, 2017 at 19:09
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    – Kit Z. Fox
    Aug 14, 2017 at 15:21
  • I'd like to know in detail how it is a duplicate. @KitZ.Fox
    – user231780
    Aug 14, 2017 at 15:22
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1 Answer 1


This is a predicative complement, a complement to the verb which predicates a quality (repulsiveness) or identity of another constituent. Transitive verbs like find, think, call usually predicate their PCs of the object; intransitive verbs like be, look, grow usually predicate their PCs of the subject.

I find DOher PCrepulsive. I think DOher PCa hideous woman.
She looks PCrepulsive. She is PCa hideous woman.

  • Are you 100 percent sure nouns take predicate adjectives? I'm pretty sure only verb can take predicate adjectives and nouns.
    – user231780
    Jul 27, 2017 at 0:09
  • @SebastianPojman The PC is a dependent of the verb,not a modifier of the nominal or even a part of the NP; but it describes or identifies the subject or object. In classical theory, indeed, the verb itself (beyond its minimal copular function) is a predication on the subject. Jul 27, 2017 at 0:19
  • I don't understand...?
    – user231780
    Jul 27, 2017 at 0:23
  • 1
    Note that in the first two examples one can also insert to be: I find her to be repulsive; I think her to be a hideous woman. They have properties that are similar to an infinitive clause, but the markers to (marking an infinitive) and be (marking a predicate complement) are absent, but understood. Jul 27, 2017 at 0:33
  • 1
    @SebastianPojman She is hideous...*She* is the subject, BE is the verb. Hideous is the PC. It doesn't "modify" she; rather, the clause ascribes it to she--in classical theory, BE hideous is a predication on the subject she. The verb is sometimes called the 'predicator', and in the case of BE and other auxiliaries this is not unjust, since these are semantically nothing more than what classical theory called "copulas": they have no other semantic function than to sustain the predication. (They do have other syntactic and ancillary time-locative functions.) Jul 27, 2017 at 0:39