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Modifiers in English Grammar

The modifiers are collections of words (a phrase or a clause) that modify a sentence in such a way that it gives it a meaning. An adverb or an adjective are modifiers in a sentence. A noun is modified by an adjective and a verb is modified by an adverb.

Example:

  • The sick old man was walking slowly.

(Adjectives “the sick old” modify the noun “man”. And the adverb “slowly” modifies the verb “slowly”).

  • The farm owner (noun) shouted (verb) at the children furiously (adverb).

 

Types of Modifiers:

  • Pre Modifiers.
  • Post Modifiers.

 

Pre Modifiers:

When an adjective or an adverb comes before a noun or a verb it is known as the pre modifier.

Proper, descriptive and compound adjectives, as well as the articles, participles, and determiners fall into the category of pre modifiers.

For example:

  • Often (adverbs) the (article) hardworking (descriptive adjectives) students (noun) get good grades.
  • Fortunately (adverbs), the company (noun) had an efficient (descriptive adjectives) security system that prevented the theft.

 

Post Modifiers:

Post modifiers usually come after the word they modify. Mostly, the adverbs come after a verb. In this case, an adjective also follows a noun.

Adverbs of time, manner and place are known as Post modifiers.

Example:

  • The employee (noun), who was sick (adjective). Left for home early (adverb).
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