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ADJECTIVES: POSITION IN A SENTENCE

When using more than one adjective to describe a noun place the adjectives in the following
order before the noun.
A. Using the Simple Past tense of the verbs shown in brackets, change the following phrases
into sentences in which the adjectives are used as predicate adjectives. For example:
the beautiful music (to sound)
The music sounded beautiful.
the delicious stew (to smell)
The stew smelled delicious.
1. the sour lemon (to taste)
2. the rough surface (to feel)
3. the excited child (to grow)
4. the relieved students (to seem)
5. the awkward silence (to become)
6. the sweet roses (to smell)
7. the golden wheat (to turn)
8. the confident singer (to look)
B. For each of the following sentences, insert commas where appropriate, in order to separate
the interpolated adjectives from the rest of the sentence. For example:
The marshes broad and windy stretched as far as the eye could see.
The marshes, broad and windy, stretched as far as the eye could see.
Delighted and encouraged the researchers continued their efforts.
Delighted and encouraged, the researchers continued their efforts.
1. Leaping and dancing the flames lit up the lakeshore.
2. The bells deep and resonant could be heard a mile away.
3. The flowers sweet-smelling and colorful attracted many bees.
4. Sunny and warm the climate was ideal for tourists.
5. The shears heavy and awkward were difficult to use.
6. Beautiful and delicate the flowers could be found only in the high mountains.
7. Twittering and chirping the birds circled overhead.
8. The children silent and attentive watched the magician closely.

C . For each of the following sentences, fill in the blank with either the present participle or the
past participle of the verb shown in brackets. Use a present participle to refer to something
being done by the thing being described; and use a past participle to refer to something which
has been done to the thing being described. For example:
The evidence is __________. (to convince)

The evidence is convincing.


The ______ treasure was discovered accidentally. (to hide)
The hidden treasure was discovered accidentally.
1. Yesterday she heard ________________ news. (to surprise)
2. The ______________ tools must be returned by five o'clock. (to rent)
3. The ______________ rabbit stayed perfectly still. (to frighten)
4. We had a ________________ experience. (to frighten)
5. The play is ________________. (to entertain)
6. The ______________ picture hung on the wall. (to complete)
7. That is an ________________ story. (to interest)
8. The king sat on a _______________ chair. (to raise)
9. The situation is _______________. (to alarm)
10. An ______________ bowl covered the cake. (to invert)
11. The _____________ lullaby sent the infant to sleep. (to soothe)
12. A ______________ walkway joined the two buildings. (to cover)
13. They laid the ______________ clothes on the bed. (to fold)
14. _______________ smells floated out of the kitchen. (to entice)
15. He stacked the ______________ wood near the fireplace. (to chop)
D. Each of the following sentences contains an interpolated adjectival phrase which is
separated from the noun or pronoun to be modified by another noun or pronoun. For each
sentence, underline the word to be modified, and correct the sentence by moving the adjectival
phrase so that it is positioned close to the word to be modified. For example:
The bird perched in the tree, folding its wings.
Folding its wings, the bird perched in the tree.
Lighting a cigarette, the door was opened by a young woman.
The door was opened by a young woman, lighting a cigarette.
He searched for his keys, tired from the journey.
Tired from the journey, he searched for his keys.
1. Wanting to entertain us, the story was told to us by a nurse.
2. She decided to apply for the position, attracted by the advertisement.
3. Driving a brightly colored van, the parcel was delivered by a courier.
4. He looked through the book, glancing from time to time at his watch.
5. Wilted from the sun, we replaced the flowers.
6. The fire delighted the children, crackling and throwing off sparks.
7. Our friend made us a cake, wishing to do us a favor.
8. Anticipating an entertaining evening, the arena was soon filled with eager spectators.

E. This exercise contains sentences in which the noun or pronoun to be modified by the
interpolated adjectival phrase is missing. Below each sentence is a rewritten, partially corrected
version of the sentence. Study the corrections which have already been made, and complete
the sentences with personal pronouns which make sense in the sentences. For example:
Incorrect: Following in his footsteps, our destination was soon reached.
Corrected: Following in his footsteps, __ soon reached our destination.
Following in his footsteps, we soon reached our destination.
Incorrect: Finding no one at home, his plans had to be changed.
Corrected: Finding no one at home, __ had to change his plans.
Finding no one at home, he had to change his plans.
1. Incorrect: Anxiously waiting for her guests to appear, the hands of the clock seemed to stand
still.
Corrected: As _________ anxiously waited for her guests to appear, the hands of the clock
seemed to stand still.
2. Incorrect: Wanting to make a good impression, his hair was carefully combed.
Corrected: Wanting to make a good impression, _____ carefully combed his hair.
3. Incorrect: Knowing what we did, the message was easy to interpret.
Corrected: Knowing what we did, _______ easily interpreted the message.
4. Incorrect: Quickly opening her presents, wrapping paper was scattered all over the floor.
Corrected: Quickly opening her presents, _______ scattered wrapping paper all over the floor.
5. Incorrect: Attempting to dry the dishes, one of the plates slipped out of his hand.
Corrected: As ______ attempted to dry the dishes, one of the plates slipped out of his hand.
6. Incorrect: Having been elected president, her plans could now be carried out.
Corrected: Having been elected president, _____ could now carry out her plans.
7. Incorrect: Wondering what had happened, our questions remained unanswered.
Corrected: Although _____ wondered what had happened, our questions remained unanswered.
8. Incorrect: Entering the room, all eyes were turned in her direction.
Corrected: As _____ entered the room, all eyes were turned in her direction.
9. Incorrect: Rearranging her papers, her notes fell onto the floor.
Corrected: As _____ rearranged her papers, her notes fell onto the floor.
10. Incorrect: Pretending not to mind, their disappointment was obvious.
Corrected: Although _____ pretended not to mind, their disappointment was obvious.

Answer
Answers to Exercise A:
1. The lemon tasted sour. 2. The surface felt rough. 3. The child grew excited. 4. The students seemed
relieved. 5. The silence became awkward. 6. The roses smelled sweet. 7. The wheat turned golden. 8.
The singer looked confident.
Answers to Exercise B:
1. Leaping and dancing, the flames lit up the lakeshore. 2. The bells, deep and resonant, could be heard
a mile away. 3. The flowers, sweet-smelling and colorful, attracted many bees. 4. Sunny and warm, the
climate was ideal for tourists. 5. The shears, heavy and awkward, were difficult to use. 6. Beautiful and
delicate, the flowers could be found only in the high mountains. 7. Twittering and chirping, the birds
circled overhead. 8. The children, silent and attentive, watched the magician closely.
Answers to Exercise C:
1. surprising 2. rented 3. frightened 4. frightening 5. entertaining 6. completed 7. interesting 8. raised 9.
alarming 10. inverted 11. soothing 12. covered 13. folded 14. Enticing 15. chopped
Answers to Exercise D:
1. The story was told to us by a nurse, wanting to entertain us. 2. Attracted by the advertisement, she
decided to apply for the position. 3. The parcel was delivered by a courier driving a brightly colored van.
4. Glancing from time to time at his watch, he looked through the book. 5. We replaced the flowers,
wilted from the sun. 6. Crackling and throwing off sparks, the fire delighted the children. 7. Wishing to
do us a favor, our friend made us a cake. 8. The arena was soon filled with eager spectators, anticipating
an entertaining evening.
Answers to Exercise E:
1. she 2. he 3. we 4. she 5. he 6. she 7. we 8. she 9. she 10. they