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Using Adjectives and Adjective Phrases as Object Complements

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

In grammar, an object complement is a word, phrase, or clause that directly follows and describes or completes the direct object within the predicate of a clause. Adjectives and adjective phrases often function as object complements in English. Examples of adjectives and adjective phrases as noun phrase modifiers include the following:

  • The mayor declared the new park open. (adjective)
  • We painted the roses red. (adjective)
  • The citizens elected Benjamin Williams mayor. (adjective)
  • He found the book questionable. (adjective)
  • I consider studying grammar quite entertaining. (adjective phrase)
  • Why did you color your hair blue and black? (adjective phrase)
  • I once painted my bedroom walls bright pink. (adjective phrase)
  • The clown got the children overly excited. (adjective phrase)

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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