"He is a beautiful boy."

I know that if an adjective is used before the noun, it is known as attributive, but here he is a pronoun and the adjective is used after the verb is. It's a little confusing as to what should I call the adjective in use- attributive or predicative? Is there any other term?

  • Does this answer your question? How to tell if an adjective is attributive or predicative [EFL context]?
    – livresque
    Dec 24, 2022 at 1:43
  • Not really, they did mention 'gala' as an attributive adjective in - It was a gala party. But they didn't tell me how exactly. I'm disoriented due to the presence of pronoun here, not able to tell whether it is attributive or predicative and why though? Can you please tell me?
    – user469769
    Dec 24, 2022 at 2:13
  • But the pronoun makes no difference, because the adjective is "attached" to the noun ("boy" here) and not to the pronoun. Please see my answer below.
    – equin0x80
    Dec 24, 2022 at 4:26
  • Got it! Thank you so much for the clarification 💓
    – user469769
    Dec 24, 2022 at 6:23
  • 1
    The simple answer is that "beautiful" modifies "boy" within the predicative NP "a beautiful boy".
    – BillJ
    Dec 24, 2022 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


This is attributive usage. "Boy" is the noun to which the adjective is applied; it's "beautiful boy", and the adjective is coming first. If you said "the boy is beautiful" then it would be predicative.

  • 1
    The word the OP is searching for is 'modifier'. "Beautiful" modifies "boy" in the NP "a beautiful boy". The whole NP is, of course, predicative.
    – BillJ
    Dec 24, 2022 at 14:24

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