This sentence is from the Cambridge dictionary: "There are risks inherent in almost every sport." inherent is an adjective, and it describes risks at there so as a second alternative "There are inherent risks in almost every sport." that should be more natural usage as I consider how I should use adjectives such as "red car", "green flag" etc.

If the first sentence is correct, could there anyone explain why Cambridge dictionary uses this word after the "risks"? This makes a difference because it affects how I use adjectives in sentences.

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    The sentence given in the dictionary contains (or can be seen as containing, at least) a reduced relative clause; it is equivalent to “There are risks which are inherent in every sport”. This is an especially common construction when you have an adjective that collocates with a prepositional phrase (like inherent in), but it can be used in other contexts as well. You wouldn’t generally use it for a simple adjective modifying a noun, though, so “*there are cars red” is ungrammatical, and “there are risks inherent” is at least questionable. Jul 22, 2019 at 14:25
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    @JanusBahsJacquet, can you be persuaded to repost your comment as an answer?
    – jsw29
    Jul 22, 2019 at 15:39
  • Does this answer your question? The Order of Modification in English Nouns, Preceding or Succeeding? where tchrist's answer includes 'languages very different from English; ie languages [which are] very different from English' with what some analyse as whiz-deletion. Dec 19, 2019 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


Either sentence is acceptable. The difference is a question of where the inherent nature is being ascribed. Though it's a very minor emphasis.

The first sentence is emphasizing the inherent nature of the sport. It says "inherent in ... sport" meaning the sport is the source of the inherent nature.

The second is emphasizing the inherent nature to the risk. It says "inherent risks" meaning the inherent nature is part of the risk.

You could, perhaps, try to emphasize the inherent nature as being part of the relationships between the sport and the risk. You could write something like the following. "The presence of risk in sport is inherent." This emphasizes the relationship, presence, as having the inherent nature.

In this case it is a matter of preference. Unless you are specifically trying to make the very minor distinction. For example, you might be approaching it from the point of view of there being a resistant small set of risks that are difficult to remove or reduce. Or you might be approaching it from the view that we should be trying to reduce things to that resistant core, and keeping that core as small as reasonably achievable.

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