{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252 {\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 ArialMT;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;\red51\green51\blue51;\red255\green255\blue255;} \deftab720 \pard\pardeftab720\partightenfactor0 \f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0 \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 }
Connect
To Top

The Adjective Phrase Head in English Grammar

Adjective phrase heads are words that function as the heads of adjective phrases. An adjective phrase consists of an adjective plus any modifiers and complements. Only one grammatical form can perform the function of adjective phrase head in the English language. The one grammatical form that can function as the adjective phrase head is:

  1. Adjectives

Adjectives as Adjective Phrase Heads

The only grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjective phrase head is the adjective. Traditional grammars define adjectives as words that describe or modify nouns, noun phrases, and pronouns. For example, the following italicized adjectives function as adjective phrase heads:

  • purple
  • sour
  • very angry
  • more upset
  • fearful of spiders and sinkholes
  • obsessed with Elmo
  • overjoyed to hear the happy news
  • afraid to spread her wings
  • anxious that she might catch pneumonia
  • excited that he passed his exam with flying colors
  • terrified of Santa Clause visiting the house
  • thrilled for you to finally meet me in person

The only grammatical form that can function as the adjective phrase head in the English language is the adjective.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

More in Grammatical Function

  • Using Adverb Clauses as Adjunct Adverbials

    Notional grammars define adverb clauses as subordinate or dependent clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 4, 2014
  • Grammatical Function of English Adverb Clauses

    Adverb clauses are defined as subordinate or dependent clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and that...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 1, 2014
  • The Passive in English Grammar

    Passives are words that express the passive voice. Passives function within verb phrases functioning as predicates. Only one grammatical form can...

    Heather JohnsonMay 23, 2014
  • The Progressive in English Grammar

    Progressives are words that express the progressive aspect including the perfect-progressive aspect. Progressives function within verb phrases functioning as predicates. Only...

    Heather JohnsonMay 20, 2014
  • The Verb Phrase Modifier in English Grammar

    Verb phrase modifiers are defined as words, phrases, and clauses that describe a verb phrase. A verb phrase is a phrase...

    Heather JohnsonMay 9, 2014
  • The Noun Clause Modifier in English Grammar

    Noun clause modifiers are defined as words, phrases, and clauses that describe a noun clause. A noun clause is a dependent...

    Heather JohnsonMay 6, 2014
  • The Forms and Functions of Clauses in English

    Clauses are defined as grammatical structures that contain a subject and a predicate. The English language has four forms of clauses:...

    Heather JohnsonApril 25, 2014
  • Using Postpositional Phrases as Disjunct Adverbials

    Traditional grammars notionally define adpositions as words that “link to other words, phrases, and clauses” and that “express spatial or temporal relations.”...

    Heather JohnsonApril 18, 2014
  • Using Postpositional Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

    Notional grammars define adpositions as words that “link to other words, phrases, and clauses” and that “express spatial or temporal relations.” In...

    Heather JohnsonApril 15, 2014

Pin It on Pinterest