Adjectives Phrases

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Adjective Phrase

What Is an Adjective Phrase?

To understand an adjective phrase, you must first understand adjectives and phrases.

Let’s break this down…

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. They tell more about or give more information to the noun or pronoun to make them more specific.

A phrase is a group of words that work together as a single grammatical unit. They may be a part of a clause or a sentence. Phrases do not contain subjects.

Now, let’s put them together...what is an adjective phrase?

An Adjective Phrase is a group of words that modifies or describes a noun or pronoun. It does NOT contain a subject or a verb.

How do you identify an adjective phrase?

An adjective phrase depends on the group of words - you must always have an adjective within the phrase itself. It is usually paired with an adverb or preposition as an intensifier, something that describes specifically to what degree the adjective is true.

See the difference between these three sentences:

He wore a hat.No adjective
He wore a yellow hat.The adjective yellow is used to describe the hat.
He wore a shockingly yellow hat.The adjective phrase shockingly yellow intensifies this Description. Shockingly is an intensifier for yellow.

What are the types of adjective phrases?

There are two types: predicative & attributive.

Predicative adjective phrases appear after a linking verb and modifies or describes the subject.

Note: Linking verbs are often “to be” verbs but can also be an observational word linked to our senses like the following: appears, seems, looks, sounds, feels, smells, tastes

The buildingistall.
The dolllooksraggedy.

Attributive adjective phrases appear before the noun they modify.

The tall building…
The raggedy doll…

When do you use an adjective phrase?

Adjective phrases are used to specifically and uniquely describe nouns in a memorable way.

She had an incredibly fiery personality.
“Incredibly fiery” is an adjective phrase that modifies the noun “personality.” Adding “incredibly” adds extra meaning to indicate her personality was overly spicy!

Now that you know how to form adjective phrases, be sure to use them in your writing to give excellent descriptions so your reader can experience the description along with you!

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