What Is an Adjective Phrase?
How to Identify an Adjective Phrase
In order to find the adjective phrase in a sentence, follow these steps:
- Find the adjective in the sentence.
- Determine if the adjective stands alone or is accompanied by other words.
- If it stands alone, it is just an adjective. If it is accompanied by other words, it is the head of an adjective phrase.
- Other words accompanying the head can be adverbs, prepositions, prepositional phrases, or other adjectives. They are called modifiers.
Adjective phrases can appear:
- before the nouns they modify: prepositive adjectives
- after the nouns they modify: postpositive adjectives
Prepositive Adjective Phrases
Most commonly, adjective phrases are placed before the noun or pronoun they modify. They are called prepositive adjective phrases.
The smell of
I am reading
Postpositive Adjective Phrases
Sometimes adjective phrases are placed after the noun or pronoun they modify. They are called postpositive adjective phrases. Typically, a postpositive adjective is linked to its noun with a linking verb, such as 'be,' 'seem,' 'appear,' etc.
That sweatshirt was
Making delicious meals makes me
The cupcakes smell
Adjective phrases (like all other adjectives) modify nouns or pronouns.
We can form adjective phrases in various ways:
- combining several adjectives in a row
- adverb + adjective
- adjective + adverb
- adjective + complement
- adverb + adjective + complement
(1) I would like a piece of
(2) This coffee is
(3) This house is
(4) The country's economy is
(5) Are you
Adjective Phrase vs. Adjective Clause
In this example, the clause 'you delivered this evening' is a multi-word adjective describing 'The pizza.' It has a subject 'you' and a verb 'delivered'.
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.