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Hi there teachers,

Please tell me what part of the following sentence is an adjective phrase.

-Last night, I saw an extremely big snake in my dream.

I think the adjective phrase, in the sentence above, is "extremely big", but a friend of mine says the adjective

phrase is "an extremely big". According to her, the article "an" is also part of the adjective phrase.


Thank you!

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LaboriousI think the adjective phrase, in the sentence above, is "extremely big", but a friend of mine says the adjective phrase is "an extremely big". According to her, the article "an" is also part of the adjective phrase.

She's right.

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Mister MicawberShe's right.

OK, and thank you very much for your reply! But I have one more thing to ask you, please.

Is the article "an" in the phrase "an extremely big" modifying the head word "big". In an adjective phrase, the

head word, i.e., the adjective, has its own dependent words. Is the article "an" used as a dependent word in that adjective phrase?

Laborious Is the article "an" used as a dependent word in that adjective phrase?

Yes. If you are willing to call the adverb 'extremely' part of the adjective phrase, then certainly the attendant determiners ('an/the/this/my extremely big') are also part of the phrase.

Last night, I saw an extremely big snake in my dream.

You are right. The adjective phrase is “extremely big”. It is a separate constituent within the noun phrase “an extremely big snake”.

The article “an” is not a modifier; it functions as a determiner in the larger noun phrase in which it is a dependent, it is not a dependent in the adjective phrase. The adverb “extremely” is the only dependent in the adjective phrase “extremely big”, in which "big" is the head word, and "extremely" is a modifier.

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BillJit functions as a determiner in the larger noun phrase

Yes, of course—I had confused 'adjective phrase' and 'noun phrase'.

So, I should consider determiners elements that aren't part of adjective phrases. For

example, in the sentence "She gave her brother a very beautiful watch", the adjective phrase consists of just "very" and "beautiful", in which the head word is "beautiful" and "very" is an adverb modifying "beautiful". The article "a" is not part of this adjective phrase, but is part of the noun phrase "a very beautiful watch". Am I right about it, please?

Yes, that's right. Here's a tree diagram of just the noun phrase a very beautiful watch. Note that the adjective phrase very beautiful is a separate constituent within the noun phrase:



Does that make it clearer now?

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BillJDoes that make it clearer now?

Yes. That tree diagram is really helpful! Emotion: smile


Thank you!

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