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I have read this sentence in a newspaper of USA Today, "Thai soccer team found alive after 10 days lost in caves":

A Thai youth soccer team and its coach were found alive Monday in a vast, flooded cave complex where they disappeared more than a week ago, and a photo taken by rescuers showed the smiling faces of several survivors.

I wondered why is an adjective "alive" following a verb " found"? or "found alive" is an idiom?

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That's a common sentence structure. There's no reason an adjective can't follow a verb. The sentence could be rephrased:

A Thai youth soccer team and its coach were alive when they were found Monday...

Or:

A Thai youth soccer team and its coach were found Monday, alive, in a vast, flooded cave complex.

"Alive" refers to the state of the team and coach, it doesn't modify the verb "found". There is flexibility in where it can be placed in the sentence without changing the meaning, as long as it's clear who "alive" refers to.

"Found" also refers to the team and coach. You could say:

A Thai youth soccer team and its coach were found Monday...

and not talk about the state of their health. The fact that they were alive can be added to the sentence. Putting it after the verb doesn't change what it modifies. "Found alive" in the referenced sentence just means the team and coach were found and they were alive (both words referring to the team and coach).

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A Thai youth soccer team and its coach were found alive ...

"Alive" is an AdjP (adjective phrase) functioning as a 'predicative adjunct': predicative because it is related to a predicand -- in this case the subject "A Thai youth soccer team and its coach" -- and an adjunct because it is an optional item in clause structure.

Note that "alive" does not modify the predicand (it is not part of the NP constituent), but simply refers to it.

  • I do not understand what you mean by "does not modify the predicand ... but simply refers to it". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 25 '18 at 11:20
  • Because it's not part of the NP constituent, "A Thai youth soccer team and its coach", but part of the VP, hence an adjunct in clause structure. A predicand is what a complement or adjunct relates to. – BillJ Aug 25 '18 at 13:38
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In active voice:

Rescuers found the team alive.

There, alive is a complement predicated of the object, team. They found the team (to be) alive.

In the passive voice with the agent (the rescuers) omitted:

The team was found alive.

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