Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub

Please note that these ESL Forums are NOT part of MyEnglishClub. To post at these ESL Forums please register ↑ first.

Modify vs Complement

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

Modify vs Complement

Postby Lone » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:37 am

Dear Alan,

I have troubles in differentiating whether a word is modifying or complementing another word in a sentence. For example, I thought 'home' was an adjective which modified 'Sue' in the below sentence. But as you have told me, 'home' is actually an adverb complementing 'Sue'.

'Is Sue home from work yet?'

Do we have any guidelines to follow so that I can avoid similar mistakes?

Many thanks!!!

Silver Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:47 pm

Re: Modify vs Complement

Postby Alan » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:13 am

Essentially, a modifier occurs within a phrase containing the other form to which it relates. Thus in

The red ball is on the table.

the adjective 'red' modifies the noun 'ball', both being parts of the underlined noun phrase 'the red ball', while in

The ball is red.

the same adjective serves simply as a complement. It still relates to the noun, but no longer modifies it.

I hope that gives you a good basic idea!
User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12042
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Japan
Status: English Teacher

Return to Grammar Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: NGUYEN and 14 guests