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chapter 4.6 Completers and Modifiers: Single Word Modifiers

A single word may play the role of modifier.
Some busybodies cause serious trouble. (Some answers "Which busybodies?" and serious answers "What kind of trouble?")

That creep constantly lies. (That answers "Which creep?" and constantly answers "When?")

Sometimes several single words, each one acting separately, can modify the same word:
He has never felt a generous human impulse. (Never answers "When?", a answers "How many impulses?", and generous and human answer "What kind of impulse?")
Note that when a verb's modifier splits the verb in two, as in the case of never in the example above, the modifier refers to the main verb.

pencil Application 5
Click on the ESL icon at left to visit "Lack of Plural Markers on Modifiers" for a reminder that English modifiers don't usually have plural forms. Practice these forms with a teacher or tutor.

There are two kinds of single-word modifiers: adjectives and adverbs. An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun, and an adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs often end in -ly. For extensive descriptions of Adjectives and Adverbs, click on "Check this out."

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