Return to Say-it-in-English Entry Page

Return to the List of Lessons

Learn to Write English Clearly and Correctly

Set 2 - Lesson 12 ( Go to the Answer Key )


Lesson 12, Words that Modify Nouns; Adjectives, Articles and more:

In English, nouns can be described, modified or pointed out by Adjectives, Participles, Articles, Possessive Pronouns  and Prepositional Phrases.  These descriptive words can tell us which noun we are referring to, how large or small it is, what type it is, what color it is, how many of them there are and many other qualities.

page break

Adjectives come before the noun they describe or modify, but between the article and the noun, like this:  large feet, six copies, soft voice, the black Volvo, an awful odor.  Other examples: blue, large, tiny, shy, four, this, that.

Participles are verb forms that can be used as adjectives.  They usually come before the noun they modify, but some variation is allowed.  Examples: the floating leaves, a baked ham, the broken record, grinning, despised, torn.

Prepositional Phrases which modify nouns usually come after the nouns.  Examples: the man in the leather jacket, a cat with two heads, the author of the book, the clerk in the office, the president of the company.

Articles come before the nouns they point out.  Examples: a building, the door,  an apple 

Possessive Pronouns come before the noun they modify.  They tell us who or what the noun belongs to.  Examples: my car, your sister, his big mouth, their new house, our decision.


Exercise A: Circle all the words or groups of words in the following sentences that point out or describe nouns. 

1. The front door of that building has a large pane of glass in it.

2. Many green apples grow on the tree in the back yard.

3. The tall man in the leather jacket spoke with a soft voice.

4. The failing circus used a cat with two heads as its main attraction.

5. The quiet, young writer of the poem spoke about the sound of falling leaves.

Exercise B: Write the words and phrases you circled in Exercise A on the lines below and tell what kind of describing words they are.  Example: The = article, large = adjective

1. __________________________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________________________

3. __________________________________________________________________

4. __________________________________________________________________

5. __________________________________________________________________

Exercise C: Use  words from the following lists to modify the nouns in the  basic sentences below.  Write the sentences you make on the blank lines.  You may use the same word more than once; you may not need all the words from the lists.

Articles Adjectives Participles Prepositional Phrases Possessive Pronouns
a, an, the sunny, cloudy, green, red, loud, quiet, many, few, this, that, these, those depressed, flying, worn, fried, breathing from the garden, under the porch, of your relatives, with a dark beard, in the back seat my, your, its, our, their, his, her

1. Squirrels eat nuts.


2. Driver was sleeping.


3. Farmers grow tomatoes.


4. Group plays baseball.


5. Judge sits on the bench.


Examination:  In the following sentences, cross out the words inside the parentheses ( ) that are not correct.  Write the correct sentences on the blank lines.

Example: (A, An) (old, oldest) cowboy (from Texas, to Texas) rode (its, his) (gently, gentle) horse.

An old cowboy from Texas rode his gentle horse.

1. (A, The) loud voice (of the politician, by the politician) disturbed the (sleeping, asleep) audience.


2. (This, Those) (five, fifth) (large, larger) (wreck, wrecked) trucks were sitting in the field.


3. (Many, Much) (wealthy, wealthiest) people (from large houses, with large houses) pay (highest, higher) taxes.


4. (That, Those) (two, too) (young, youngest) girls (by the fountain, from the fountain) were singing Christmas songs.


5. Mother cooked (some, a) (large, largely) turkey and (the, a) (sweet, sweat) apple pie.



-The End-

c. 2000 - 2018  Montoursville, PA  17754

Hundreds of Popular Songs from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's.

Practice reading English with the Lyrics to the songs and the histories of the singers and bands at .

Return to the top of the page.