Adverb and Adjective Modifiers: Definition with Examples

Adjective modifiers always modify a specific noun or pronoun in a sentence. On the other hand, an adverb modifier provides additional information about a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

Not satisfied with your copy? Rewrite it to make it better

    What are Adverb and Adjective Modifiers?

    A modifier is a word or phrase that helps refine and add descriptions to another word or phrase. Whether they are adjective or adverbs, modifiers can be placed before or after the word they modify.

    An adjective modifier is a word or phrase that modifies a noun or pronoun. An adjective modifier doesn’t change the sentence’s meaning; it only makes it more precise.

    It is commonly used to intensify words to emphasize the speaker’s opinion.

    An adjective modifier may appear before or after the word it modifies. It is a pre-modifier when placed before the word, and a post-modifier when placed after the word it modifies. Some examples of adjective modifiers are gorgeous, brilliant, exhausted,small, proud, tasty, cheerful, and long.

    An adverb modifier is an adverb that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Adverb modifiers can be placed before or after the word they modify. They typically modify a verb to make a sentence more specific. Some examples of adverb modifiers are well,right, and properly.

    Examples

    Modifiers give further details and show us how we should think about the word they modify. They are essential in sentences. A modifier should not be placed far away from the word it modifies so that it doesn’t seem like it’s modifying another word.

    Common modifier phrases are: quickly, slowly, silently, successfully, lightly, and happily.

    A review of some examples will help you better understand adverb and adjective modifiers and how to use them effectively in writing.

    Adjective Modifying Noun

    • Nathan is handsome (post-modifier).
    • Sam is genuine in his friendship (post-modifier).
    • It was a dark and scary night (pre-modifier).

    Adjective Modifying Pronoun

    • I am happy you got the promotion. (post-modifier).
    • She was exhausted after the meeting. (post-modifier).
    • They sang cheerfully. (post-modifier).

    Adverb Modifying Verb

    • She sang beautifully.
    • Moses snores heavily.
    • Jerry rarely plays football.

    Adverb Modifying Adverb

    • He walked really fast to catch the bus (The adverb really modifies the adverb fast).
    • She finished her food very quickly (The adverb very modifies another adverb ‘quickly’).

    Adjective Vs. Adverb Modifiers

    Despite the similar names, adjectival modifiers and adverb modifiers are not the same.

    An adjective modifier is a specific word or phrase that modifies a noun or pronoun. For example, “fast messenger.” The adjective modifier ‘fast’ gives more information about the noun ‘messenger.’

    However, an adverb modifier is a specific word or phrase that provides a detailed description of a verb, adjective, or another adverb.

    person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug
    Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

    Bottom line

    Adjective modifiers are primarily adjectives that describe nouns or pronouns. On the other hand, adverb modifiers are adverbs that describe verbs, other adverbs, or adjectives.

    When used correctly, these modifiers can convey a more precise meaning and give more information about the words they modify. 

    Adverb and Adjective Modifiers: Definition with Examples

    Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

    What do Participles Modify? A Basic Guide

    A participle is a verb form that expresses an action or a state of being. It functions as a modifier…

    May 12, 2022

    What do adjectives modify? Writing Guide

    What do adjectives modify? Adjectives modify nouns. They can identify a person’s mood (the happy receptionist) or status (the rich…

    May 12, 2022

    Verbal Phrase Modifier: A Basic Guide

    Verb phrase modifiers are words and phrases that modify a verb or a verb phrase in a sentence. They are…

    May 12, 2022

    Prepositional Phrase Modifier: Basic Definition and Better Usage

    A prepositional phrase modifier describes or modifies the prepositional phrase in a sentence. What is a Prepositional Phrase? A prepositional…

    May 12, 2022

    A Basic Guide to Squinting Modifiers

    The question “what is squinting modifer?” is more common than you might imagine. What Is a Squinting Modifier? A squinting…

    May 12, 2022

    Usage of Adverb Modifiers in a Sentence

    In grammar, a word modifies another word to add meaning and clarify the word to the reader. Modifiers are typically…

    May 12, 2022