Phrases and Clauses as Modifiers

Phrases and Clauses as Modifiers

Phrases and Clauses as Modifiers

Phrases and Clauses as Modifiers

The other types of modifiers dealt with here come in phrases and clauses.

Noun phrase as a modifier

A noun phrase can be a modifier of a noun. The modifying phrase can precede or follow the noun that it modifies.

  • A devoted father, Larry has five daughters.
  • (The noun phrase a devoted father modifies Larry.)
  • He plucked some apples from his neighbour’s tree.
  • (The noun phrase from his neighbour’s tree modifies apples.)

Adjective phrase as modifier

  • We lay down under the slightly blue sky.
  • (The adjective phrase slightly blue modifies the noun sky.)
  • He won the race with a black horse.
  • (The adjective phrase with a black horse modifies the noun race.)

Adverb phrase as modifier

An adverb phrase is two or more words acting as an adverb. It modifies a verb, adjective, or adverb.

  • She put her hand in his pocket.
  • (The adverb phrase in his pocket modifies the verb put.)
  • The police are hopeful of solving the case.
  • (The adverb phrase of solving the case modifies the adjective hopeful.)
  • Traffic is flowing smoothly along the new highway.
  • (The adverb phrase along the new highway modifies the adverb smoothly. Note that the adverb smoothly modifies the verb phrase is flowing.)

An adjective clause as a modifier

As a dependent clause, an adjective clause modifies a noun or a pronoun. An

Adjective clause is introduced by a relative pronoun such as who, whom, whose, that, and which.

  • Police are hunting nationwide for a prisoner who escaped from the prison.
  • (The adjective clause who escaped from the prison modifies prisoner.)
  • His mother is a writer whose latest book is on palmistry.
  • (The adjective clause whose latest book is on palmistry modifies writer.)
  • You are telling me a story that you have told me before.
  • (The adjective clause that you have told me before modifies story.)

 An adverb clause as a modifier

An adverb is a dependent clause, and like a single-word adverb, it modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. It modifies the verb more than the others.

  • Put the ingredients on the table before they are mixed.
  • (The adverb clause before they are mixed modifies the verb put. The adverb clause is introduced by the subordinate conjunction before.)
  • The players were determined that they would perform better in the second half.
  • (The adverb clause that they would perform better in the second half modifies the adjective determined.)

 Possessive adjective is modifier

A possessive adjective is a modifier of a noun. It modifies the noun by showing possession of it. The possessive adjective always comes before the noun.

  • This is the wig that I will be wearing tonight.
  • (The possessive adjective my modifies the noun wig.)
  • We are helping grandfather to look for his denture.
  • (The possessive adjective his modifies the noun denture.)