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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Adjective Phrases

 
 

An adjective phrase does the same job as an adjective clause. It modifies a noun by combining ideas in one sentence. The adjective phrase does not have a subject or complete verb. It is a "reduced" adjective clause.

 

 
 

Sentence

The car which is parked in the driveway is red.

Independent clause

The car is red.
Adjective clause

The car which is parked in the driveway is red.

Adjective phrase
(no subject or verb)

The car which is parked in the driveway is red.

Sentence with adjective phrase The car parked in the driveway is red.
 
 

 

An adjective phrase:

  • is a reduced adjective clause.
    Adjective clauses can be reduced in ONLY one situation. Only adjective clauses that have a subject pronoun (who, which, that) can be reduced.

  • has the same meaning as the adjective clause.

  • has no subject.

  • has no verb.

  • uses commas to separate a "non-identifying" adjective phrase from the independent clause.

An adjective phrase follows two general rules.

  1. When the adjective clause has a "be" verb form, omit the relative pronoun and the "be" verb form.

  2. When the adjective clause does not have a "be" verb form, omit the relative pronoun and change the verb to its participle (-ing) form.

Related sections
Adjective Clauses
Participles
Punctuation
Sentence Combining: Part B