What Is an Adjective Phrase?
An adjective phrase is a group of words that functions as an adjective in a sentence. It consists of an adjective and any modifiers, complements, or determiners that may be present.
Adjective phrases can be used to provide additional information about a noun or pronoun in a sentence. They can modify the noun or pronoun by describing its size, shape, color, age, value, or any other qualities.
How to Identify an Adjective Phrase
To identify an adjective phrase in a sentence, follow these steps:
- Find the adjective in the sentence.
- Determine if the adjective is modifying a noun or pronoun on its own or if it's part of a larger group of words.
- If it stands alone, it is just an adjective. If it is part of a larger group of words, it's the head of an adjective phrase.
- The words that accompany the head, such as adverbs, prepositions, prepositional phrases, or other adjectives, are called modifiers.
Adjective Phrases: Structure
We can form adjective phrases in several ways:
- combining several adjectives
I would like a piece of the
- adverb + adjective
This coffee is
- adjective + adverb
This house is
- adjective + complement
The country's economy is
- adverb + adjective + complement
Position in the Sentence
Adjective phrases can appear:
- Before the nouns they modify → Prepositive adjectives
- After the nouns they modify → Postpositive adjectives
Prepositive Adjective Phrases
Adjective phrases are typically placed before the noun or pronoun they modify, and are known as prepositive adjective phrases.
The smell of
I am reading
Postpositive Adjective Phrases
In some cases, adjective phrases are placed after the noun or pronoun they modify and are known as postpositive adjective phrases. When used in this way, the adjective is typically linked to the noun with a linking verb, such as "be," "seem," "appear," and so on.
That sweatshirt was
Making delicious meals makes me
The cupcakes smell
Adjective Phrase vs. Adjective Clause
In this example, the clause 'you delivered this evening' has a subject 'you' and a verb 'delivered' and modifies the noun 'pizza'.
In this example, the phrase 'a very delicious margarita' is a multi-word adjective describing 'The pizza.' It does not have a subject and a verb.
Adjective phrases are a set of words that are used together and all of them modify the same noun or pronoun. They have different names based on their position in the clause. Check out the list.
- attributive adjective phrases are placed before the noun or pronoun.
- predicative adjective phrases are placed after the noun or pronoun.
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