(of a bed) not having the bedclothes arranged tidily ready for sleeping in.

I'm a little confused about the usage of the word 'ready' here.

Does it just mean 'tidily ready' in this context?

Or can 'ready' play a role of something like a 'predicate continuation' in a sentence? Like in this case it would be logical to e.g. put a comma before it (but then it would become just a 2nd predicate...)

So can something like 'the dishes are washed ready for drying' (without a comma) be grammatically correct?

  • The dishes are washed ready for drying is perfectly acceptable. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 14:41
  • @KateBunting do you know what's the... grammar rule, I guess, defining this? I'd just like to know what this construction is considered to be from the grammar point of view, never seen it before; is it just a specific 'passive + ready for + gerund' phrase? Or maybe some broader pattern
    – ledonter
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 16:28
  • Ready here is just an adjective meaning 'in a suitable condition'. I suppose '...so that they are ready...' is implied. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 17:51
  • 1
    "Arranged ready", "washed ready", or, for that matter, any "verbed ready" all sound pretty bizarre in American English. "Arranged tidily ready" is, to quote Brother Maynard, right out.
    – cruthers
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


The Lexico definition may get away with not using a comma because it's not technically a sentence. However, a sentence like "They had the bedclothes arranged tidily, ready for sleeping in" does require a comma. In this case, the phrase "ready for sleeping in" would be a non-restrictive adjective phrase describing the word "bedsheets".

FYI, the sentence you gave as an example should be "The dishes are washed and ready for drying." In this case, both "washed" and "ready for drying" describe "the dishes". They are not cumulative (as, for example, "they are washed clean"), so they do require the conjunction "and" to join them.

  • Your answer seems to contradict the comments... I don't know who's right... Also, even if the Lexico def is not a sentence, I guess it's still not allowed to break grammar/phrase construction rules...
    – ledonter
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 21:57
  • However it's pretty hard to find examples like mine on the web so I'm inclined to think that you're right, and it's just a Lexico's mistake
    – ledonter
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 21:59
  • I agree with filistinist's response. Not even professional editors are completely comfortable with all the arcane rules pertaining to the use of commas, but this sentence cries out for one and is then fine. Without the comma, it even seems that tidily is an adverb modifying ready, which is not the intended meaning at all and is never used like that. Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 21:22

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