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Sometimes adjectives can be placed directly after a non-copular verb or verb phrase:

We would swim naked every day.

They got married young.

He walked barefoot on the still charring coal.

In these examples, the complementary adjectives and the verbs concur, but the verbs themselves are not the copulae that connect the adjectives to the subjects. Instead, the verbs express actions or states that are independent of the adjectives. Essentially these examples could be paraphrased as follows:

We would swim every day and we would be naked doing so.

They got married and they were young doing so.

He walked on the still charring coal and he was barefoot doing so.

What is this usage called, in grammatical terms? I'd like to learn more about the thinking and rules behind this sort of construction.

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2 Answers 2

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The term 'secondary predicate' is a very general term, whereas the term 'predicative adjunct' is spot-on and more precise. In a tree diagram, the function of the adjectives in your examples would be labelled adjuncts.                                                                                                                                                             – BillJ

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Thanks to BillJ's comment, I Googled "predicative adjunct" and got this this among the results, which suggests "secondary predicate". So "secondary predicate" it is, then.

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    The term 'secondary predicate' is a very general term, whereas the term 'predicative adjunct' is spot-on and more precise. In a tree diagram, the function of the adjectives in your examples would be labelled adjuncts.
    – BillJ
    Mar 10, 2023 at 10:56
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    @BillJ Apart from “married”, which is a Complement. Mar 10, 2023 at 18:02
  • @Araucaria-Nothereanymore. Of course, but we're not talking about "married" here, but about "young" which is just as much an adjective functioning as an adjunct as "naked" and "barefoot" are.
    – BillJ
    Mar 14, 2023 at 9:35
  • @BillJ Ah, yes. Wasn't thinking straight. Mar 14, 2023 at 12:24

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