Adjective Phrases

We know that adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns.

For example, in the sentence "I saw a beautiful butterfly", "beautiful" is the adjective that describes the noun "butterfly."

But sometimes, we use a group of words and not just one word to describe something.

This is called an adjective phrase.

An adjective phrase is a group of words that modify a noun or pronoun in a sentence.

These phrases have an adjective as their head.

For example: He looked extremely tired in the morning.

Here, 'tired' is an adjective, but 'extremely tired' becomes an adjective phrase.

These adjective phrases function in two ways, let us look at them one by one.

Firstly, they act attributively.

Here, these adjective phrases appear inside a noun phrase and modify it.

For example: They bought a very expensive car.

In this case, “very expensive” is the adjective phrase and it is headed by the adjective “expensive”.

Here “car” is the noun and “a very expensive car” is the noun phrase.

The adjective phrase is thus present in the noun phrase and it modifies the noun phrase.

Here the adjective phrase gives us a better idea about the noun being used.

Secondly, these adjective phrases act predicatively.

In this case, these phrases appear outside the noun phrase and modify them.

Both the adjective phrase and noun phrase are connected using a linking verb.

For example: The exercise was unbelievably difficult.

Here, “unbelievably difficult” is the adjective phrase and “difficult” is the adjective.

And “The exercise” is the noun phrase.

The adjective phrase is outside the noun phrase and it modifies the noun phrase. It describes how the exercise was.

And both the phrases are connected with each other using the linking verb “was”.

From both examples, we now have a clear idea about what adjective phrases are.

Time for a quick recap.

A phrase is a group of two or more words functioning as a meaningful unit within a sentence or clause.

An adjective phrase is a group of words that modify a noun or pronoun in a sentence.

These clauses can modify a noun phrase by staying in between a noun phrase or by staying outside a noun phrase.

The End