Gender and Agreement
The previous page dealt with how well adjectives and verbs in predicate position get along with subject nouns. Adjectives and verbs are just as agreeable in attributive position, the position immediately preceding the noun. In the English phrases, the dean is crazy, crazy is in predicate position; in the crazy dean, it is in attributive position. Adjectives and verbs have a special set of agreement endings for attributive positions and verbs have a special form, called the participle, which will be dealt with separately. This page deals with the nominative case of adjectives in attributive position.
The simpler predicate form of the adjective is called the short form because it is shorter than the attributive form. The attributive agreement endings for adjectives in the nominative case are given in Table 1.
Table 1: Attributive Adjective Endings Class Ending Example Gloss Masculine -ый/ий красивый стол. (a) beautiful table Feminine -aя/яя красивая книга (a) beautiful book Neuter -oe/ee красивое окно (a) beautiful window Plural -ые/ие красивые очки beautiful glasses
The paradigm of attributive endings are not as mnemonic as the predicate paradigm. However, there are three tricks which may help you remember these endings.
The masculine and the plural attributive endings begin with ы/и; the masculine is distinguished from the plural by its final letter й (-ый); the final letter of the plural ending is e: -ые.
The feminine ending is nothing more than both the hard (a) and soft (я)variants of the feminine short form ending (-ая.
The neuter ending is nothing more than both the hard (o) and soft (e) variants of the neuter short-form ending (-oe).
The same two caveats apply to attributive adjectives that apply to predicates: (1) be careful to distinguish masculine and feminine nouns that end on soft signs and (2) don't forget that all nouns ending on мя are neuter, not feminine.
Table 2: Nouns on Soft Signs and МЯ Agreement Noun Gloss красивая дверь beautiful door красивый учитель handsome teacher красивое имя beautiful name
Attributive Agreement Exercises
Now you try a few a few exercises to see if you've caught on. Convert the following sentences with predicate adjectives into corresponding sentences with an attributive adjectives as shown in the example. Next push the button to the right of the sentence and see if your form is correct. Font information here.
Lexiteria LLC, Lewisburg, PA 17837
© 1996 Robert Beard