Sometimes a group of words does the work of an adjective.
Study the following examples.
- The mayor was a wealthy man.
- The mayor was a man of great wealth.
In sentence 1, the adjective wealthy says what sort of man the mayor was. In sentence 2, the group of words ‘of great wealth’ also says the same thing. It qualifies the noun man as an adjective does. It therefore does the work of an adjective and is called an adjective phrase.
An adjective phrase is a group of words that does the work of an adjective.
- The magistrate was a kind man. (Here the adjective kind modifies the noun man.)
- The magistrate was a man with a kind heart. (Here the adjective phrase ‘with a kind heart’ modifies the noun man.)
- They lived in a stone house.
- They lived in a house built of stone.
- The workers belonged to a hill tribe.
- The workers belonged to a tribe dwelling in the hills.
Study the following adjectives and the adjective phrases that are equivalent to them.
- A golden necklace – a necklace made of gold
- A white coat – a coat of white color
- A jungle track – a track through the jungle
- A deserted city – a city with no inhabitants
- The French flag – the flag of France
- A wooden hut – a hut built of wood
- A blank page – a page with no writing on it