I'm currently struggling with a minor grammatical issue and would love to get your opinion.

Sometimes an adjective is placed after the noun. Is there a specific rule when this is okay?

E.g., "using the selected methods..." vs. "using the methods selected..."?

Thank you very much.

2 Answers 2


Consider the following two sentences:

"Using the selected methods should result in success."
"Using the methods selected by our committee should result in success."

In the first sentence selected is acting as a simple adjective modifying the noun methods.

In the second sentence selected introduces an adjectival phrase modifying the noun.

  • 1
    I don't think the second situation shows an adjectival phrase. Selected is acting as the past participle in a verb phrase, which would explain why we'd need the by. You can see this because "that were" can be added back into the second sentence while retaining the exact same meaning. The sentence in this case would be: "Using the methods that were selected by our committee should result in success." Oct 26, 2014 at 18:02
From the highlighted phrases, pick the one that is ungrammatical.       
From the phrases highlighted, pick the one that is ungrammatical.

They're pretty much interchangeable. The second form gives you the ability to tack on a modifying phrase:

From the phrases highlighted in bold, pick the one....

Bill sat quietly.

Bill was less talkative than usual.

Bill sat as quiet like a mouse.

However, "highlighted in bold" is an elliptical form of "that are highlighted in bold". But that's neither here nor there.

  • "Billy sat as quiet like a mouse" is incorrect. Either set as quiet as a mouse or sat quiet, like a mouse. Oct 26, 2014 at 21:36

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