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Using Adjectives and Adjective Phrases as Noun Phrase Modifiers

Traditional grammars define adjectives as words that modify or describe nouns. An adjective phrase is a phrase that consists of an adjective that functions as the head of the phrase plus any modifiers or complements.

In grammar, a noun phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. Adjectives and adjective phrases often function as noun phrase modifiers to describes nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases in English. Examples of adjectives and adjective phrases as noun phrase modifiers include the following:

  • My wonderful husband bought me pink tulips and red roses.
  • Order me some hot coffee.
  • I prefer dark beers and strong vodkas over girly wine.
  • My daughter is craving something sweet.
  • Somebody incredibly annoying keeps calling today.
  • The very spicy dish is on the left.
  • Do you know that rather loud child?
  • The cafeteria always serves sickeningly sweet desserts.

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.

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