Let's consider a way of deriving an adjective, something along the lines of a suffix that you put on a noun and you obtain 'like a [noun]', '[noun]-ly' but also 'reputed to be [noun]', and with adjectives '[adjective]-ish' or 'reputed to be [adjective]'. This is not all that odd, really, but let's go on and come up with some constructions using these.
- With the copula 'to be', expresses to be x-like or x-ish.
- With the verb 'to have' and no object case marking on the adjective, it marks 'to be reputed to be' (alternatively, no articles - in case that is the way adjectives normally are marked when they are heads of NPs, i.e. in phrases comparable to 'the little one')
- with the verb 'to have' and object case marking (or articles, or whichever method the language uses), the phrase would simply mean 'to have a so-and-so-ish one/one reputed to be so-and-so'
Thus, when used as attributes of a noun there's less of a distinction between 'reputed to be so-and-so' and 'to be so-and-so-like' or 'to be so-and-so-ish', but when the adjective is a predicate complement, the distinction is made clear.