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Modifiers

A modifier is a word or phrase used before or after a noun to provide additional information about it. These words or groups of words help to describe or specify the subject, verb, object, complement, or other modifiers in a sentence. The most common types of modifiers are adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns, while adverbs modify adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs. Additionally, nouns can also be used as modifiers of other nouns.

Modifiers can be categorized into two main types: premodifiers and postmodifiers.


Premodifiers: Premodifiers are words or phrases that precede the word they modify.

  1. Adjective: An adjective describes a noun or pronoun.Example: "He is an honest man."In this sentence, "honest" is an adjective modifying the noun "man."

  2. Present Participle: Formed by adding "-ing" to the base form of a verb, present participles describe ongoing actions or states.Example: "A barking dog seldom bites."Here, "barking" is a present participle modifying the noun "dog."

  3. Past Participle: Formed by adding "-d" or "-ed" to the base form of a verb, past participles describe completed actions or states.Example: "I want written proof.""Written" is a past participle modifying the noun "proof."

  4. Noun Adjective: When an adjective modifies the first of two nouns.Example: "This is a busy railway station.""Busy" is an adjective modifying the noun "railway station."

  5. Determiner: These words specify the word they modify and include articles, demonstratives, possessives, numerals, and quantifiers.Example: "The red car.""The" is a determiner specifying the noun "car."

  6. Intensifiers: Words that emphasize the degree or extent of another word.Example: "She is very intelligent.""Very" is an intensifier modifying the adjective "intelligent."


Postmodifiers: Postmodifiers are words or phrases that follow the word they modify.

  1. Infinitive Phrase: Consists of the word "to" followed by a verb in its base form along with any accompanying words.Example: "My plan to go abroad was cancelled.""To go abroad" is an infinitive phrase modifying the noun "plan."

  2. Present Participle: Similar to premodifiers, present participles describe ongoing actions or states.Example: "I saw him working in the field.""Working" is a present participle modifying the pronoun "him."

  3. Past Participle: Describes completed actions or states.Example: "The application written by me has been granted.""Written by me" is a past participle phrase modifying the noun "application."

  4. Prepositional Phrase: Consists of a preposition followed by a noun phrase.Example: "The book on the table is mine.""On the table" is a prepositional phrase modifying the noun "book."

  5. Appositives: When two nouns sit together and the second noun describes the first.Example: "Osama, captain of class Ten, is a dutiful boy.""Captain of class Ten" is an appositive modifying the noun "Osama."

  6. Adjective: A single adjective modifying a noun.Example: "The work is something difficult.""Difficult" is an adjective modifying the noun "work."

  7. Adverb: Words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.Example: "The man behind is my teacher.""Behind" is an adverb modifying the noun "man."

  8. Relative Clause: Provides additional information about someone or something.Example: "I know the man who came here.""Who came here" is a relative clause modifying the noun "man."


List of Modifiers:

a) Adjective (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Adjectives are words that modify or describe nouns or pronouns by providing more information about their qualities, characteristics, or attributes.

  • Examples:

  1. Red apple

b) Adverb (use an intensifier)

  • Definition: Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Intensifiers are a type of adverb that amplifies or strengthens the meaning of another word.

  • Examples:

  1. He ran very quickly.

c) Demonstrative pronoun (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Demonstrative pronouns point to a specific thing or things and can function as adjectives when they modify nouns.

  • Examples:

  1. This book

d) Quantifier (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Quantifiers are words or phrases used before a noun to indicate quantity or amount.

  • Examples:

  1. Many people

e) Possessive pronoun (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Possessive pronouns indicate ownership or possession and can function as adjectives when they modify nouns.

  • Examples:

  1. My car

f) Noun-adjective (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: In a noun-adjective phrase, a noun functions as an adjective to modify another noun.

  • Examples:

  1. School bus

g) Adverb (pre-modify the verb)

  • Definition: Adverbs modify verbs, indicating manner, place, time, frequency, degree, or circumstance.

  • Examples:

  1. He quickly ran.

h) Infinitive phrase (post-modify the verb)

  • Definition: An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive verb form preceded by "to" and can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb.

  • Examples:

  1. He likes to play the guitar.

i) Participle (post-modify the verb)

  • Definition: Participles are verb forms used as adjectives to modify nouns or pronouns.

  • Examples:

  1. The falling leaves covered the ground.

j) Gerund (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: A gerund is a verb form ending in "-ing" that functions as a noun.

  • Examples:

  1. Swimming is my favorite sport.

k) Noun phrase (pre-modify the noun phrase)

  • Definition: A noun phrase consists of a noun and other words that modify or describe it.

  • Examples:

  1. A pair of shoes

l) Participle (post-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Participles are verb forms used as adjectives to modify nouns or pronouns, appearing after the noun they modify.

  • Examples:

  1. The child, startled by the noise, began to cry.

m) Adjective (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Adjectives modify or describe nouns or pronouns by providing more information about their qualities, characteristics, or attributes.

  • Examples:

  1. Blue sky

n) Adverb (post-modify the verb)

  • Definition: Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, typically expressing manner, place, time, frequency, degree, or circumstance.

  • Examples:

  1. She ran quickly.

o) Adverbial (post-modify the verb)

  • Definition: Adverbials are words or phrases functioning as adverbs to modify a verb, expressing manner, place, time, frequency, degree, or circumstance.

  • Examples:

  1. He waited in the car.

p) Appositive (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that renames or explains another noun right beside it.

  • Examples:

  1. My friend Jack is coming over.

q) Present participle phrase (post-modify the verb)

  • Definition: A present participle phrase contains the present participle of a verb and functions to show that the action it describes is simultaneous with the action of the main verb.

  • Examples:

  1. She walked down the street, smiling at everyone.

r) Past participle (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: A past participle is a verb form used in forming certain tenses and as an adjective.

  • Examples:

  1. The broken vase

s) Intensifier (pre-modify the adjective)

  • Definition: An intensifier is a word or affix that emphasizes or strengthens the meaning of an adjective or adverb.

  • Examples:

  1. Very happy

t) Post-modify the verb with an infinitive

  • Definition: A structure where an infinitive follows the main verb, providing additional information about the action.

  • Examples:

  1. He decided to go for a run.

u) Prepositional phrase (pre-modify the verb)

  • Definition: A phrase consisting of a preposition and its object, modifying the verb.

  • Examples:

  1. He waited by the door.

v) Nouns (pre-modify the noun)

  • Definition: Words representing a person, place, thing, or idea.

  • Examples:

  1. Car engine

w) Adverbial phrase (post-modify the verb)

  • Definition: A group of two or more words functioning as an adverb, typically answering questions such as how, when, where, why, or to what degree.

  • Examples:

  1. He waited until the sun set.





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