Modifiers can be more than one describing the same noun to make it more precise or interesting. They can be a phrase, or multiple-word, or even just one word modifying a whole sentence. The modifiers must be easily identifiable with the words they modify.

Example 1:

  • The meal in that restaurant was really delicious.

The phrase in the restaurant modifies the noun meal. It tells us where the meal is/was available, and really delicious also modifies meal. It tells us about the taste of the meal. The adverb really modifies the adjective delicious. It tells us how delicious the meal was.

 

Example 2:

  • They were highly delighted at the court’s decision.

The adverb highly modifies how they felt, that is delighted. The adverbial phrase at the court’s decision modifies the adjective delighted. It tells us what made them delighted.

 

Example 3:

  • Suddenly, the ground shook and everyone rushed outdoors.

Suddenly modifies the whole sentence. Outdoors is an adverb and it modifies the verb rushed.

 

Example 4:

  • The hungry-looking vultures were perched high on the steep cliff overlooking the slightly choppy sea.

Adjective hungry-looking modifies noun vultures; adverb high modifies verb perched; adjective steep modifies noun cliff; slightly choppy modifies noun sea; and adverb slightly modifies adjective choppy.

 

Example 5:

  • Covered by a thick layer of fine dust, the top shelf had not been wiped for years.

Adjective thick modifies noun phrase layer of fine dust; adjective fine modifies noun dust; adjective top modifies shelf; and covered by a thick layer of fine dust modifies top shelf.

 

Example 6:

  • It was the ugly toothless old wicked witch, who cast a magical spell on the beautiful princess.

A whole string of adjectives – ugly toothless old wicked – modifies noun witch; adjective magical modifies noun spell; adjective beautiful modifies noun princess; and who cast a magical spell on the beautiful princess modifies witch.