Adjectives – Position In A Sentence – Grammar Lesson

CHAPTER 21.  ADJECTIVES: POSITION IN A SENTENCE

Words which are used to modify nouns or pronouns are usually referred to as adjectives. For instance, the adjectives in the following sentences are underlined.
e.g. Large trees could be seen.
They are happy.
In the preceding examples, the adjective large modifies the noun trees, and the adjective happy modifies the pronoun they.

It should be noted that adjectives can be formed from two or more words combined by the use of hyphens.
e.g. the three-month-old baby
ninety-dollar jacket
two-hour trip
As illustrated in these examples, the nouns in such hyphenated expressions are generally in the singular. Thus, the singular forms of the nouns monthdollar and hour are used.

Most English adjectives have the same form for the singular as for the plural. The only exceptions are the demonstrative adjectives this and that, discussed Chapter 19.

1. Proper adjectives

Proper adjectives are adjectives derived from proper nouns. In English, proper adjectives must begin with a capital letter. The proper adjectives in the following sentences are underlined.
e.g. The French town has an interesting history.
Many of my friends are American.
This house is a fine example of Victorian architecture.

The derivation of proper adjectives from proper nouns is somewhat irregular. For instance, the spelling of the following proper nouns and proper adjectives can be compared.

Proper NounProper Adjective
  America  American
  Canada  Canadian
  Germany  German
  Mexico  Mexican
  George  Georgian
  Victoria  Victorian

Many proper adjectives end with an or ian. However, other endings are also used, as indicated below.

Proper NounProper Adjective
  England  English
  France  French
  China  Chinese

2. Attributive adjectives

Adjectives which precede the noun they modify are usually referred to as attributive adjectives. For instance, in the following examples, the attributive adjectives are underlined.
e.g. Heavy rain is expected.
We saw white swans on the river.

In these examples, heavy is an attributive adjective modifying the noun rain, and white is an attributive adjective modifying the noun swans.

a. Order of attributive adjectives

It is possible for a noun to be preceded by many different types of attributive adjective. In the following example, the attributive adjectives are underlined.
e.g. Two large red cardboard milk cartons stood on the steps.

In this example, two is a cardinal number, large is an adjective indicating size, red is an adjective indicating color, cardboard is an adjective indicating a type of material, and milk is a defining adjective indicating purpose.

When a noun is preceded by more than one type of attributive adjective, the different types of adjective are usually arranged in a particular order. For instance, the following example contains eleven different types of attributive adjective.
e.g. a small, heavy, snug, warm, 100-year-old, round-bellied black iron Norwegian wood stove

In this example, a is an article, small is an adjective indicating size, heavy is an adjective indicating weight, snug is a general descriptive adjective, warm is an adjective indicating temperature, 100-year-old is an adjective indicating age, round-bellied is an adjective indicating shape, black is an adjective indicating color, iron is an adjective indicating a type of material, Norwegian is a proper adjective, and wood is a defining adjective indicating a method of operation.

The different types of attributive adjective are usually arranged In the order shown in the following table.

Usual Order of Attributive Adjectives
1) certain determiners such as allboth and half
2) determiners including the articles aand and the;
possessive adjectives e.g. myhisherour and their;
demonstrative adjectives e.g. thatthesethis, and those; and
certain other determiners such as anotheranyeacheither,
enougheveryneithernosomewhat and which
3) cardinal numbers e.g. onetwothree; and
certain other determiners such as fewmany and several
4) determiners such as fewerfewestleastlessmore and most
5) general descriptive adjectives, often in the following order:
a) adjectives indicating size e.g. largelongnarrow
b) adjectives indicating weight e.g. heavylight
c) participles and other adjectives e.g. cleverexcitedinteresting
d) adjectives indicating temperature e.g. coldhotwarm
e) adjectives indicating humidity e.g. drydampwet
f) adjectives indicating age e.g. newsix-month-oldyoung
g) adjectives indicating shape e.g. barrel-shapedroundsquare
6) adjectives indicating color e.g. bluegreywhite
7) adjectives indicating materials e.g. clothleathermetal
8) proper adjectives e.g. AmericanVictorian
9) defining adjectives, usually indicating purpose, method of operation, location, time or categories of people

i. Determiners

The usual order of different types of determiner is indicated in the first four categories of the table above.

1) The determiners in the first category, allboth and half, usually precede other attributive adjectives.
e.g. all three tables
both the students
half the red roses

Alternatively, before the article the, the words allboth and half may be used as pronouns, followed by the word of.
e.g. all of the tables
both of the students
half of the red roses

2) The determiners in the second category of the table above include articles, possessive adjectives, demonstrative adjectives, and the determiners anotheranyeacheitherenougheveryneithernosomewhat and which. A noun can usually be modified by only one of the attributive adjectives in this category.

If it is desired to convey the idea expressed by a possessive adjective combined with another adjective in this category, the possessive adjective must be changed to the corresponding possessive pronoun preceded by of, and must follow the noun.

For instance, the ideas expressed by the phrase this black horse, combined with the possessive adjective my; and the phrase a book combined with the possessive adjective your may be conveyed as follows:
e.g. this black horse of mine
a book of yours

In a somewhat similar way, the determiners anotheranyeacheitherenoughneithersome and which may be combined with other members of the second category of adjective by being used as pronouns followed by of.

For instance, the ideas expressed by the phrase my dresses, combined with the determiner any; and the phrase these white flowers, combined with the determiner either may be conveyed as follows:
e.g. any of my dresses
either of these white flowers

Since the determiners every and no cannot be used as pronouns, the expressions every one and none must be used. For instance, the ideas expressed in the phrase these children, combined with the determiner every; and the phrase their opinions, combined with the determiner no may be conveyed as follows:
e.g. every one of these children
none of their opinions

See Exercise 1.

3) The determiners in the third category of the table above include the cardinal numbers, and the determiners fewmany and several. As illustrated in the following examples, the determiners in this category usually follow determiners in the previous two categories, and precede other attributive adjectives.
e.g. all twelve red roses
their many exciting adventures

It should be noted that other usually precedes a cardinal number when an article or possessive adjective is present, but usually follows a cardinal number when no article or possessive adjective is present.
e.g. the other three chairs
my other two cousins

three other chairs
two other cousins

In the first two examples, the article the and the possessive article my are present, and other precedes the cardinal numbers three and two. In the second two examples, no article or possessive adjective is present, and other follows the cardinal numbers three and two.

4) The determiners fewerfewestleastlessmore and most usually follow other determiners.
e.g. the fewest mistakes
two more children
In the first example, fewest follows the determiner the. In the second example, more follows the determiner two.

See Exercise 2.

ii. General descriptive adjectives

As indicated in the preceding table, general descriptive adjectives usually follow determiners and precede other types of attributive adjective. As shown in the table, there are several types of general descriptive adjective, which often occur in a certain order. However, the order of different types of general descriptive adjective is more flexible than the order of other types of attributive adjective.

a) Attributive adjectives indicating size usually follow any determiners, but precede other types of attributive adjective. In the following phrases, the adjectives indicating size are underlined.
e.g. three large, level platforms
her two tiny brown lap dogs
that enormous English dictionary

Below are pairs of adjectives with opposite meanings, indicating size:

  deep  shallow
  enormous  tiny
  large  small
  long  short
  wide  narrow
  thick  thin

b) Adjectives indicating weight usually follow adjectives indicating size, but precede other types of attributive adjective. In the following phrases, the adjectives indicating weight are underlined.
e.g. a small, heavy parcel
two light nylon knapsacks

The following are examples of adjectives indicating weight:

heavy
light
5-kilogram
2-ton

See Exercise 3.

c) Participles and other general descriptive adjectives which do not fall into any of the other categories usually follow adjectives indicating size and weight, and precede other types of attributive adjective. In the following examples, the adjective alert, and the participles twittering and excitedare underlined.
e.g. two large, alert black cats
eleven tiny, twittering birds
many excited children

d) to g) The order of adjectives indicating temperature, humidity, age and shape is not as predictable as the order of other attributive adjectives. For instance, adjectives indicating temperature occur sometimes before and sometimes after general descriptive adjectives such as clear and hard.
e.g. clear, cold water
cold, hard ice

It should be noted that the position of attributive adjectives indicating age may be altered to change the emphasis.
e.g. a new, efficient method
an efficient, new method
In the first example, the adjective new is emphasized. In the second example, the adjective efficient is emphasized.

However, the most usual order of adjectives indicating temperature, humidity, age and shape is that indicated in the table. For instance, adjectives indicating temperature usually precede adjectives indicating humidity.
e.g. a hotdry wind
coldwet dog
In these examples, the adjectives hot and cold, indicating temperature, precede the adjectives dry and wet, indicating humidity.

As can be seen in the preceding examples, general descriptive adjectives are usually separated from one another by commas. This is illustrated In the following examples, in which the general descriptive adjectives are underlined.
e.g. a smalltriangular wooden boat
those five thickstrongtwo-hundred-year-old oak trees

Below are examples of adjectives which indicate temperature, humidity, age and shape.

TemperatureHumidityAgeShape
  hot  wet  new  square
  cold  dry  old  round
  warm  damp  young  triangular
  cool  humid  six-week-old  octagonal
  moist  two-year-old  spherical

See Exercise 4.

iii. Adjectives indicating color

Adjectives indicating color usually precede adjectives indicating materials, proper adjectives, and defining adjectives, but follow other types of attributive adjective.

In the following examples, the adjectives indicating color are underlined.
e.g. threatening black clouds
her new red leather jacket
a square brown mahogany table

Below are examples of adjectives which indicate color:

  red  black  pink
  orange  white  magenta
  yellow  brown  scarlet
  green  beige  crimson
  blue  silver  fox-red
  violet  golden  olive-green
  purple  turquoise  sky-blue, etc.
iv. Adjectives indicating materials

Attributive adjectives indicating the materials from which objects are made usually follow any adjectives indicating color and precede any proper or defining adjectives. In the following examples, adjectives indicating materials are underlined.
e.g. a beautiful grey silk scarf
ten black plastic coat hangers
the clean wooden floor

In modern English, most adjectives indicating the materials from which objects are made have the same form as the corresponding nouns. For Instance, the words silk and plastic can be used either as nouns or as adjectives. One of the few exceptions is the adjective wooden, which corresponds to the noun wood.

Below are examples of adjectives which indicate materials:

  wooden  cotton  metal
  paper  wool  iron
  cardboard  silk  steel
  plastic  satin  brass
  rock  corduroy  gold
  stone  velvet  silver
  brick  flannel  copper
  concrete  denim  lead
  glass  nylon  tin
  leather  polyester  aluminum
v. The position of proper adjectives

Proper adjectives usually follow all other types of attributive adjective except defining adjectives.

Proper adjectives are usually derived from proper nouns referring to places or persons. In the following examples, the proper adjectives are underlined.
e.g. sparkling French wine
three red brick Georgian manor houses

In the first example, the proper adjective French is derived from the place name France, and indicates the place of origin of the wine. In the second example, the proper adjective Georgian is derived from George, the name of an English king, and indicates that the houses are built in a style developed during the reign of that king.

It should be noted that proper adjectives may sometimes precede adjectives indicating materials, as in the following examples. This occurs when the adjective indicating a material is used as a type of defining adjective, to help identify what type of object is being described.
e.g. Mexican straw hats
an American pearl necklace

See Exercises 5 and 6.

vi. Defining adjectives

When a word preceding a noun does not merely describe the object being referred to, but helps to define or identify the type of object meant, the word preceding the noun can be called a defining adjective. The defining adjectives in the following examples are underlined.
e.g. an enjoyable birthday party
a fine young man
the new telephone directory

Defining adjectives are combined with nouns to form fixed expressions, in order to refer to certain types of things. In the above examples, birthday partyyoung man and telephone directory are fixed expressions which are commonly used to refer to certain types of things.

In many such expressions, the defining adjectives are words which are usually used as nouns. For instance, in the above examples, birthday, and telephone are words which are usually used as nouns. In such cases, the fixed expressions are sometimes thought of as compound nouns.

Many words which are used as gerunds can also be used as defining adjectives, as illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. black hiking boots
our drinking water

In this type of fixed expression, it is also possible for two words to be used together as defining adjectives. In the following examples, the words used as defining adjectives are underlined.
e.g. a roller skating rink
hot water bottle

Defining adjectives usually immediately precede the nouns they modify. Many defining adjectives indicate the purpose for which the object being referred to is used. In the following examples, the defining adjectives are underlined.
e.g. an egg carton
coat hanger
dish cloth
An egg carton is a carton used for storing eggs, a coat hanger is an object used for hanging up coats, and a dish cloth is a cloth used for washing dishes.

As can be seen in these examples, when a word usually used as a countable noun is used as a defining adjective, it is normally the singular form of the word which is used. Thus, in the preceding examples, the singular forms eggcoat and dish are used.

See Exercise 7.

Defining adjectives can also indicate the method of operation of an object. This is the case in the following examples.
e.g. a steam iron
ten-speed bicycle
an electric light

Defining adjectives sometimes help to define the object being referred to by indicating time or location.
e.g. the morning star
the winter term
the front door
the kitchen window
In these examples the adjectives morning and winter indicate time, and the adjectives front and kitchen indicate location.

Defining adjectives are also used in fixed expressions which refer to certain categories of people.
e.g. a little girl
baby boy
an old woman

See Exercise 8.

vii. Ordinal adjectives

Attributive adjectives such as nextlastfirstsecondthird and so on, are sometimes referred to as ordinal adjectives, since they indicate the order in which things occur.

When they are not followed by commas, ordinal adjectives have the property of modifying any following attributive adjectives together with the accompanying noun. For this reason, the position of an ordinal adjective relative to other attributive adjectives can affect the meaning of a phrase.
e.g. the first reluctant witness
the reluctant first witness

The two preceding examples have different meanings. In the phrase the first reluctant witness, the adjective first modifies the following adjective reluctant together with the noun witness. This means that although there may have been previous witnesses, the phrase refers to the first witness who was reluctant.

However, in the phrase the reluctant first witness, the adjective first modifies only the noun witness. This means that there were no previous witnesses. The phrase refers to the first witness, indicating that this witness was reluctant.

Below is a similar example, giving two phrases with different meanings.
e.g. the second unpredictable year
the unpredictable second year

In the phrase the second unpredictable year, the adjective second modifies the following adjective unpredictable together with the noun year. This means that although there may have been more than one previous year, the phrase refers to the second year which was unpredictable.

However, in the phrase the unpredictable second year, the adjective second modifies only the noun year. This means that there was only one previous year. The phrase refers to the second year, indicating that this year was unpredictable.

As illustrated in the preceding examples, the position of ordinal attributive adjectives varies depending upon what meaning is to be conveyed.

See Exercise 9.

b. Punctuation used with attributive adjectives

As already indicated, general descriptive adjectives, including adjectives indicating size, weight, temperature, humidity, age and shape are usually separated from one another by commas.
e.g. the long, winding road
a heavy, awkward box
a cold, wet mist
a small, square room

In contrast, determiners, possessive adjectives, adjectives representing cardinal numbers, and ordinal adjectives are usually not followed by commas. In the following examples, adjectives of these types are underlined.
e.g. those large chairs
my new shirts
two narrow paths
the first tall building

In addition, defining adjectives, proper adjectives, and adjectives indicating color and materials are usually not preceded by commas. In the following examples, adjectives of these types are underlined.
e.g. a large egg carton
a beautiful Chinese vase
elegant black boots
a dilapidated stone building

However, it should be noted that in some cases, proper adjectives and adjectives indicating shape, color and materials may or may not be preceded by commas. In the following examples, adjectives of these types are underlined.
e.g. a beautiful Japanese necklace or a beautiful, Japanese necklace
a small square tower or a small, square tower
a thin grey cat or a thin, grey cat
a black leather briefcase or a black, leather briefcase

When such adjectives are not preceded by commas, there is an implication that the adjectives are used to help identify the object being described. However, when such adjectives are preceded by commas, there is an implication that the adjectives are provided only for purposes of description, and are not being used to help identify the object being described.

For example, in the phrase a small square tower, there is the implication that the shape of the tower helps to identify which tower is meant. However, in the phrase a small, square tower there is the implication that the adjective square is provided only for purposes of description, and is not being used to help identify which tower is meant.

See Exercise 10.

There is also a distinction in meaning associated with the presence or absence of commas following ordinal adjectives. When followed by commas, ordinal adjectives function similarly to general descriptive adjectives, and modify only the accompanying noun.
e.g. the last, lonely outpost
the first, faint morning light
In the first example, the adjective last modifies the noun outpost. In the second example, the adjective first modifies the noun light.

However, as explained in the section on ordinal adjectives, when they are not followed by commas, ordinal adjectives have the property of modifying any following attributive adjectives together with the accompanying noun.

c. Stress used with attributive adjectives

In speaking, nouns are usually pronounced with more stress than the preceding attributive adjectives. In the following examples, the words which are pronounced with the heaviest stress are underlined.
e.g. a small, green cucumber
an old, rectangular courtyard
In these examples, the nouns cucumber and courtyard are pronounced with slightly more emphasis than the preceding adjectives.

i. Adjectives indicating materials

However, there are several exceptions to the rule that the noun has the most emphasis. For instance, when a noun is immediately preceded by an adjective naming a material, the adjective is usually pronounced with the same degree of emphasis as the noun.
e.g. a leather belt
silver spoon
In these examples, the adjectives leather and silver are pronounced with the same degree of emphasis as the nouns belt and spoon.

ii. Defining adjectives indicating location or time

Also, when a noun is preceded by a defining adjective indicating location or time, the adjective is usually pronounced with the same degree of emphasis as the noun.
e.g. the front door
the fall term
In these examples, the defining adjectives front, indicating location, and fall, indicating time, are pronounced with the same degree of emphasis as the nouns door and term.

iii. Defining adjectives indicating purpose

However, when a defining adjective indicates the purpose of the object being described, the defining adjective usually has a strong emphasis, while the noun which follows it has a weak emphasis.
e.g. brown hiking boots
a red milk carton
In these examples, the defining adjectives hiking and milk receive a stronger emphasis than either the succeeding nouns boots and carton, or the preceding attributive adjectives.

See Exercise 11.

3. Predicate adjectives

a. Attributive adjectives which can be used as predicate adjectives

An adjective which is separated from the noun or pronoun it modifies by a verb is often referred to as a predicate adjective. The predicate adjectives in the following examples are underlined.
e.g. The horse is black.
The streets are long and narrow.
It is largeheavy and awkward.

In these examples, the adjective black modifies the noun horse. the adjectives long and narrow modify the noun streets, and the adjectives largeheavy and awkward modify the pronoun it.

Most general descriptive adjectives, as well as adjectives indicating color, can be used as predicate adjectives. In the following examples, the predicate adjectives are underlined.
e.g. The answer is puzzling.
These envelopes are small.
The bucket was heavy.
The weather will be cool and dry.
That child is young.
The cake is round.
The leaves are redyellow and orange.

However, there are a few general descriptive adjectives which cannot be used as predicate adjectives. For example, the adjectives listed below are normally used only as attributive adjectives.

Adjectives used only Attributively
chief
main
principal
sheer
utter

It should be noted that although they cannot be used with attributive adjectives, pronouns can be used with predicate adjectives.
e.g. He is happy.
She is proud.
We are careful.
They are successful.

Proper adjectives are sometimes used as predicate adjectives.
e.g. That car is American.
This one is Japanese.

It should be noted that hyphenated adjectives containing nouns often cannot be used as predicate adjectives. When such an expression follows the verb, the hyphens are omitted and the noun assumes a plural form, if required. In the following examples, the nouns contained in the hyphenated adjectives are underlined.
e.g. the two-year-old child
the one-hour program
forty-dollar shoes

When placed after the verb, the hyphenated adjectives must be changed as follows:
e.g. The child is two years old.
The length of the program is one hour.
The price of the shoes is forty dollars.

However, hyphenated adjectives which do not contain nouns can often be used as predicate adjectives. For instance, in the following examples, the hyphenated adjectives are underlined.
e.g. the long-winded orator
the wide-spread belief

These adjectives contain past participles. Hyphenated adjectives containing past participles are frequently used as predicate adjectives.
e.g. The orator was long-winded.
The belief is wide-spread.

i. Order

The order of predicate adjectives relative to one another is generally the same as the order of attributive adjectives relative to one another. The following examples illustrate the order of predicate adjectives.
e.g. The package is small and light.
The weather is clearcold and dry.
The footstool is round and black.

In the first example, the adjective small, indicating size, precedes the adjective light, indicating weight. In the second example, the general descriptive adjective clear precedes the adjective cold, indicating temperature, which precedes the adjective dry, indicating humidity. In the third example, the adjective round, indicating shape, precedes the adjective black, indicating color.

ii. Punctuation

As can be seen in these examples, the last two adjectives in a list of predicate adjectives are usually separated from each another by the word and, and any preceding adjectives are usually separated from one another by commas.
e.g. The clothes were clean and dry.
The dancers were tall, slender and graceful.

In a list of three or more predicate adjectives, an additional comma is sometimes placed before the word and.
e.g. The dancers were tall, slender, and graceful.
However, this additional comma is usually considered unnecessary.

See Exercise 12.

b. Adjectives which can be used only as predicate adjectives

The following are examples of adjectives with the prefix a which can be used only as predicate adjectives, not as attributive adjectives. The prefix a was formerly a preposition meaning on.

Adjectives used only Predicatively
afloat
afraid
aglow
alive
alone
asleep

In some cases, related words can be used as attributive adjectives. In the following examples, words used only as predicate adjectives and related words used as attributive adjectives are underlined.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
  The boat is afloat.  the floating boat
  The child is afraid.  the frightened child
  The sky is aglow.  the glowing sky
  The animal is alive.  the live animal
  The boy is asleep.  the sleeping boy

As illustrated below, the words herethere and ready can be used as predicate adjectives.
e.g. The children are here.
The records were there.
I am ready.

The words here and there are often used as adverbs, and cannot be used as attributive adjectives. The word ready is used as an attributive adjective only in certain expressions such as ready money and a ready answer.

As illustrated in the following examples, a few adjectives differ in meaning, depending upon whether they are used as predicate adjectives or attributive adjectives.
e.g. The treasurer was present.
the present treasurer

Robin Harris was late.
the late Robin Harris

My friend is poor.
my poor friend

In the sentence the treasurer was present, the predicate adjective present indicates that the treasurer was not absent. However, in the phrase the present treasurer, the attributive adjective present indicates that the person referred to holds the position of treasurer at the present time.

In the sentence Robin Harris was late, the predicate adjective late indicates that Robin Harris did not arrive on time. However, in the phrase the late Robin Harris, the attributive adjective late indicates that Robin Harris is no longer alive.

In the sentence my friend is poor, the predicate adjective poor indicates that my friend has little money. However, in the phrase my poor friend, the attributive adjective poor indicates that my friend is in an unfortunate situation.

See Exercise 13.

c. Linking verbs

In addition to the verb to be, certain other verbs can be followed by predicate adjectives. Such verbs are sometimes referred to as linking verbs, since they can link nouns or pronouns to modifying adjectives. For instance, the following verbs can be used as linking verbs.

Linking VerbLinking Verb used with Predicate Adjective
  to become  The wind became stronger.
  to feel  The blanket feels soft, warm and comfortable.
  to grow  The weather is growing cold.
  to look  The sky looked grey and overcast.
  to seem  His reasoning seems logical.
  to smell  The soup smelled good.
  to sound  The story sounds interesting.
  to taste  The carrots tasted sweet.
  to turn  The leaves turned scarlet.

In the above examples, the linking verbs link noun subjects with predicate adjectives.

When a verb is used as a linking verb, it is intransitive, since it does not take an object. It should be noted that many of the verbs listed above can also be used transitively.
e.g. The child felt the blankets.
We smelled the soup.
In these examples, the verbs to feel and to smell are used transitively, taking the objects blankets and soup respectively.

See Exercise 14.

4. Interpolated adjectives

As well as being used as attributive or predicate adjectives, general descriptive adjectives and adjectives indicating color can also be placed elsewhere in a sentence. When used in this way, adjectives can be said to be interpolated into a sentence. In the following sentences, the interpolated adjectives are underlined.
e.g. The child, happy and excited, ran along the beach.
Startled, the small yellow bird stopped singing.
Tense, expectant and alert, we waited to see what would happen.

Since the use of interpolated adjectives is somewhat uncommon, the use of interpolation can serve to emphasize the adjectives. Interpolated adjectives are most often placed immediately after a noun, as shown in the first example; or before a noun or pronoun at the beginning of a sentence, as shown in the second and third examples.

As illustrated above, a noun can be modified simultaneously by both interpolated and attributive adjectives. For instance, in the second example, the noun bird is modified by both the interpolated adjective startled and the attributive adjectives the small yellow.

Care must be taken in the positioning of interpolated adjectives, since the reader or listener will usually assume that the adjectives modify the nearest noun or pronoun.

As can be seen from the examples, the punctuation of interpolated adjectives is similar to that of predicate adjectives. When more than one adjective is used, the last two adjectives are separated from one another by the word and, and previous adjectives are separated from one another by commas.

However, unlike predicate adjectives, interpolated adjectives must also be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. For instance, in the first example above, the interpolated adjectives happy and excited are separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma before the word happy, and a comma following the word excited. Likewise, in the second example, the interpolated adjective startled is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma; and in the third example, the interpolated adjectives tense, expectant and alert are separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma following the word alert.

Interpolated adjectives are used more often in written English than in spoken English.

See Exercise 15.

5. Adjectival phrases and clauses

Nouns and pronouns can be modified not only by adjectives, but also by adjectival phrases and clauses. In the following examples, the adjectival phrases and clauses are underlined.
e.g. The table near the door is made of oak.
The one on the desk is mine.
The chair, which was placed in front of the window, was an heirloom.
Those who decide to come will not be disappointed.

In the first example, the noun table is modified by the adjectival phrase near the door. In the second example, the pronoun one is modified by the adjectival phrase on the desk. In the third example, the noun chair is modified by the adjectival clause which was placed in front of the window. In the fourth example, the pronoun those is modified by the adjectival clause who decide to come.

It should be noted that phrases do not contain verbs, whereas clauses do contain verbs. Phrases and clauses will be discussed further in the chapters dealing with prepositions and conjunctions. As illustrated in the preceding examples, an adjectival phrase or clause usually immediately follows the noun or pronoun being modified.

6. Participles used as adjectives

As has already been mentioned, present and past participles of verbs can be used as adjectives.

a. Present participles

Present participles used as adjectives refer to actions being performed by the things being described. In the following examples the present participles used as adjectives are underlined.
e.g. the falling star
the barking dog
The first example indicates that the star is performing the action of falling. The second example indicates that the dog is performing the action of barking.

b. Past participles

Past participles used as adjectives refer to actions which have been performed on the things being described. In the following examples, the past participles used as adjectives are underlined.
e.g. the scattered leaves
the broken drum
The first example indicates that something has scattered the leaves. The second example indicates that something has broken the drum.

See Exercise 16.

c. Dangling participles

As well as being used as attributive and predicate adjectives, past and present participles can also be used at the beginning of adjectival phrases interpolated into a sentence. In the following sentences, the interpolated adjectival phrases are underlined. As illustrated by the examples, an interpolated phrase must be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
e.g. Feeling hungry, the child ate an apple.
Disconcerted by the news, we headed for the nearest farmhouse.

In the first example, the present participle feeling begins the adjectival phrase feeling hungry, which modifies the noun child. In the second example, the past participle disconcerted begins the adjectival phrase disconcerted by the news, which modifies the pronoun we.

Since the listener or reader tends to assume that an interpolated adjectival phrase is meant to modify the nearest noun or pronoun, care must be taken to make sure that such a phrase is positioned close to the noun or pronoun to be modified. A participle that begins an interpolated phrase that is not sufficiently close to the noun or pronoun to be modified is usually referred to as a dangling participle. Dangling participles can result in ambiguity, or in sentences which do not make sense.

In the following sentences, the phrases beginning with dangling participles are underlined.
e.g. The photographer focused the camera, holding his breath.
Running across the road, his hat blew off.

In the first example, the noun to be modified is photographer. However, the phrase holding his breath is separated from the noun to be modified by the noun camera. Thus, the phrase holding his breath seems to modify the noun camera. In the second example, the noun or pronoun to be modified is missing from the sentence, and the phrase running across the road seems to modify the noun hat.

These example illustrate two basic types of dangling participle. In one type, the participle begins an adjectival phrase which is separated from the noun or pronoun to be modified by another noun or pronoun. In the other type, the participle begins an adjectival phrase that is meant to modify a noun or pronoun which in fact is not present in the sentence.

When an adjectival phrase is separated from the noun or pronoun to be modified by another noun or pronoun, the sentence can be corrected by positioning the adjectival phrase next to the noun or pronoun to be modified. This can often be accomplished by moving the phrase from one end of the sentence to the other.

For instance, in the sentences below, the nouns to be modified and the phrases containing dangling participles are underlined.
e.g. The photographer focused the camera, holding his breath.
Working as quickly as possible, our car was repaired by a mechanic.
Lost for over thirty years, she was overjoyed to find the diaries.
In these examples, holding his breath seems to modify the noun cameraworking as quickly as possible seems to modify the noun car, and lost for over thirty years seems to modify the pronoun she.

These sentences can be corrected as follows.
e.g. Holding his breath, the photographer focused the camera.
Our car was repaired by a mechanicworking as quickly as possible.
She was overjoyed to find the diarieslost for over thirty years.
In the corrected sentences, the adjectival phrases are correctly positioned near the nouns to be modified.

See Exercise 17.

When an adjectival phrase is meant to modify a noun or pronoun which in fact is not present in the sentence, the sentence can be corrected by rewriting either the adjectival phrase or the rest of the sentence, so that the missing noun or pronoun is supplied. For instance, in the sentences below, the phrases containing dangling participles are underlined.
e.g. Running across the road, his hat blew off.
Sitting lost in thought, the book slipped from her hand.
Determined not to be late, our watches were set ten minutes fast.

These sentences can be corrected as follows. In the corrected sentences, the noun or pronoun which was missing from the original sentence is underlined. Two corrected versions are given for each of the preceding sentences.
e.g. As he ran across the road, his hat blew off.
Running across the road, he lost his hat.

As she sat lost in thought, the book slipped from her hand.
Sitting lost in thought, she let the book slip from her hand.

Because we were determined not to be late, our watches were set ten minutes fast.
Determined not to be late, we set our watches ten minutes fast.

In the first corrected version of each of the preceding sentences, the adjectival phrase has been changed to an adjectival clause containing the pronoun which was missing from the original sentence. Thus, the interpolated phrase running across the road has been changed to the subordinate clause as he ran across the road, the interpolated phrase sitting lost in thought has been changed to the subordinate clause as she sat lost in thought, and the interpolated phrase determined not to be late has been changed to the subordinate clause because we were determined not to be late.

In the second corrected version of each of the sentences, the main clause of the sentence has been rewritten so that the pronoun which was missing from the original sentence is positioned next to the adjectival phrase which is meant to modify the pronoun. Thus, whereas in the incorrect sentences, the underlined adjectival phrases seem to modify the adjacent nouns hatbook and watches; in the corrected sentences, the adjectival phrases correctly modify the pronouns heshe and we.

See Exercise 18.

d. Past participles which follow the verb To Be

In English, the verb to be followed by a past participle used as a predicate adjective has the same form as a verb in the Passive Voice. This feature of the language can result in ambiguity. For instance, the following examples each have more than one possible meaning.
e.g. The doors will be closed at nine o’clock.
The train was stopped at midnight.

In the first example, will be closed could be the Simple Future of the verb to be, followed by the predicate adjective closed. In this case, the sentence would have the meaning that at nine o’clock, the doors will not be open. On the other hand, will be closed could be the Simple Future Passive of the verb to close. In this case, the sentence would imply that at nine o’clock, someone will close the doors.

Similarly, in the second example, was stopped could be the Simple Past of the verb to be, followed by the predicate adjective stopped. In this case, the sentence would indicate that at midnight, the train was not moving. On the other hand, was stopped could be the Simple Past Passive of the verb to stop. In this case, the sentence would imply that at midnight, someone stopped the train.

See Exercise 19.

EXERCISES for Chapter 21

  1. Combine each of the following phrases with the adjective given in brackets by changing the adjective to a pronoun, and using the word of. For example:
    an original recipe (our)
    an original recipe of ours

these red scarves (either)
either of these red scarves

the old movies (no)
none of the old movies

  1. that new bicycle (my)
  2. the students (each)
  3. those leather briefcases (neither)
  4. these two books (your)
  5. her latest inventions (some)
  6. that second-hand typewriter (his)
  7. their unusual experiences (another)
  8. these rubber boots (no)
  9. that velvet dress (her)
  10. those black shoes (any)
  11. Place the adjectives given in brackets before the accompanying nouns, arranging the adjectives in the correct order. For example:
    cats (two, my)
    my two cats

apples (these, three)
these three apples

people (other, four)
four other people

chairs (more, seven)
seven more chairs

  1. maps (our, ten)
  2. cows (twenty-five, all)
  3. book (one, that)
  4. socks (other, six)
  5. lamps (those, twenty)
  6. icicles (two, the)
  7. manuscripts (her, three)
  8. folders (twelve, these)
  9. mistakes (other, seven)
  10. pencils (more, two)
  11. questions (another, five)
  12. children (three, which)
  13. Place the adjectives given in brackets before the accompanying nouns, arranging the adjectives in the correct order. For example:
    bags (heavy, three)
    three heavy bags

windows (two, large, the)
the two large windows

  1. envelopes (large, four, her)
  2. tables (small, both, the)
  3. birds (tiny, those, three)
  4. brothers (tall, two, her)
  5. quilts (six, thick, all)
  6. coats (heavy, his, two)
  7. rooms (these, four, huge)
  8. pumpkins (ten, his, medium-sized)
  9. Place the adjectives given in brackets before the accompanying nouns, arranging the adjectives in the correct order. Make sure that the general descriptive adjectives are separated from one another by commas. For example:
    mirror (small, octagonal, the, highly-polished)
    the small, highly-polished, octagonal mirror

horses (frisky, their, young, three)
their three frisky, young horses

  1. jacket (light, your, short-sleeved)
  2. lenses (curved, small, three)
  3. puppy (four-week-old, our, damp, warm)
  4. discoveries (two, unexpected)
  5. carpet (heavy, a, round, thick)
  6. climate (humid, hot, the)
  7. blankets (dry, warm)
  8. table (low, oval, their)
  9. Place the adjectives given in brackets before the accompanying nouns, arranging the adjectives in the correct order. For example:
    cloth (cotton, purple)
    purple cotton cloth

vases (Chinese, blue)
blue Chinese vases

  1. tents (canvas, green)
  2. houses (Victorian, crimson)
  3. curtains (white, lace)
  4. cheese (Swiss, yellow)
  5. ladders (wooden, brown)
  6. blinds (pink, Venetian)
  7. hats (felt, black)
  8. cabinets (Renaissance, red)
  9. Place the adjectives given in brackets before the accompanying nouns, arranging the adjectives in the correct order. Make sure that the general descriptive adjectives are separated from one another by commas. For example:
    skirt (beautiful, black, new, velvet, a)
    a beautiful, new black velvet skirt

fossils (Devonian, three, white, small)
three small white Devonian fossils

box (brass, her, square, heavy)
her heavy, square brass box

  1. belt (green, beautiful, leather, a)
  2. hood (dry, his, warm)
  3. actors (old, two, Shakespearian, famous)
  4. beads (glass, round, blue, tiny)
  5. baby (lively, her, six-month-old)
  6. dress (satin, a, white, long)
  7. steps (narrow, cement, ten)
  8. basement (cool, damp, the)
  9. wolfhounds (Russian, two, grey, huge)
  10. carvings (delicate, sandalwood, three)
  11. Rewrite the following phrases, changing the underlined words to defining adjectives. For example:
    black boots used for hiking
    black hiking boots

a plastic cup used for holding eggs
a plastic egg cup

a green carton used for storing milk
a green milk carton

  1. a new beater used for beating eggs
  2. a wooden ladle used for serving soup
  3. a large tin used for storing cookies
  4. an old brush used for scrubbing
  5. a glass plate used for baking pies
  6. a light shovel used for shoveling snow
  7. a metal rack used for storing hats
  8. leather shoes used for jogging
  9. a small house used for storing boats
  10. a wicker basket used for holding bread
  11. Paying attention to the usual order of attributive adjectives, place the adjectives given in brackets before the accompanying fixed expressions. Insert commas between the adjectives where appropriate. For example:
    cuckoo clock (brown, a, Swiss, small)
    a small brown Swiss cuckoo clock

life jackets (foam, thick, orange, three, new)
three thick, new orange foam life jackets

  1. watering can (round, a, heavy, metal)
  2. salt shaker (white, beautiful, porcelain, her)
  3. computer games (Nintendo, new, two, exciting)
  4. rose bush (prickly, small, two-year-old, this)
  5. table cloths (cotton, these, pink)
  6. willow branches (green, trailing, long)
  7. fire engines (medium-sized, red, two)
  8. coffee cup (his, yellow, heavy)
  9. flower beds (heart-shaped, five, beautifully-designed)
  10. front door (imposing, the, blue)
  11. flower pot (green, big, plastic, that)
  12. bath towel (damp, a, white, warm, flannel)
  13. city buses (beige, ten, efficient, large)
  14. watch dog (one-year-old, fierce, small, their)
  15. Explain how the following expressions differ in meaning:

the last interesting chapter
the interesting last chapter

  1. Underline the attributive adjectives in the following paragraph, and insert commas where necessary.

At one end of the large old rectangular room was a long low sofa covered with an orange cotton cloth. Against the two wooden arms of the sofa rested red velvet cushions with beautiful long dangling silk tassels. Near the sofa was a small intricately-woven Persian carpet with a fascinating design. Two proud elegant peacocks with shimmering turquoise feathers were depicted against a background of short lush grass, clear reflecting pools, and white marble statues in a delightful palace garden.

  1. Paying attention to the types of adjectives which immediately precede the nouns, for each of the following phrases, underline the word or words which receive the most stress in spoken English. For example:
    a big black box
    a big black box

a yellow straw hat
a yellow straw hat

convenient downtown shopping
convenient downtown shopping

an ordinary Monday morning
an ordinary Monday morning

a towel rack
towel rack

  1. soup bowls
  2. a convenient cupboard
  3. underwater photography
  4. the telephone directory
  5. rubber gloves
  6. a bread board
  7. a sunny day
  8. a new kitchen sink
  9. long green grass
  10. a fine Sunday afternoon
  11. a red pencil sharpener
  12. the back door
  13. a prancing horse
  14. an egg beater
  15. a gold watch
  16. a glass jar
  17. a library card
  18. the evening star
  19. a thick carpet
  20. a butter dish
  21. Using the Simple Present of the verb to be, rewrite the following phrases as sentences, changing the attributive adjectives to predicate adjectives, and making any other changes that are required. For example:
    the strong wind
    The wind is strong.

the thick, warm shirts
The shirts are thick and warm.

the lively, interesting, entertaining festivals
The festivals are lively, interesting and entertaining.

the long, broad, well-managed, intensively-cultivated estate
The estate is long, broad, well-managed and intensively-cultivated.

the three-day-old colts
The colts are three days old.

  1. the hot water
  2. the large, threatening grey clouds
  3. the thin blue book
  4. the Spanish recipe
  5. the one-year-old park
  6. the collapsible umbrellas
  7. the large white basins
  8. the detailed, colorful, captivating painting
  9. the two-year-old child
  10. the purple cloth
  11. the fast, efficient service
  12. the ten-month-old houses
  13. the intelligent, hard-working, responsible, reliable student
  14. the long, well-written, informative letters
  15. Paying attention to which adjectives are normally used only attributively and which are normally used only predicatively, write phrases or sentences in which the adjectives shown in brackets modify the accompanying nouns. Write a phrase if the adjective can be used only attributively, and write a sentence if the adjective can be used only predicatively. For example:
    nonsense (utter)
    utter nonsense

the bird (alive)
The bird is alive.

  1. the children (asleep)
  2. the street (main)
  3. our friends (here)
  4. their assistant (afraid)
  5. the consideration (principal)
  6. her brother (alone)
  7. the performers (ready)
  8. the cliffs (sheer)
  9. the house (there)
  10. the reason (chief)
  11. Using the Simple Past tense of the verbs shown in brackets, change the following phrases into sentences in which the adjectives are used as predicate adjectives. For example:
    the beautiful music (to sound)
    The music sounded beautiful.

the delicious stew (to smell)
The stew smelled delicious.

  1. the sour lemon (to taste)
  2. the rough surface (to feel)
  3. the excited child (to grow)
  4. the relieved students (to seem)
  5. the awkward silence (to become)
  6. the sweet roses (to smell)
  7. the golden wheat (to turn)
  8. the confident singer (to look)
  9. For each of the following sentences, insert commas where appropriate, in order to separate the interpolated adjectives from the rest of the sentence. For example:
    The marshes broad and windy stretched as far as the eye could see.
    The marshes, broad and windy, stretched as far as the eye could see.

Delighted and encouraged the researchers continued their efforts.
Delighted and encouraged, the researchers continued their efforts.

  1. Leaping and dancing the flames lit up the lakeshore.
  2. The bells deep and resonant could be heard a mile away.
  3. The flowers sweet-smelling and colorful attracted many bees.
  4. Sunny and warm the climate was ideal for tourists.
  5. The shears heavy and awkward were difficult to use.
  6. Beautiful and delicate the flowers could be found only in the high mountains.
  7. Twittering and chirping the birds circled overhead.
  8. The children silent and attentive watched the magician closely.
  9. For each of the following sentences, fill in the blank with either the present participle or the past participle of the verb shown in brackets. Use a present participle to refer to something being done by the thing being described; and use a past participle to refer to something which has been done to the thing being described. For example:
    The evidence is __________. (to convince)
    The evidence is convincing.

The ______ treasure was discovered accidentally. (to hide)
The hidden treasure was discovered accidentally.

  1. Yesterday she heard ________________ news. (to surprise)
  2. The ______________ tools must be returned by five o’clock. (to rent)
  3. The ______________ rabbit stayed perfectly still. (to frighten)
  4. We had a ________________ experience. (to frighten)
  5. The play is ________________. (to entertain)
  6. The ______________ picture hung on the wall. (to complete)
  7. That is an ________________ story. (to interest)
  8. The king sat on a _______________ chair. (to raise)
  9. The situation is _______________. (to alarm)
  10. An ______________ bowl covered the cake. (to invert)
  11. The _____________ lullaby sent the infant to sleep. (to soothe)
  12. A ______________ walkway joined the two buildings. (to cover)
  13. They laid the ______________ clothes on the bed. (to fold)
  14. _______________ smells floated out of the kitchen. (to entice)
  15. He stacked the ______________ wood near the fireplace. (to chop)
  16. Each of the following sentences contains an interpolated adjectival phrase which is separated from the noun or pronoun to be modified by another noun or pronoun. For each sentence, underline the word to be modified, and correct the sentence by moving the adjectival phrase so that it is positioned close to the word to be modified. For example:
    The bird perched in the tree, folding its wings.
    Folding its wings, the bird perched in the tree.

Lighting a cigarette, the door was opened by a young woman.
The door was opened by a young woman, lighting a cigarette.

He searched for his keys, tired from the journey.
Tired from the journey, he searched for his keys.

  1. Wanting to entertain us, the story was told to us by a nurse.
  2. She decided to apply for the position, attracted by the advertisement.
  3. Driving a brightly colored van, the parcel was delivered by a courier.
  4. He looked through the book, glancing from time to time at his watch.
  5. Wilted from the sun, we replaced the flowers.
  6. The fire delighted the children, crackling and throwing off sparks.
  7. Our friend made us a cake, wishing to do us a favor.
  8. Anticipating an entertaining evening, the arena was soon filled with eager spectators.
  9. This exercise contains sentences in which the noun or pronoun to be modified by the interpolated adjectival phrase is missing. Below each sentence is a rewritten, partially corrected version of the sentence. Study the corrections which have already been made, and complete the sentences with personal pronouns which make sense in the sentences. For example:
    Incorrect: Following in his footsteps, our destination was soon reached.
    Corrected: Following in his footsteps, __ soon reached our destination.
    Following in his footsteps, we soon reached our destination.

Incorrect: Finding no one at home, his plans had to be changed.
Corrected: Finding no one at home, __ had to change his plans.
Finding no one at home, he had to change his plans.

1. Incorrect: Anxiously waiting for her guests to appear, the hands of the clock seemed to stand still.
Corrected: As _________ anxiously waited for her guests to appear, the hands of the clock seemed to stand still.

2. Incorrect: Wanting to make a good impression, his hair was carefully combed.
Corrected: Wanting to make a good impression, _____ carefully combed his hair.

3. Incorrect: Knowing what we did, the message was easy to interpret.
Corrected: Knowing what we did, _______ easily interpreted the message.

4. Incorrect: Quickly opening her presents, wrapping paper was scattered all over the floor.
Corrected: Quickly opening her presents, _______ scattered wrapping paper all over the floor.

5. Incorrect: Attempting to dry the dishes, one of the plates slipped out of his hand.
Corrected: As ______ attempted to dry the dishes, one of the plates slipped out of his hand.

6. Incorrect: Having been elected president, her plans could now be carried out.
Corrected: Having been elected president, _____ could now carry out her plans.

7. Incorrect: Wondering what had happened, our questions remained unanswered.
Corrected: Although _____ wondered what had happened, our questions remained unanswered.

8. Incorrect: Entering the room, all eyes were turned in her direction.
Corrected: As _____ entered the room, all eyes were turned in her direction.

9. Incorrect: Rearranging her papers, her notes fell onto the floor.
Corrected: As _____ rearranged her papers, her notes fell onto the floor.

10. Incorrect: Pretending not to mind, their disappointment was obvious.
Corrected: Although _____ pretended not to mind, their disappointment was obvious.

  1. Explain the two possible meanings of each of the following sentences.

The flag was lowered at noon.
The work was finished yesterday evening.

ANSWERS TO THE EXERCISES for Chapter 21

Answers to Exercise 1:
1. that new bicycle of mine 2. each of the students 3. neither of those leather briefcases 4. these two books of yours 5. some of her latest inventions 6. that second-hand typewriter of his 7. another of their unusual experiences 8. none of these rubber boots 9. that velvet dress of hers 10. any of those black shoes

Answers to Exercise 2:
1. our ten maps 2. all twenty-five cows 3. that one book 4. six other socks 5. those twenty lamps 6. the two icicles 7. her three manuscripts 8. these twelve folders 9. seven other mistakes 10. two more pencils 11. another five questions 12. which three children

Answers to Exercise 3:
1. her four large envelopes 2. both the small tables 3. those three tiny birds 4. her two tall brothers 5. all six thick quilts 6. his two heavy coats 7. these four huge rooms 8. his ten medium-sized pumpkins

Answers to Exercise 4:
1. your light, short-sleeved jacket 2. three small, curved lenses 3. our warm, damp, four-week-old puppy 4. two unexpected discoveries 5. a thick, heavy, round carpet 6. the hot, humid climate 7. warm, dry blankets 8. their low, oval table

Answers to Exercise 5:
1. green canvas tents 2. crimson Victorian houses 3. white lace curtains 4. yellow Swiss cheese 5. brown wooden ladders 6. pink Venetian blinds 7. black felt hats 8. red Renaissance cabinets

Answers to Exercise 6:
1. a beautiful green leather belt 2. his warm, dry hood 3. two famous, old Shakespearian actors 4. tin, round blue glass beads 5. her lively, six-month-old baby 6. a long white satin dress 7. ten narrow cement steps 8. the cool, damp basement 9. two huge grey Russian wolfhounds 10. three delicate sandalwood carvings

Answers to Exercise 7:
1. a new egg beater 2. a wooden soup ladle 3. a large cookie tin 4. an old scrubbing brush 5. a glass pie plate 6. a light snow shovel 7. a metal hat rack 8. leather jogging shoes 9. a small boat house 10. a wicker bread basket

Answers to Exercise 8:
1. a heavy, round metal watering can 2. her beautiful white porcelain salt shaker 3. two exciting, new Nintendo computer games 4. this small, prickly, two-year-old rose bush 5. these pink cotton table cloths 6. long, trailing green willow branches 7. two medium-sized red fire engines 8. his heavy yellow coffee cup 9. five beautifully-designed, heart-shaped flower beds 10. the imposing blue front door 11. that big green plastic flower pot 12. a warm, damp white flannel bath towel 13. ten large, efficient beige city buses 14. their small, fierce, one-year-old watch dog

Answers to Exercise 9:
“The last interesting chapter” means that this chapter is interesting, but none of the following chapters are interesting.
“The interesting last chapter” means that this is the last chapter, and it is interesting.

Answers to Exercise 10:
At one end of the largeoldrectangular room was a longlow sofa covered with an orange cotton cloth. Against the two wooden arms of the sofa rested red velvet cushions with beautifullongdangling silk tassels. Near the sofa was a smallintricately-woven Persian carpet with a fascinating design. Two proudelegant peacocks with shimmering turquoise feathers were depicted against a background of shortlush grass; clearreflecting pools and white marble statues in a delightful palace garden.

Answers to Exercise 11:
1. soup bowls 2. a convenient cupboard 3. underwater photography 4. the telephone directory 5. rubber gloves 6. a bread board 7. a sunny day 8. a new kitchen sink 9. long green grass 10. a fine Sunday afternoon 11. a red pencil sharpener 12. the back door 13. a prancing horse 14. an egg beater 15. a gold watch 16. a glass jar 17. a library card 18. the evening star 19. a thick carpet 20. a butter dish

Answers to Exercise 12:
1. The water Is hot. 2. The clouds are large, threatening and grey. 3. The book is thin and blue. 4. The recipe is Spanish. 5. The park is one year old. 6. The umbrellas are collapsible. 7. The basins are large and white. 8. The painting is detailed, colorful and captivating. 9. The child is two years old. 10. The cloth is purple. 11. The service is fast and efficient. 12. The houses are ten months old. 13. The student is intelligent, hard-working, responsible and reliable. 14. The letters are long, well-written and informative.

Answers to Exercise 13:
1. The children are asleep. 2. the main street 3. Our friends are here. 4. Their assistant is afraid. 5. the principal consideration 6. Her brother is alone. 7. The performers are ready. 8. the sheer cliffs 9. The house is there. 10. the chief reason

Answers to Exercise 14:
1. The lemon tasted sour. 2. The surface felt rough. 3. The child grew excited. 4. The students seemed relieved. 5. The silence became awkward. 6. The roses smelled sweet. 7. The wheat turned golden. 8. The singer looked confident.

Answers to Exercise 15:
1. Leaping and dancing, the flames lit up the lakeshore. 2. The bells, deep and resonant, could be heard a mile away. 3. The flowers, sweet-smelling and colorful, attracted many bees. 4. Sunny and warm, the climate was ideal for tourists. 5. The shears, heavy and awkward, were difficult to use. 6. Beautiful and delicate, the flowers could be found only in the high mountains. 7. Twittering and chirping, the birds circled overhead. 8. The children, silent and attentive, watched the magician closely.

Answers to Exercise 16:
1. surprising 2. rented 3. frightened 4. frightening 5. entertaining 6. completed 7. interesting 8. raised 9. alarming 10. inverted 11. soothing 12. covered 13. folded 14. Enticing 15. chopped

Answers to Exercise 17:
1. The story was told to us by a nurse, wanting to entertain us. 2. Attracted by the advertisement, she decided to apply for the position. 3. The parcel was delivered by a courier driving a brightly colored van. 4. Glancing from time to time at his watch, he looked through the book. 5. We replaced the flowers, wilted from the sun. 6. Crackling and throwing off sparks, the fire delighted the children. 7. Wishing to do us a favor, our friend made us a cake. 8. The arena was soon filled with eager spectators, anticipating an entertaining evening.

Answers to Exercise 18:
1. she 2. he 3. we 4. she 5. he 6. she 7. we 8. she 9. she 10. they

Answers to Exercise 19:
“The flag was lowered at noon” can mean: 1) At noon, the flag was already down, or 2) At noon, someone lowered the flag.
“The work was finished yesterday evening” can mean: 1) Yesterday evening, the work was already complete, or 2) Yesterday evening, someone finished the work.

English Grammar Lessons
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