Frases adjetivas en inglés: ejemplos, tipos y reglas

Frases adjetivas en inglés: ejemplos, tipos y reglas

¿Qué es un adjetivo? ¿En qué se diferencia de las frases adjetivas en inglés? Un adjetivo es solo una palabra que modifica un sustantivo o un pronombre. Una frase adjetiva, por otro lado, es un grupo de palabras que hace lo mismo: describe/modifica un sustantivo o un pronombre.

What is an adjective phrase in English?

Una frase adjetiva es un grupo de palabras que modifica un sustantivo o pronombre en una oración. Puede colocarse antes o después de la palabra (sustantivo o pronombre) que modifica o describe.

Examples of adjective phrases:

  • My dog Jimmy is very cute.
    (The adjective phrase very cute describes the noun dog. It’s giving more information about it. It has a head adjective cute and its modifier very. Together, they’re modifying the noun dog.)
  • You look unbelievably strong.
    (The adjective phrase unbelievably strong is describing the subject you, giving us more information about it. Strong is the head adjective, and unbelievably is an adverb that’s modifying the adjective.)
  • Your father is not nice to me.
    (The adjective phrase nice to me describes the subject your father. It’s telling us how your father is. In the adjective phrase, nice is the head adjective, and to me is a modifying phrase (prepositional phrase) that’s modifying the adjective.)
  • He’s dating a very smart girl.
    (Here, the adjective phrase is coming just before the word it modifies: girl. Like any adjective, an adjective phrase can also come before and after the noun or the pronoun it modifies.)
  • Any person smarter than you can do it.
    (Here, the adjective phrase smarter than you is coming just after the noun it’s modifying: person. Smarter is the head adjective, and than me is a modifying phrase that’s modifying the adjective.)

How to form an adjective phrase?

Hay dos formas de formar una frase adjetiva regular:

  1. Adverb (intensifier/mitigator) + adjective
  2. Adjective + adjective complement

Adverb + adjective

Esta es la forma más común de una frase adjetiva. Aquí, usamos un adverbio (intensificador o mitigador) y un adjetivo regular para formar una frase adjetiva.

Examples:

  • Your sister is very smart.
    (Here, very smart is the adjective phrase. Very is the intensifier and smart is the adjective.)
  • That was an extremely good move.
    Extremely good is the adjective phrase that’s modifying the noun move. It is formed out the adverb extremely and the adjective good.
  • The act was somewhat funny.
    Somewhat funny is the adjective phrase that’s modifying the noun act. In the first two examples, the adjective phrase has an intensifier (very and extremely), but in the adjective phrase, we have a mitigator in the adjective phrase. An intensifier intensifies (strengthens) the meaning of an adjective, and a mitigator limits (weakens) the meaning of an adjective.

Adjective + adjective complement

Esta es otra forma de formar una frase adjetiva. Aquí, la frase adjetiva se forma usando un adjetivo y una palabra o palabras que modifican el adjetivo: complemento adjetivo.

Estudiemos algunos ejemplos para entender y familiarizarnos con esta estructura.

  • We are happy with your performance.
    (Happy with your performance is the adjective phrase in the sentence. Happy is the adjective (head word), and with your performance is the prepositional phrase that’s modifying the adjective happy and working as the adjective complement (adverb)).
  • Jenny was angry at me.
    (Here, the adjective phrase comprises of the adjective angry and its complement at me (prepositional phrase)).
  • My parents are excited to meet you.
    (In this example, the adjective comprises of a past participe working as an adjective (excited) and its complement to meet you (infinitive phrase)).

Nota: la palabra principal de las frases adjetivas está subrayada en los ejemplos anteriores.

Las frases de adjetivos regulares se forman usando un adjetivo regular. Pero hay frases adjetivas en inglés que se forman a partir de palabras que originalmente no son adjetivos pero funcionan como adjetivos. Los llamamos verbos no finitos. Cuando formamos frases adjetivas usando participios (presente y pasado), tenemos diferentes elementos en la frase adjetiva. Veamos los diferentes tipos de frases adjetivas que tenemos.

Types of adjective phrases in English

  1. Participle phrases
  2. Prepositional phrases
  3. Infinitive phrases

Participle phrases as adjectives

Una frase en participio es un grupo de palabras que consta de un participio presente, una forma ‘ing’ de un verbo, o un participio pasado, la tercera forma de un verbo (V3). Es una frase adjetiva encabezada por un participio. No dejes que el participio te engañe; un participio parece un verbo pero funciona como un adjetivo.

Tenemos dos tipos de frases en participio:

1. Present participle phrase
2. Past participle phrase

Adjective phrase examples using present participles

  • The guy hiding behind the door is from a different class.
    (Hiding behind the door is the adjective phrase, starting with the present participle hiding and modifying the noun guy, telling us which guy the speaker is referring to. The entire phrase is working as an adjective.)
  • The girl dancing in the rain is the one I have a crush on.
    (Dancing in the rain is the adjective phrase, modifying the noun girl and telling us which girl the speaker is referring to.)
  • People living in Delhi are always complaining about the work the government does
    (Living in Delhi is the adjective phrase that’s identifying the noun people. Not all the people in the world are always complaining; people living in Delhi are. The adjective phrase helps us know who these people are.)
  • Watching from the balcony, Jyoti enjoyed the game.
    (The present participle phrase is coming at the beginning of the sentence, describing the subject Jyoti. When a participle phrase comes at the beginning of a sentence, it is separated from the rest of the sentence using a comma after them.)
  • Motivating the class and giving them clarity about life, Ashish broke down.
    (The adjective phrase is describing the subject Ashish with two events. Using a participle phrase allows you to describe a noun with more details and a clear description.)
  • Joe Rogan, living the life of a martial artist, is the owner of JRE, the most popular podcast on the internet.
    (The adjective phrase is offset using two commas in this example as it gives nonessential information about the noun it describes: Joe Rogan.)

How to identify a present participle adjective phrase?

Una frase adjetiva que se forma usando un participio presente se puede formar de las siguientes maneras:

  1. Present participle + object of the participle
  2. Present participle + object of the participle + modifiers
  3. Present participle + modifiers
  • The guy motivating the class is my school friend.
    Adjective phrase: motivating the class
    Adjective (Present participle): motivating
    The object of the participle: the class
  • The man talking to the murderer without any fear is my school friend.
    Adjective phrase: talking to the murderer
    Adjective (Present participle): talking
    The object of the preposition: the murderer
    Modifier: without any fear
  • The guy dancing on the stage is my school friend.
    Adjective phrase: dancing on the stage
    Adjective (Present participle): dancing
    Modifier: on the stage

Adjective phrase examples using past participles
Las frases en participio pasado son frases adjetivas que comienzan con un participio pasado (V3) y modifican un sustantivo o un pronombre. Pueden aparecer al principio, en medio o al final de una oración.

  • Played more than a million times on Youtube, my latest song is doing amazing.
    (Played more than a million times on Youtube is the adjective phrase, starting with the past participle played and describing the noun my latest song.)
  • Your friend died in a car accident came in my dream yesterday.
    (The adjective phrase is describing the subject your friend and identifying it for us. Not any friend of yours came in my dream, the one who died in a car accident. Since the adjective phrase is essential to identify the pronoun, it is not offset using commas.)
  • Considered the best application for learning English, my English learning application just crossed 1 billion downloads.
    (The adjective phrase is modifying the noun phrase my English learning application. When a participle phrase comes at the beginning of a sentence, we must use a comma after it.)
  • The little girl diagnosed with cancer has written a book about her life.
    (The adjective phrase is modifying the noun girl, telling us which girl the speaker is talking about.)
  • The insurance company will not pay for everything destroyed by the fire.
    (The adjective phrase is modifying the pronoun everything, telling us what it includes. Since it is essential to identify the pronoun, it is not offset using a comma.)
  • I am planning to buy iPhone 11, rated 4.9 by the experts.
    (The adjective phrase is modifying the noun iPhone 11, but it is giving nonessential information about it, and that’s why it is separated with the rest of the sentence using a comma.)

Important points

1. Cuando una frase adjetiva, formada usando un participio, viene al comienzo de una oración, debemos usar una coma después, incluso si es esencial para el significado del sustantivo o el pronombre que modifica.

  • Motivating the class and giving them clarity about life, Ashish broke down.
  • Played more than a million times on Youtube, my latest song is doing amazing.

2. Generalmente, una frase de participio brinda información esencial y no se compensa con comas cuando viene después del sustantivo o el pronombre que modifica. Pero cuando da información no esencial, use una o dos comas dependiendo de su lugar en la oración. ¡Preparándote para cada escenario!

  • Joe Rogan, living the life of a martial artist, is the owner of JRE, the most popular podcast on the internet.
  • I am planning to buy iPhone 11, rated 4.9 by the experts.

Propositional phrases as adjectives

Cuando las frases preposicionales funcionan como un adjetivo, modificando un sustantivo o un pronombre, se llaman frases adjetivales ya que funcionan adjetivamente. Tomemos algunos ejemplos de frases preposicionales en inglés.

Examples:

  • They are writing a movie about his life.
    (The prepositional phrase about his life modifies the noun movie and helps us to understand which movie he is talking about writing. It is starting with the preposition about and is followed by the object of the preposition his life. It is a prepositional phrase but working as an adjective.)
  • I’m marrying the girl of my dreams.
    (Which girl am I marrying? The girl of my dreams. The prepositional phrase of my dreams is helping us to identify the girl the speaker is talking about. It’s working as an adjective.)
  • The ending of the movie wasn’t good.
    (The ending of what was not good? The prepositional phrase of the movie modifies the noun ending and identifies it for us.)
  • The guy in the red shirt is my neighbor.
    (Which guy is my neighbor? The prepositional phrase in the red shirt identifies the noun guy. Not any guy present there is my neighbor, the guy in the red shirt is my neighbor.)
  • The house across the street is believed to be haunted.
    (Here, the prepositional phrase across the street modifies the noun house.)
  • Don’t open the letter inside the box; it’s personal.
    (Which letter is personal? The letter inside the box.)
  • Students from different countries are studying in this college.
    (From different countries is the prepositional phrase that’s modifying the noun students. Without it, the sentence gives a different meaning.)
  • I am from India.
    (From India is the prepositional phrase that’s giving information about the pronoun I.)

More examples of adjective phrases

  • Most people are unhappy with their life.
  • Her extremely beautiful eyes are the reason I am with her.
  • People abusing others for no reason are losers.
  • Look at that girl doing stunts on the rope.
  • Jon is extremely dangerous to fight against.
  • They are from China.
  • Someone at the stand is crying.
  • Something under the fridge is moving.
  • The guy giving the presentation is my friend.
  • He was surprisingly good.
  • The bike completely burnt by the fire has been taken by the insurance company.
  • An overly confident man thinking he is unbeatable faces reality very soon.
  • People covered in mud are my friends.
  • Believed to keep a doctor away, apples are my favorite.

Infinitive phrases as adjectives

Las frases en infinitivo también pueden funcionar como adjetivos. Cuando lo hacen, van después del sustantivo o pronombre sobre el que dan información.

Una frase en infinitivo comienza con un infinitivo y es seguida por su objeto o modificador o ambos.

Examples:

  • Can I have a book to read on the train?
    (Here, ‘to read on the train’ is an infinitive phrase that’s modifying the noun ‘book’, working as an adjective.)
  • We need some people to work on our social media platforms.
    (‘To work on our social media platforms‘ is the infinitive phrase that’s giving information about the noun ‘people’, working as an adjective.)
  • I wish I had someone to stand by me.
    (Here, ‘to stand by me’ is the infinitive phrase that’s describing the pronoun ‘someone’ and helping us understand who it’s referring to.)

Adjectival phrase vs Adjective phrase

Las frases adjetivales son frases adjetivas que no tienen un adjetivo regular en ellas. Estas son frases en participio, frases preposicionales y frases en infinitivo que funcionan como un adjetivo en una oración.

Por otro lado, las frases adjetivas están encabezadas por un adjetivo. La diferencia entre una frase adjetiva y una frase adjetival es que la primera está encabezada por un adjetivo regular y la segunda está encabezada por un verbo no finito o una preposición.

  • That was extremely tasty cheese.
    The adjective phrase is headed by a regular adjective tasty.
  • The man talking to your mother is a dentist.
    Here, talking to your mother is an adjectival phrase. We are calling it an adjectival phrase as it is not headed by a regular adjective; it is headed by a present participle. It is a present participle phrase that’s working as an adjective.

Adjective phrases

  • The exam was very difficult.
  • They were pretty happy with our performance.

Adverbial phrases

  • Do you know a place to hide tonight? (modifying the noun ‘place’)
  • Don’t look at the man in the blue pants. (modifying the noun ‘man’)
  • The man murdered here last night was a cop. (modifying the noun ‘man’)

How to identify an adjective phrase?

Una frase adjetiva regular se forma usando un adjetivo y un adverbio.
(intensifier/mitigator): adverb + adjective:

  • very hard
  • quite simple
  • somewhat scary

Examples:

  • My life is very hard.
  • This game is quite simple.
  • The house was somewhat scary.

When prepositional phrases, infinitive phrases, or participle phrases work as an adjective, they are a part of a noun phrase and come right after the noun they modify.

  • of this country
  • to help you with this project
  • attacked at the cafe
  • looking at us

Examples:

  • I love the people of my country.
  • We know a man to help you with this project.
  • The boy attacked at the cafe was 8 years old.
  • The old lady looking at us seems to be in some problem.

Is an adjective phrase always headed by an adjective?

Las frases adjetivas no siempre están encabezadas por un adjetivo regular. Pueden estar encabezados por un verbo no finito o incluso por una preposición. Una frase en participio (encabezada por un participio), una frase en infinitivo (encabezada por un infinitivo ‘to + V1’) y una frase preposicional (encabezada por una preposición) pueden funcionar como un adjetivo, pero también pueden funcionar como un adverbio.

Si estas frases funcionan como un adjetivo, se sientan al lado del sustantivo que modifican.

Examples:

  • The car parked in front of your house is mine. (past participle phrase modifying the noun car)
  • The boys sitting in the room number 4 are my students. (present participle phrase modifying the noun boys)
  • I don’t know a person to talk to. (infinitive phrase modifying the noun boys)
  • The problem with you is that you don’t listen to anyone. (prepositional phrase modifying the noun problem)

Tenga en cuenta que estas frases adjetivas se encuentran al lado del sustantivo que están modificando.

Predicative and attributive adjective phrase

Una frase adjetiva, como un adjetivo, se puede usar de forma atributiva y predicativa. Un adjetivo atributivo viene justo antes del sustantivo/pronombre que modifica, y un adjetivo predicativo viene justo después de un verbo de enlace o el sustantivo que modifica.

Attributive adjective phrases

  • The extremely dark sheet was mine.
  • You are a quite smart person.
  • Yesteday, I saw an unbelievably huge man.

The nouns these adjective phrases are modifying are coming before them.

Predicative adjective phrases

  • Your friends are really smart.
  • This college looks extremely big.
  • The girl waving at us is my friend Anna.

Why should we learn adjective phrases?

A veces, una palabra no es suficiente para describir un sustantivo o un pronombre. Necesitamos un par de palabras para expresar nuestro mensaje. Eso es lo que nos ayudan a hacer las frases con adjetivos: hacer oraciones con mucha descripción para fortalecer el significado de una oración, para hacerla más colorida y clara.

FAQs

What is an adjective phrase?
Una frase adjetiva es un grupo de palabras que modifica un sustantivo o pronombre en una oración. Puede colocarse antes o después de la palabra (sustantivo o pronombre) que modifica o describe.

How do you identify adjective phrases?
Puedes identificar una frase adjetiva de dos maneras diferentes:

  1. Viene después de un verbo de enlace y modifica el sujeto de la oración. (Jon es muy inteligente.)
  2. Puede ir justo antes del sustantivo al que modifica. (Ustedes son personas extremadamente talentosas.)
  3. Puede ir justo después del sustantivo al que modifica. (Cualquiera más inteligente que tú puede hacerlo).

What is an adjective phrase example?
Estos son algunos ejemplos de frases adjetivas:

  1. Te ves increíblemente fuerte.
  2. Tu padre no es amable conmigo.
  3. La chica que baila bajo la lluvia es de la que estoy enamorado.

How do you make an adjective phrase in a sentence?
Una frase adjetiva se puede formar de las siguientes maneras:

  1. adverb (Intensifier/mitigator) + adjective
  2. Infinitive phrase
  3. Prepositional phrase
  4. Present participle phrase
  5. Past participle phrase

Examples:

  1. You are very sweet.
  2. I have a thought to write on this book.
  3. People in my circle are very supportive.
  4. Look at the girl dancing in the blue dress.
  5. A man motivated enough can do this job.

What is the structure of an adjective phrase?
La estructura de una frase adjetiva regular es esta: adverb (intensifier/mitigator) + adjective.

  • Regular adjective phrases
  • Very good
  • extremely smart
  • quite long
  • somewhat bad

Puede ser una frase preposicional, una frase en infinitivo y una frase en participio que funciona como adjetivo.

What are the types of adjective phrases?
Hay 4 tipos de frases adjetivas en inglés:

  1. Regular adjective phrase
  2. Infinitive phrase
  3. Prepositional phrase
  4. Participle phrase

Examples:

  • The match was extremely good. (regular adjective phrase)
  • He is the man to learn English from. (infinitive phrase)
  • He is a man with a vision. (prepositional phrase)
  • The people dancing on the stage are my friends. (present participle phrase)
  • The chair kept in the storeroom is very old. (past participle phrase)

What is the difference between adjective phrase and adjectival phrase?
La diferencia entre una frase adjetiva y una frase adverbial es que una frase adjetiva (regular) se forma a partir de un adjetivo regular y un adverbio, y una frase adverbial es una frase preposicional, una frase infinitiva y una frase participio.

Adjective phrase

  1. Your friend is very aggressive.
  2. I found the movie extremely boring.

Adjectival phrase

  1. Do you know the person to contact there?
  2. The story of my life is crazy.
  3. The girl looking at you is the topper of the class.
  4. I haven’t looked at the box sent to me last week.

How do you distinguish between an adjective phrase and a noun phrase?
Una frase adjetiva funciona como un adjetivo y modifica un sustantivo/pronombre, y una frase nominal, por otro lado, funciona como un sustantivo. Tiene un sustantivo principal y uno o más modificadores que modifican el sustantivo. Y una frase adjetiva está encabezada por un adjetivo; el adjetivo principal en la frase adjetiva puede ser un adjetivo regular o un participio.

Adjective phrases

  1. This man is very competitive. (modifying the noun ‘man’)
  2. A person with the right attitude can do this easily. (modifying the noun ‘person’)

Noun phrases

  1. He is a very competitive man. (subject complement)
  2. A person with the right attitude can get this done. (subject)

Una frase nominal puede tener una frase adjetiva, pero una frase adjetiva no puede tener una frase nominal.

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