Prenominal - postnominal
'Prenominal' means '(placed) before a noun' and 'postnominal' means '(placed) after a noun'. Both words are used in the study of grammar with reference to adjectives which come, respectively, before or after the noun they modify. There are also the related adverbs 'prenominally' and 'postnominally'.
Sometimes the words are applied to the use of an adjective, e.g., 'In its prenominal use 'present' means 'existing in, or related to, this moment or period of time', whereas used postnominally it means 'being or existing in, or relating to, this (or some other specified) place'. (See further Adjectives whose meaning depends on position.) Sometimes the words are applied to the adjectives themselves: a prenominal adjective is one which can only be used prenominally, and a postnominal adjective one that can only be used postnominally. (See further Adjectives used only in the attributive position, Adjectives not used in the attributive position, and Adjectives placed after the nouns they qualify.)
The difference between 'postnominal' and 'postpositive' is that whereas 'postnominal' means '(placed) after a noun', 'postpositive' means simply 'placed after' (any type of word, and not exclusively after a noun). 'Postpositive', unlike 'postnominal', is thus not used exclusively, or even typically, of adjectives. Clearly whatever is postnominal is also postpositive, but what is postpositive is not necessarily postnominal.
- Etymological note: 'prenominal' and 'postnominal' come, respectively, from the Latin prae (before) and post (after), and nomen (name).