I’ve heard that [noun] [adjective] equals [noun] [that is] [adjective]. But, then can every adjective be after a noun?

She is a girl cute.
This is a book interesting.
The dog black is mine.
France is a country famous for its beautiful sights.

  • 1
    All of those sentences are technically grammatical. Aside from the last one however, they are not very idiomatic. Putting an adjective after a noun is commonly only done in poetry, since it's not the normal order of phrasing that's used in regular conversation or writing. It's not wrong, but it's also not entirely natural. – Jason Bassford Oct 15 '19 at 14:16
  • Thank you. Is [noun] [adjective] used neither in U.K. nor U.S.A? – Yamacure Oct 16 '19 at 3:15
  • You misunderstand. It is used, just in a very narrow context—such as with poetry or other pieces of writing where the same stylistic effect is desired. – Jason Bassford Oct 16 '19 at 9:31
  • I see. Then do you use that in writing casual or formal texts? – Yamacure Oct 16 '19 at 13:40

You wouldn't typically do that with a single word adjective, but you would with an adjective phrase.

I met a girl cute as can be.

This is a book interesting to people who love computers, but no one else.

That dog with eyes black as coal is mine.

France is a country famous for its beautiful sights.

A person smarter than me needs to figure this out.

Students upset about the rising cost of tuition staged a rally.

I got some examples from https://examples.yourdictionary.com/adjective-phrase-examples.html even though some of their examples might be participle phrases.

  • Thank you! Do you use that in writing casual or formal texts or daily conversations? – Yamacure Oct 16 '19 at 13:43
  • In writing, like in a news article, definitely. In everyday speech, possibly not, at least I can't think of any examples. You'd be more apt to say something like "Somebody smarter than me needs to figure this out." – pfalstad Oct 18 '19 at 5:42
  • Thank you so much! – Yamacure Oct 18 '19 at 9:40

I believe you're a bit confused. Instead of [noun] [adjective], it should be [adjective] [noun]. So, your original idea becomes,

[adjective] [noun] equals [noun] [that is] [adjective].

And it's true for every sentence that you've mentioned.

She is a cute girl.

She's a girl that is cute.

This is an interesting book.

This is a book that is interesting.

The black dog is mine.

The dog that is black is mine.

Although grammatically correct, it might not sound so natural when you say it.

  • Thank you. I mistyped. But I heard that [noun] [adjective] equals [noun] [that is] [adjective]. The sentence starts with France has to be correct. I want to know when [noun] [adjective] is preferred. – Yamacure Oct 15 '19 at 10:18
  • The sentence is properly and completely 'France is a country that is famous...' so it comes under [noun][that is][adjective]. – simon at rcl Oct 15 '19 at 13:31
  • @simonatrcl: Or may be France is a country famous for its **sights that are beautiful**. – 7_R3X Oct 16 '19 at 6:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.