What is Adjective Phrase
An adjective phrase is a group of words that functions as an adjective. Since the main function of adjectives is to modify and describe nouns, adjective phrases also modify nouns. The headword of an adjective phrase is an adjective. An adjective phrase consists of an adjective, its determiners, and modifiers such as articles, possessives, demonstratives, etc. An adjective phrase can sometimes consist of more than one adjective. An adjective phrase can also consist of an adverb and an adjective. For example,
Her long black hair – possessive adjective + adjective + adjective
His cute dog – possessive adjective + adjective
Reddish brown nail polish – adjective + adjective
Extremely patient nurse – adverb + adjective
Like an adjective, an adjective phrase can be used before or after an adjective. This means that an adjective phrase can function as an attributive adjective or a predicative adjective.
Adjective phrases in attributive position:
The rude little girl pushed her brother out.
He sold pretty little trinkets.
She combed her long black hair.
Sometimes an attributive adjective phrase can also appear immediately after a noun. However, attributive adjectives generally occur before the noun.
The cake decorated in blue icing was sold for $10.
Adjective phrases in predicative position:
She looks extremely pretty.
This apple pie smells very tempting.
This movie sounds very interesting.
Adjective phrases in predicative position are separated from the noun. But the predicative adjective is linked to the noun by a linking verb. Here, the adjective phrase is also functioning as the subject complement of the sentence.
Examples of Adjective Phrases
Given blow are some examples of adjective phrases in sentences. Observe how these adjective phrases have been used in different positions.
The boy covered in mud looks was scolded by his mother.
The patient teacher handled her overly enthusiastic students with care.
These extremely important letters should have been posted today.
Her cooking always tastes and smells so delicious.
Did you understand the lesson she explained?
The animals caught in the trap were terrified.
Jennet dreamt of a world covered in ice-cream.
The consequences of his decisions are too serious to ignore.
Brenda was wearing a dark brown maxi dress.
This hotel offers expensive but luxurious rooms.
She bought an unbelievably expensive dress.
Don’t act like the dog in the manger.
You might have noticed some examples that adjectives in some adjective phrases are modified by adverbs. In such instances, the adverb goes before the adjective.
Adjective Phrase – Summary
- An adjective phrase is a group of words that function as an adjective.
- An adjective phrase can modify or describe a noun.
- An adjective phrase consists of an adjective, its determiners, and modifiers.
- An adjective phrase can appear before or after a noun.
- Adjective phrases that appear before the noun are called attributive phrases.
- Adjective phrases that appear after the noun are called predicative phrases.