Predicative expression  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A predicative expression (or just predicative) is part of a clause predicate, and is an expression that typically follows a copula (or linking verb), e.g. be, seem, appear, or that appears as a second complement of a certain type of verb, e.g. call, make, name, etc. The most frequently acknowledged types of predicative expressions are predicative adjectives (also predicate adjectives) and predicative nominals (also predicate nominals). The main trait of all predicative expressions is that they serve to express a property that is assigned to a "subject", whereby this subject is usually the clause subject, but at times it can be the clause object. A primary distinction is drawn between predicative (also predicate) and attributive expressions. Further, predicative expressions are typically not clause arguments, and they are also typically not clause adjuncts. There is hence a three-way distinction between predicative expressions, arguments, and adjuncts.

The terms predicative expression on the one hand and subject complement and object complement on the other hand overlap in meaning to a large extent.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Predicative expression" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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