Adjectival Sentences

Adjectival sentences are sentences where the predicate is not really an adjective; the subject (a noun or pronoun) is being described by an adjective.

Basic Adjectival Sentences

The simplest form of an adjectival sentence is: Begin the sentence with the masculine singular form of the adjective (even if the subject is feminine and/or plural), and follow it with the subject:

dšr jrwt.f “His eyes are red.”

Note that the primary adjective nb “each, every, all” can only be used to modify a noun and cannot stand as a predicate itself. If you wanted to say “She is everything”, you would have to make a nominal sentence “She is all things”, with “things” as the predicate and “all” as its modifier.”

Exclamatory Sentences

If you use the masculine dual form of the adjective instead of the singular, the sentence becomes exclamatory; it changes in literal meaning from “X is Y” to “X is doubly Y!”

dšrwj jrwt.f
“How red his eyes are!”, “His eyes are so red!”
(lit. “His eyes are doubly red.”)

Pronouns as Subjects

There are two special rules for using pronouns as the subject of adjectival sentences (“She is beautiful”, etc.)

  1. The pronoun must be the dependent pronoun: nfr sj “She is beautiful”, nfrwj sj “How beautiful she is!”
  2. The pronoun must be second or third person only. To form a first person adjectival sentence, the sentence is structured as an A-B nominal sentence instead, with the independent pronoun followed by the correctly declined adjective.

Here is a summary of these options:

1st masc.jnk nfr
1s-IND good-ms
“I am good”
(lit. “I am a good (masc.) one.”)
jnn nfrw
1p-IND good-mp
“We are good”
(lit. “We are good (masc.) ones.”)
1st fem.jnk nfrt
1s-IND good-f
“I am good”
(lit. “I am a good (fem.) one.”)
jnn nfrt
1p-IND good-f
“We are good”
(lit. “We are good (fem.) ones.”)
2nd masc.nfr tw
good-ms 2ms-DEP
“You (m.) are good.”nfr ṯn
good-ms 2p-DEP
“You (pl.) are good.”
2nd fem.nfr ṯn
good-ms 2fs-DEP
“You (f.) are good.”
3rd masc.nfr sw
good-ms 3ms-DEP
“He/it is good.”nfr sn
good-ms 3p-DEP
“They are good.”
3rd fem.nfr sj
good-ms 3fs-DEP
“She/it is good.”
3rd comm.nfr st
good-ms 3comm-DEP
“It is/they are good.”

Nouns as Subjects

A noun in apposition to a pronoun is often used instead of just the noun: nfr sj ḥjmt.j “She is beautiful, my wife.”

Additional Elements

The word wrt “very” can go after the adjective, before the subject:

nfr wrt ḥjmt.j “My wife is very beautiful.”

A comparative phrase beginning with r, like when forming a comparative with a modifier adjective, can be used, but here it goes after the subject:

nfr ḥjmt.j r zwt nbt
“My wife is more beautiful than all (other) women.”