Grammar-QuizzesNoun PhrasesModifiers to Nouns › Adjectives


Summary of Practices



Adj / Modifier Diagnostic: identify specific English grammar points that need review:

persian cat

Quiz 1: beginning–intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate–advanced

An Adjective: recognize how it can function in a clause

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


Red leaves are falling.  (attributive)

We saw something red. (post-position!)

The leaves are red.   (predicative)

Fall turns the leaves red(predicative)

Adjective Suffixes: make adjectives from other word forms

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

evening sky

It was a spectacle.

It was spectacular.

It was a spectacular sky.

It was an awesome / awful sight.

It was an historic / historical night.

Adjective Order: arrange modifiers into natural sounding word order

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Big purple paisley cat

 I drew a pretty, little, purple-and-pink paisley pussycat.

Negative Word Forms: express absence, doubt, denial, prohibition and more (negative word forms)

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers

No No's

No one  /   Not anyone has parked illegally.

His inability / disability was clear to us.

He was unsatisfied / dissatisfied.

Do not park there!  We do not park there.

He would park there, wouldn't he?

We asked him not to park there.

I doubt that he *never / ever helps.

He is neither optimistic nor pessimistic.

His no nonsense approach to life is refreshing. (expression)

Be + Adj Complement: express qualities and characteristics

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

a sleepwalker

He is tired.

He seems tired.

He appears tired.

 (No action involved.)

Resultative Adjectives: indicate the resulting state of an action taken  (verbal and/or object complement)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

car being fixed

Larry washed the car clean

Larry wiped the car dry

Larry pushed the door open.


She made / got her car clean.  (self labor)

She wanted / had / got her car cleaned(service) 

She wants her car clean(preferred state)

She found her car clean.  (unexpected state)


Modifiers to Adj: express how much or to what degree

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


The basketball player is nine feet tall. (plural)

He can place a ball in a basket ball hoop ten feet high.

He sleeps in a bed that is nine and a half feet long.

He is extremely tall.

Number-Noun Modifiers: combine a number and noun to form a modifier

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


The ladder had five steps.

It was a five-step ladder.

There are a million uses for WD-40(spelled out)

Noun Modifiers: modify a noun with a noun 

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

office chair

Its a chair for an office.

It's an office chair (singular)

It is a sports car (a rare plural modifier)

Adverbs for Degree: express intensity (how much?)

(Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

A big talker

He talks excessively. (verb) 

He talks extremely fast. (Adv) 

He is rather talkative. (Adj)


He literally doesn't stop talking. (adv. degree) 

He translated the text literally. (adv. manner) 

Adjective w/ Prep: modify the modifier

Int–Advanced ESL


Jason is anxious about his future.

He would like to be independent of his parents.

He is good at many things.

He is optimistic about his future.

Participles as Modifiers 1:  contrast the receiver with the source of the experience

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

 clown juggling

The act was entertaining(present participle)

We were entertained. (past participle)


It was an entertaining act.

The highly entertained audience sat silently.

Participles as Modifiers 2: contrast an on-going process with a completed state

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

roasted chicken 

a roasting chicken — still cooking! 

a  roasted chicken — done!

A recently spotted owl was making a nest. (seen)

A spotted owl nests in spring. (natural appearance)

A sleeping dog should not be awakened. (ongoing)

A sleeping bag is required for camping. (function)


Word Forms: noun, verb, adjective, adverb (Which form came first?)

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers


The singer had imagination.

He imagined.

His writing was imaginative.

He used words imaginatively.

The singer sang about social revolution.

He revolted.

*His writing was revolting.

*He used words revoltingly.


Adjective Clauses ⇒ See Relative Clauses.