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Resultative Adjective

The resultative adjective, when used correctly within a sentence, can sound somewhat "slangy", due to the fact that the construction is somewhat rare within the English language. The resultative adjective is being used, for example, when one says that a judge rendered a decision null and void: here, null and void is the adjective, and it modifies the decision. However, there are usually other, more "normal-sounding" ways of saying the same thing. 

Using the resultative adjective correctly

A resultative adjective tells you that a change has taken place in a noun as a result of a verb that has acted on it. This adjective can always be found immediately after the affected noun

Here is an example of the resultative adjective being used correctly in a sentence. 

"Due to irregularities in due process, the appeals court declared the original decision null and void.   

Here, "null and void" is the resultative adjective; it is referring to the noun "decision"; and the verb that has acted on the decision can be found in the word "declared". 

Now, here is a sentence in which the resultative adjective has been used in an incorrect way

"After catching the fish, the man decided to cook it to be rare."

The mistake here is that the verb "to be" has been inserted between the noun and the resultative adjective. 

In case you would like further information on the usage of the resultative adjective, here are a couple guidelines you can follow. 

  1. The resultative adjective is always found right after the noun that has been changed by a verb; this is called the postpositive position. There is never another verb or set of words between the resultative adjective and the noun. 
  2. It is important to remember this rule, because otherwise, it is easy to confuse the resultative adjective with other kinds of adjective. For example, in the sentence "The door swung open," the fact that there is a verb between the noun and the adjective means that "open" cannot, properly speaking, be a resultative adjective.  
  3. A sentence with a resultative adjective often sounds slightly "slangy" or irregular. This because in ordinary English language, we are generally not used to a grammatical construction where the adjective can be found directly after the noun. 

Resultative Adjectives - Represents irregular adjectives

The resultative adjective is a relatively irregular category of adjective, and it is difficult to think of a great number of examples for its use. Cooking is perhaps one area where the resultative adjective is relatively more common. For example, one can talk about cooking the meat rare, or preparing the egg hard-boiled. Even here, though, alternative grammatical constructions are possible: you can just as well say that the meat was cooked rare, or that the egg was hard-boiled.    

The main appeal of the resultative adjective is probably that it illustrates the fundamental relationship between the noun and its adjective: the entire stress of the sentence is placed on the fact that the noun has been changed or affected in some important way. For example, if you say that the storm froze the lake solid, the resultative adjective calls direct attention to the condition of the lake; whereas if you were to say that the lake was frozen solid by the storm, then greater attention is given to the storm itself. The resultative adjective can thus be used to meaningfully alter the stress or emphasis of sentences. 

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