Adjective restrictive


A restrictive adjective is an adjective that functions as an attributive adjective and IS paired with the definite article


In this grammar, an adjective is classified as “restrictive” if it is definite (i.e. takes a definite article) and describes a definite noun. The noun may or may not take the definite article.


John 10:11 Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός

Luke 16:8 καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας

Matthew 13:8 ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν καὶ ἐδίδου καρπόν


Adjectives occur in five basic patterns when modifying a noun:
  1. Noun-article-adjective or with the article before the noun (article-noun-article-adjective)

  2. Article-adjective-noun

  3. Article-noun-adjective

  4. Adjective-noun

  5. Noun-adjective

Pattern 1 is classified as restrictive in the UGNT and UGG. Patterns 2, 3, 4, and 5, are classified as ascriptive in the UGG and the UGNT.

INCORRECT DEFINITION OF RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVE FOR UNLOCKED GREEK GRAMMAR Some resources will describe an adjectival clause as restrictive if it narrows down (or identifies) the noun it is modifying. In other words it directs the reader to a specific person or thing (or persons or things) from a larger group. In contrast an ascriptive adjective provides additional information about a person or thing that has already been clearly identified. For the purposes of the Unlocked Greek Grammar, the terms “ascriptive” and “restrictive” are NOT being used in this manner. Restrictive adjectives are adjectives that are not functioning as a noun and follow the pattern Noun-Article-Adjective or with an article before the noun (article-noun-article-adjective) .