+0

a large green Chinese vase

Here in the phrase, does large modify green Chinese vase or vase?


a charming and attractive lady

Here in the phrase, does charming and attractive modify lady at the same time or charming and attractive modify lady respectively?


the very ground that we stand upon

Here in the phrase, that we stand upon modify the very ground or just ground?


All of a sudden, I am confused with modification of adjectives. What do you native English speakers think? Thank you so much as usual in advance.

+2
Hans51All of a sudden, I am confused with modification of adjectives.

Just take a straightforward approach rather than over-analyzing it.

Each adjective modifies the head word in the noun phrase. You can separate them or recombine them and still have grammatical constructs:

- a Chinese vase
- a large vase
- a green vase
- a large Chinese vase
- a green Chinese vase
- a large green Chinese vase

However, the adjectives do have to be placed in a specific natural order.


On the other hand, this does not work with adverbs because adverbs modify adjectives:

a particularly large vase.
a deep green Chinese vase

They cannot be used independently

X a particularly vase.
X a deep Chinese vase (This changes deep from an adverb of extent to an adjective )

+1
Hans51a large green Chinese vase
Here in the phrase, does large modify green Chinese vase or vase?

Probably it modifies "Chinese vase", i.e. the meaning is a Chinese vase that is large and green. Very strictly speaking this interpretation should entail a comma between "large" and "green", but often these are omitted.

Hans51a charming and attractive lady
Here in the phrase, does charming and attractive modify lady at the same time or charming and attractive modify lady respectively?

I tend towards the the latter, but the semantic difference seems negligible, making this hard to judge.

Hans51the very ground that we stand upon
Here in the phrase, that we stand upon modify the very ground or just ground?

I would say the latter.

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Comments  

Thank you both so much.

The tall guy who I met was Tom

I think that the antecedent of who is The tall guy and then shouldn’t I say that who I met modify the tall guy?


Ot is there a meaning difference between

whether we stand upon modify the very ground or just ground?

whether who I met modify the tall guy or guy?

What do you think?

Thank you so much again.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hans51The tall guy who I met was Tom
I think that the antecedent of who is The tall guy and then shouldn’t I say that who I met modify the tall guy?

Usually, yes, I would say so. The grouping "tall [guy who I met]" seems unusual or unexpected to me, and not something that we would normally intend. Having said that, this would not be an issue that people would consciously consider in normal use.

Hans51Ot is there a meaning difference between whether we stand upon modify the very ground or just ground?

To me, it seems rather odd, in the interpretation of your phrase, that we would stand upon "the very ground", which your former interpretation would imply.

Thank you so much.

Why do you think that ‘who I met’ modifies ‘the tall guy’, not ‘guy’ but ‘that we stand upon’ modifies ‘ground’, not ‘the very ground’? I think that ‘the very ground’ is also an antecedent of ‘that’.

GPY

To me, it seems rather odd, in the interpretation of your phrase, that we would stand upon "the very ground", which your former interpretation would imply.

I do not get this one. Could you elaborate on it or explain it in an rather easy way.

Thank you so much as usual.

Hans51I think that the antecedent of who is The tall guy and then shouldn’t I say that "who I met modifies the tall guy?

You are making a distinction, for syntactic analysis, between a noun and a noun phrase.

"the tall guy" is a noun phrase. The head word of the phrase is "guy."

In the context of sentence diagramming, the antecedent relationship is depicted to the head word. The modifiers of the head word are shown as modifiers also.


In descriptive analysis, relative clauses can modify a noun, or a noun phrase. So in your case, I would give the antecedent of "who" as the noun phrase "the tall guy".

However, if the noun phrase were long and complicated, I would reconsider, and give the antecedent as the head word of the phrase, just for clarity and simplicity, as I would show it in a sentence diagram.

The tall, slim, brown-haired 30-something guy, always accompanied by a reddish brown mixed-breed dog that he is attempting to train to walk on a leash, who I met for the first time yesterday, ...

In this quote from the following source,

"The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us."

The antecedent is shown as "metaphor", not the noun phrase "The metaphor of progress."


You can read more here:

https://www.thoughtco.com/relative-clause-grammar-1692042#: :text=A%20relative%20clause%20is%20a,clause%2C%20and%20a%20relative%20construction.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hans51Why do you think that ‘who I met’ modifies ‘the tall guy’, not ‘guy’ but ‘that we stand upon’ modifies ‘ground’, not ‘the very ground’?

"the tall guy who I met" implies that you met a tall guy. "the very ground that we stand upon" does not, it seems to me, imply that you stand on "the very ground".