Object Predicative in Grammar

Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

Paul Volcker
Paul Volcker.

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In English grammar, an object predicative is an adjective, noun phrase, or prepositional phrase that qualifies, describes, or renames the object that appears before it. Also called an object predicate, object attribute, and objective predicative complement.

Examples and Observations

  • President Obama appointed Paul Volcker chairman of the new Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
  • After firing several stun grenades, the SWAT team went inside and found the building empty.
  • Jenny's friends considered her extremely loyal and dedicated.
  • "Notice how the sentence
    He made me a cup of tea.
    is different from
    He made me a legend in my own lifetime.
    In this last sentence, the noun phrase a legend in my own lifetime refers to me. Me is an object but a legend in my own lifetime says something about the object and so it is called an object predicative (oP). We can add object predicative to our list of things that a noun phrase can do. Adjective phrases and prepositional phrases can also act as object predicatives:
    He made her very happy. (object = her; object predicative = very happy)
    She turned him into a syntactician. (object = him; object predicative = into a syntactician)
    Verbs which take an object and an object predicative are complex transitive (VBP = VOoP)."
    (Christine Robinson, Get Set for English Language. Edinburgh University Press, 2003)