What Are Adjective Complements?
An adjective complement (also called an adjective phrase complement) is a clause or phrase that gives information about an adjective or modifies it. It completes the meaning of an adjective or adjective phrase.
It immediately follows an adjective in a sentence.
The manager was
Adjective complements usually work with predicative adjectives (adjectives that come after a linking verb). For example:
Dad was so
Adjective Complements: Types
An adjective complement can be:
- a relative clause
- a prepositional phrase
- an infinitive clause
1. Relative Clauses as Adjective Complements
Noun clauses are groups of words that act as a noun. They're dependent clauses and do not express a complete thought. Noun clauses commonly begin with: who, what, where, when, why, how, that.
2. Prepositional Phrases as Adjective Complements
Prepositional phrases consist of a preposition and the object of the preposition which can be a noun, pronoun, noun phrase, pronoun phrase, or noun clause. They can act as adjective complements. Take a look at these examples:
3. Infinitive Clauses as Adjective Complements
Infinitive phrases are formed by 'to + the base form of the verb' plus any additional objects or modifiers of the verb.
Adjective Complements: Placements
When we have both an infinitive clause and a prepositional phrase as adjective complements, the order should be like this:
- adjective + (prepositional phrase: for/of + noun) + (to-infinitives)
It is necessary
It is very important
Do not to confuse infinitive phrases with prepositional phrases beginning with to.
Adjective Complement's Essentiality
Complements are necessary parts of a sentence and without them, the meaning of the sentence remains incomplete. Consider this sentence:
It may be
Because it has a dummy subject ('it') and we don't know what's it about, the listener might ask themselves "what may be necessary?". In this example, we need an adjective complement to give the necessary information needed in order for the sentence to make sense:
It may be