This is where most people are impeded from being an iconoclast. For example, when confronted with information streaming from the eyes, the brain will interpret this information in the quickest way possible.

What is the function of the word "possible" in the last sentence?
Is it resultative adjectives?
If not, what is the function of this word?

  • I don't know where you got this text from, but I'd bet any money it wasn't written by a native Anglophone. Native speakers would more likely express that first sentence as This is what prevents most people from being iconoclasts (except iconoclast isn't all that common anyway, so perhaps ...from attacking traditional beliefs). Nov 18, 2021 at 17:35
  • I don't see anything "resultative" about the cited context, so personally, I'd say possible is just an "intensifying" adjective modifying the quickest way, which itself is part of the adverbial element starting with in, that modifies the verb interpret. Where the quickest way possible = the quickest possible way = the very quickest way. Nov 18, 2021 at 17:40
  • I've got it from Cambridge IELTS 9 Academic Reading test 2 passage 3 paragraph 3. For example, practicepteonline.com/ielts-reading-test-2. I doubted why did they put the word 'possible' in that position? I didn't know what the function of the word was. So I tried my best and concluded that the word was 'resultative adjectives' because it was behind nouns.
    – ohmpr
    Nov 19, 2021 at 2:45
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers I've done some research. This is what I've found. englishgrammar.org/attributive-adjectives-nouns ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/adjectiv/…. Do you think this is a good explanation? Postpositive adjectives are commonly found together with superlative, attributive adjectives: the shortest route possible, the worst conditions imaginable, the best hotel available
    – ohmpr
    Nov 19, 2021 at 3:21
  • I can't find the exact text from your comment in that link, but basically, I'd say Yes! I think you did an excellent bit of research there! Note - although the postpositive can be used after superlative, it doesn't have to be. Nov 19, 2021 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


As you've already explained in the comments, "possible" is a postpositive adjective, here modifying "the quickest way".

From wikipedia:

Certain adjectives are used fairly commonly in postpositive position. Present and past participles exhibit this behavior, as in all those entering should ..., one of the men executed was ..., but at will this can be considered to be a verbal rather than adjectival use (a kind of reduced relative clause). Similar behavior is displayed by many adjectives with the suffix -able or -ible (e.g. the best room available, the only decision possible, the worst choice imaginable, the persons liable).

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