For example, the sentence "John was a policeman" or "Ben was angry." Both describe the subject, so I'd call them subject complements. But they could also be a predicate nominative and a predicate adjective.

  • The Difference Between Predicate Nominative vs. Predicate Adjective. ... A predicate nominative is a noun that completes the linking verb in a sentence. Predicate adjectives complete the linking verb by describing the subject of a sentence. Aug 8, 2021 at 17:25
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    Predicate nominative/predicate adjective are alternative names for predicative complements, or PCs, which may have subject orientation or object orientation. In your examples, the PCs are said to be subjective, or to have subject orientation.
    – BillJ
    Aug 8, 2021 at 17:39
  • @BillJ Could you give an example where a PC has object orientation? Aug 9, 2021 at 22:23
  • @linguisticturn In "They elected him President", the PC "President" has object orientation. And in "I consider Ed untrustworthy", the PC "untrustworthy" has object orientation. In the first example the PC is an NP; in the second an AdjP.
    – BillJ
    Aug 10, 2021 at 6:00
  • @BillJ Ah, I see. Thanks! Aug 10, 2021 at 15:30


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