Superwava's Blog


Posted on: November 18, 2011

modifier is an optional element in phrase structure or clause structure;[1] the removal of the modifier typically doesn’t affect the grammaticality of the sentence.

Modifiers describe a word or make its meaning more specific. (They are said to modify the word.)

In English, there are two parts of speech which are modifiers: adjectives and adverbs.  Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns; whereas, adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.


important letter  (adjective modifying a noun)

adjective     noun

Paint it correctly.  (adverb modifying a verb)

verb         adverb

extremely fast   (adverb modifying an adjective)

adverb     adjective

  • [Put it gently in the drawer]. (adverb in verb phrase)
  • She set it down [very gently]. (adverb in adverb phrase)
  • He was [very gentle]. (adverb in adjective phrase)
  • [Even more] people were there. (adverb in determiner phrase)
  • It ran [right up the tree]. (adverb in prepositional phrase)
  • It was [a nice house]. (adjective in noun phrase)
  • His desk was in [the faculty office]. (noun in noun phrase)
  • [The swiftly flowing waters] carried it away. (verb phrase in noun phrase)
  • I saw [the man whom we met yesterday]. (clause in noun phrase)
  • She’s [the woman with the hat]. (preposition phrase in noun phrase)
  • It’s not [that important]. (determiner in adjective phrase)
  • [A few more] workers are needed. (determiner in determiner phrase)
  • We’ve already [gone twelve miles]. (noun phrase in verb phrase)
  • She’s [two inches taller than I]. (noun phrase in verb adjective phrase)

source :

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