Adjectives are those words that describe nouns and
They tell us how big something is, what it looks like,
where it’s from, how many there are and countless
Some adjectives are derived from proper nouns to
describe historical periods, artistic styles, nationality,
This gown came from the Elizabethan period. It has
many frills and lace.
I always feel so tired after working all day, said Salbiah
to her mother. This is her complaint to her family.
Adjective Phrase is a constituent with an adjective as
e.g. 1 The very cute girl is my sister.
Very cute girl is the adjectival phrase.
Cute is the head adjective with a premodification.
e.g. 2 Your brother was very angry about the results.
Happy about the results is the adjectival phrase.
Happy is the head with postmodification.
Adjective phrase variation
That seems very expensive for a pen.
Expensive is the head with pre and postmodification
Adverbs are words we use to add further meaning yo
verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.
They help answer questions such as how, when,
where, how much and how often.
It rained heavily, which was good for the garden.
It is a constituent that describes time, place or
1. Susan quickly wrote a letter.
Quickly – adverbial of manner
2. I will take the final exam on Monday morning
On Monday morning – adverbial of time
3. Next week we have no more classes.
Next week – adverbial of time
It is a constituent that has an adverb as its head.
E.g.1 Ali played the music very loudly.
Very loudly is an adverb phrase.
Loudly is the head with premodification.
He is talking strangely for a teacher.
Strangely for a teacher is the adverb phrase.
Strangely is the head with postmodification.
A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to
other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that
the preposition introduces is called the object of the
A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial
or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the
sentence as in the following examples:
1.The book is on the table.
2.The book is beneath the table.
3.The book is leaning against the table.
4.The book is beside the table
It is a constituent that has a preposition as its head.
E.g. 1 The chair right at the back is broken.
At the back is a preposition phrase
At is the head
Note: preposition phrase always has a noun phrase as a
Premodification is not common though “right” can be
considered as that in the sentence above.
Roles of Phrases in a sentence
(1) My brother shot the robber.
(2) The robber shot my brother.
Form for my brother in both sentence is a noun phrase.
(1) My brother functions as a subject.
(2) My brother functions as a direct object.
Direct and indirect object
e.g. 1 The man gave his girlfriend a rose.
girlfriend is an indirect object
a rose is direct object
Note: Verbs that takes two objects are called
Postphonement test; The indirect object can be moved
to the back.
i.e. The man gave a rose to his girlfriend.
Direct and indirect object cont.
E.g. 2 Michael bought his girlfriend some flowers.
Girlfriend is an indirect object
Some flowers is a direct object.
E.g. 1 John loved the teacher.
E.g. 2 John became the teacher.
In e.g. 2 the teacher is a subject complement because
the constituent following the verb describes the
The verb is called a copular verb.
Sentence 1 can be converted into a passive sentence.
“The teacher was loved by John”.
We have elected you our leader.
You is the direct object.
Our leader is the object complement.
E.g. 1 I made my mother happy.
My mother is a direct object.
Happy is an object complement.
Test: My mother is happy. – correct.
e.g. 2 You left your teacher very angry.
Your teacher is direct object.
Very angry is object complement
Test: Your teacher is very angry. – correct.
E.g. 1 Our classroom is on the first floor.
on the first floor is the preposition phrase
on – is the preposition
the first floor – prepositional complement (contains a
E.g. 2 My teacher is quite angry with me.
with – is the preposition
me – prepositional complement (contains a pronoun)
Premodifier & postmodifier
E.g. 1 Very tall men are often good at basketball.
“” Very tall” -- premodifier of men
E.g. 2 I love music by Beethoven.
“ by Beethoven” postmodifier of music
E.g. 3 My father sent that student a letter last week.
My – possessive pronoun – determiner & premodifier
That – demonstrative & premodifier
A – article – determiner & premodifier
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