Adjective phrases

Adjective phrases with nouns

One of the main functions of adjective phrases is that they go with nouns and change or add to their meaning.

Hair: black hair, brown hair, straight blonde hair, long red hair.

Adjective phrases before a noun are called attributive phrases.

Adjective phrases before a noun occur after determiners.

If the head of the noun phrase is one of the following pronouns, the adjective phrase occurs after the pronoun:

If an attributive adjective needs a word or phrase to complete its meaning (a complement), either the whole adjective phrase or just its complement must follow the head noun.


For a number of adjectives, the whole adjective phrase must follow the noun when a complement of the adjective is used. These include closed, eager, full, happy, keen, open, ready, responsible, (un)willing, worth.