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Using Adverbs and Adverb Phrases as Adjective Phrase Modifiers

Traditional grammars define adverbs as words that describe verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and clauses. An adverb phrase consists of an adverb plus any other adverbs functioning as adverb phrase modifiers.

In grammar, an adjective phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes an adjective or adjective phrase. Adverbs and adverb phrases often function as adjective phrase modifiers in English. Examples of adverbs and adverb phrases as adjective phrase modifiers include the following:

  • The little girl is very sad.
  • That woman is quite hefty.
  • Your new hat is too adorable.
  • Each painting is more beautiful than the last.
  • Her husband proposed to her on an exceedingly chilly night.
  • The rather humid air makes breathing difficult.
  • The children are much too incredibly quiet.
  • I was very nearly asleep when the phone rang.


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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