why is the position of the "provided" after the noun "space"? Shouldn't it before the noun because it is a single adjective?

Following sentence:

Please write your signature in the space provided.

1 Answer 1


In this context, both "space provided" and "provided space" are grammatically correct.

"Provided space," as you noted, is an adjective-noun pair. "Provided" modifies and describes the noun "space."

"Space provided" is a little trickier. It is a shortened form of "the space which has been provided"—now "provided" is the past participle of a verb. This is still acceptable usage.

This can work with other verbs as well, for example:

  • Insert tab "A" into slot "B" [which is] indicated here.
  • Follow the instructions [which are] written on the board.
  • Your answer must fit in the space [which has been] allotted.

Some of these are only grammatical because the past participle takes an object; "Follow the instructions written" would sound very strange. But "space provided" works fine on its own without an object.

  • 1
    Cf “In the space below,” which does not want to be “the below space,” because once again the preposition takes an object, even if it’s unstated: “the space below this.” Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 17:24

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