The Modifiers

Last updated: May 10, 2018 at 5:09 am

car photoEvery part of speech has a specific function in a sentence. Prepositions oil the sentence machinery. Verbs make the sentence go, and nouns name things.

But what are modifiers? What two of the eight parts of speech are modifiers? The answer: adjectives and adverbs.

The word “modify” means “to change slightly.” And modifiers change the meaning of words slightly by adding deeper meaning or painting a clearer picture.

Here’s an example:

Sentence 1: The man lives in a house at the end of the street.

Sentence 2. The man lives in a “red” house at the end of the street.

The adjective “red” is a modifier. It paints a clearer, more accurate picture of the noun “house.” A word which modifies a noun is called an “adjective.”

The other modifier is the adverb. The adverb can modify verbs, adverbs and other adverbs. How? Let’s see some modifiers in action.

The boy ran up the hill.

The boy ran “quickly” up the hill.

In the second sentence above, the adverb “quickly,” modifies the verb “ran.” It adds greater, more accurate meaning to it. Now we not only know that the boy ran up the hill, but we also know “how” he ran up the hill: quickly.

The man lived in a big house.

In the above sentence, the adjective “big” modifies the noun “house.” But look at this sentence:

The man lived in an “extremely” big house.

In the sentence above, the adverb “extremely” is used to modify the adjective “big.” The adjective “extremely,” gives greater, deeper and more clearer meaning to the adjective “big.”

And finally, in modifiers in action, let’s see an adverb modifying another adverb.

I was driving fast.

In the sentence above, the word “fast” is an adverb because it modifies the verb “driving.”

Now let’s use another adverb to further modify the adverb “fast.”

I was driving “really” fast when the accident happened.

The adverb “really” modifies the adverb “fast” by giving greater, clearer and more accurate meaning to it.

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