I'm a native speaker of English.

Consider these two sentences:

  1. Drink the hot tea!
  2. Drink the tea hot!

Sentence 2 seems to be an instruction of how to drink the tea ("Drink it hot. It's not tasty if it's cold"), while with Sentence 1, the word "hot" seems less important ("Drink the tea!" matches the meaning somewhat closely).

Grammatically, what is happening in Sentence 2?

(Another pair of sentences might be: "Enjoy this coconut water chilled" (which was what was written on my actual container of cocunut water, yesterday), vs "Enjoy this chilled coconut water")

  • 1
    There maybe more than one cup of tea and 2 can mean drink the hot one. (just saying) Also, some verbs accept adjectival complements.
    – Cardinal
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


Both are imperative sentences, so you is implied as the subject, drink is the verb.

In 1, hot is an adjective either restricting or describing, and tea is the object.

In 2, tea is the object, and hot is the complement of the direct object.


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