Adjective Phrases

Phrases are two or more words that can function as specific parts of speech. Adjective phrases are groups of words that function as adjectives.

"Adjective Phrases" in the English Grammar

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:

  1. Find the adjective in the sentence.
  2. Determine if the adjective is modifying a noun or pronoun on its own or if it's part of a larger group of words.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 delicious, buttery, German chocolate dessert.

  • adverb + adjective

This coffee is very cold.

  • adjective + adverb

This house is big enough for two people.

The country's economy is dependent on natural resources.

  • adverb + adjective + complement

Are you really interested in Hip-Hop?

Position in the Sentence

Adjective phrases can appear:

  • Before the nouns they modify → Prepositive adjectives
  • After the nouns they modify → Postpositive adjectives

using an adjective phrase in a sentence

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 the hot delicious cake makes me hungry.

A very big game is on Sunday.

I am reading a really amazing book.

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 way too big.

Making delicious meals makes me extremely happy.

The cupcakes smell deliciously sweet.

Adjective Phrase vs. Adjective Clause

Both adjective clauses and adjective phrases modify a noun or pronoun. However, an adjective phrase does not contain a subject and a verb, while an adjective clause includes a subject and a verb.

The pizza you delivered this evening was not what we've ordered.

In this example, the clause 'you delivered this evening' has a subject 'you' and a verb 'delivered' and modifies the noun 'pizza'.

We ate a very delicious margarita pizza this evening.

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.

Review

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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Noun Phrases

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Verb Phrases

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It's time to learn how to identify the verb phrase in a sentence. Learning about verb phrases is essential in speaking and writing without mistakes.

Prepositional Phrases

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What are prepositional phrases? Generally, as its name requires, prepositional phrases are phrases made of prepositions. To get to know them, read the article.

Adverbial Phrases

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Adverbial phrases are made of two or more words and are used as the adverb of the sentence. In this lesson, you will get to know phrasal verbs.

Infinitive Phrases

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Infinitive phrases are phrases that look like infinitives but they are used in special positions.

Clauses

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A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. In this lesson, we will discuss clauses in English grammar.
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