An adjective phrase gives more information about a noun or pronoun. Some also modify noun phrases. A great way to understand adjective phases is to see them at work in a few sentences.
Understanding the Adjective Phrase
Adjective phrases act just like adjectives. They modify, describe, or give more information about a noun or pronoun. Some examples are: without a penny, of great importance, devoid of life, covered with dirt, running in the park, and man of the hour.
Some adjective phrases modify nouns or noun phrases. Following are some sentences with the phrases underlined:
- Thevery smallkitten jumped at the big dog.
- The costof the carwas way too high.
- The mancovered with sweat, trudged his way home.
- Somethingin the cornerwas moving.
- The big bugunder the blanketis moving towards me.
Other adjective phrases modify the predicate of the sentence. Here are some examples:
- Extra buttons camewith the coat.
- Gremlins cause mischiefinside of machines.
- We were saddenedby the newsof his demise.
- The brownies smelldeliciously sweet.
- I was delightedthat he was chosen.
Adjective phrases can also modify objects and will follow the word they are modifying. Examples are:
- She wanted to paint her roomlemony yellow.
- My new kitten makes mevery happy.
- I sometimes pity peopleliving in large cities.
- We are collecting money for childrenborn with heart defects.
- They were proud of their teamwinning the championship.
Famous Adjective Phrases
Here are some famous adjective phrases from William Shakespeare.
- A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
- The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
- And shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school
- Eaten out of house and home
- Even at the turning of the tide
- How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child
- I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
Understanding Basic Adjectives
To better understand the adjective phrase, it might help you if you understand the basic functions of adjectives.
Here are the basic categories of adjectives with a few examples:
- Quantity - Adjectives can tell the quantity, like any, few, every, some, all, twenty, none, each, and several.
- Opinion - Adjectives that are based on opinion include: gorgeous, hideous, evil, angelic, amazing, and important.
- Descriptive - There are many descriptive adjectives that tell the size, age, shape, and color of a noun or pronoun. Some examples are: tiny, gigantic, svelte, huge, antique, youthful, modern, recent, bumpy, smooth, oblong, round, pale, tanned, blue, and yellowish.
- Origin - Where an object came from or where it is located would be an adjective of origin, like: polar, northern, Mexican, or Swiss.
- Composition - Words to describe the purpose and composition of an object would include: hunting, cooking, racing, wooden, silk, or plastic.
- Comparison - Some adjectives compare words like curlier, curliest, best, worse, least, most beautiful, and less worrisome. Other adjectives like those that do not have two levels of comparison and examples of these include: total, ideal, unique, fatal, chief, and unbroken.
- Articles - The articles “a”, “an”, and “the” are adjectives.
- Possessive - Adjectives can be possessive, like your, mine, or their; demonstrative, like that, this, or those; and interrogative, like which or what.
Remember, the purpose of an adjective or an adjective phrase is to change the meaning of a noun or pronoun or to describe it.