The predicative is a part of a sentence which is neither subject, nor object, nor verb, nor preposition term. Yet it relates to the verb somehow. I am not sure if the predicative is exactly the same as indirect object. Some examples are

Ili estas lacaj

Ĝi farbas la domon ruĝa

However, it can also be more complicated (examples taken from tekstaro)

Oni petis lin solvi la disputon

Ĉi tiuj konoj igis ilin observi la astrojn

Are there some rules for which verbs can use the predicative? Is there some default meaning of the predicative?

  • The second set of examples are what I would call an infinitive complement; a non-finite clause depending on the matrix verb (petis in the first case). But there are many attempts at describing grammatical structure, and they're often using incompatible terminology. – Oliver Mason Nov 29 '17 at 9:06

I prefer not to lump everything you describe here together, nor to think of it in terms of grammatical terminology. Rather, I like to think of it in terms of patterns. As a result, it's a lot easier to consider specific examples than to come up with general rules.

For example, consider the sentence you listed:

  • Li farbas la domon ruĝa.

In this example "ruĝa" describes the state of the house. However, consider a similar sentence:

  • Li farbas la domon sola.

This could be understood with "sola" describing "li". That is, he's painting the house alone.

Basically, learn a few of the patterns, and if there's any concern about your sentence not being clear, try rewording it.

There's a little more information in PMEG here.

  • The second sentence should IIUC use "sole" rather than "sola". – ThrawnCA Dec 20 '17 at 1:17
  • I would request not making "IIUC" comments here. Please try to understand correctly, then comment. This is supposed to be a forum for expert advice. I chose the word solaj on purpose. I invite you to read through the PMEG article linked in my answer above, as well as the article linked here --- bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/e-vortoj/uzo.html – Tomaso Alexander Dec 20 '17 at 8:24

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