Using Modifiers Correctly

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 Using Modifiers Correctly



Forms and Uses of Adjectives and Adverbs

Forms of Modifiers

A modifier is a word or word group that makes the meaning of another word or word group more specific. The two kinds of modifiers are adjectives and adverbs.

One-Word Modifiers

Adjectives

An adjective makes the meaning of a noun or a pronoun more specific. 

EXAMPLES 

perfect score 
eager participant 
Irish accent 
clear water 
last one 
falling snow

Adverbs

An adverb makes the meaning of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb more specific. 

EXAMPLES 

walks briskly
ran very quickly
completely innocent
not lonesome

Phrases Used as Modifiers

Like one-word modifiers, phrases can also be used as adjectives and adverbs.

EXAMPLES 

I prefer this time of the year. [The prepositional phrase of the year acts as an adjective that modifies the noun time.] 

Falling from the very top of the tree, the leaf seemed to take hours to float to the ground. [The participial phrase Falling from the very top of the tree acts as an adjective that modifies the noun leaf.]

Drive especially carefully on wet roads. [The prepositional phrase on wet roads acts as an adverb that modifies the verb Drive.] 

You will have to climb to the top of that hill to see what is happening on the other side. [The infinitive phrase to see what is happening on the other side acts as an adverb that modifies the verb climb.]

Clauses Used as Modifiers

Like words and phrases, clauses can also be used as modifiers.

EXAMPLES

Guglielmo Marconi helped develop wireless telegraphy, which we now know as radio. [The adjective clause which we now know as radio modifies the noun telegraphy.] 

Before he became famous for such feats as sending a message across the Atlantic Ocean, Marconi worked in his father’s attic, sending signals across the room. [The adverb clause Before he became famous for such feats as sending a message across the Atlantic Ocean modifies the verb worked.]

Exercise

Identifying Adjectives and Adverbs 

For each of the following sentences, tell whether the italicized word or word group functions as an adjective or an adverb.

1. How many birds would you guess are sitting in the tallest tree? 
2. The chipmunk quickly disappeared into a hole in the ground. 
3. The kite soared majestically over the treetops. 
4. Stephan always has more homework than his brother.
5. Since he left the White House in 1981, Jimmy Carter has stayed active internationally as an unofficial diplomat and domestically as a spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity. 
6. On quiet, moonlit nights, Jason likes to go for long walks. 
7. Sarah’s paper airplane stayed in the air longer than anyone else’s in her class. 
8. Photosynthesis, which converts carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen, is the process plants use to turn solar energy into energy they can use. 
9. The annual wildflower blooms are later than usual this year. 
10. Although they are not as blind as some people think, many types of bats rely more on smell or sound than on sight to find their way around.
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Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎

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