Grammar 7


Adjectives (Review)

Adjectives can be found in various parts of a sentence. Some of them are important; others are not.

If an adjective is serving as the complement of an equative clause, then obviously we need to leave it alone. We cannot cancel such an adjective without damaging the underlying clause.

But adjectives that are placed before nouns can always be cancelled. This lesson will show you how.

But first, let's do a mini-review:

What is an adjective?

Adjectives modify nouns.

Some adjectives are formed from verbs. They are called participial adjectives.

Ordinary Adjectives Participial Adjectives
  • red dress
  • fast car
  • tall woman
  • smelly dog


Past Participial Present Participial
  • worn shoes
  • bruised face
  • broken arm
  • boiling water
  • crying baby
  • bleeding knees

Cancelling Adjectives

Fortunately, adjectives (placed before nouns) do not change the underlying clause pattern, and therefore we can cancel them out, whenever we're trying to analyze a sentence.

Study the following sentences to see how each of them has been simplified by cancelling all the adjectives.

  Simplified Sentence Clause Pattern
1 I like the red car. transitive (SVO)
2 Linda kicked the barking dog. transitive (SVO)
3 Freda rocked the crying baby. transitive (SVO)
4 The angry dragon spread its enormous wings. transitive (SVO)
5 I baked my mother a delicious Christmas cake. ditransitive (SVOiOd)
6 Joey is a horrible football player. equative (S=C)
7 The boiling water evaporated. intransitive (SV)
8 All the children were very happy. equative (S=C)

Instructions for the Quiz

Find the base clause by cancelling all the adjectives.