We use modifiers when we want to give extra information about a noun. A noun can be modified by other words or phrases placed before or after the noun. These words or phrases that modify nouns are known as modifiers.

Look at the passage below. Notice the words in italics.

Elvis Presley came from a poor family. He was born on 8 January in Mississippi. When Elvis was 13, he asked his mother to buy him a bicycle which was too expensive. His mother, a poor housewife, could only buy an ordinary guitar. In the same year Elvis and his family left Mississippi.

They moved to Memphis, a small town in Tennessee. One day in 1954 he went to a recording studio called Sun Records. He wanted to make a record for his mother’s birthday. The secretary at the studio heard Elvis and took him to her boss, Sam Phillips. Elvis was Sam Phillips' dream- a
white boy with a black voice.

If you notice carefully, you will see the words in italics tell us something about
the nouns they modify. 

For example, the adjective poor modifies the noun family. 

Now let us see how some other modifiers have been used in the text.

which was too expensive modifies bi-cycle

poor modifies housewife

a small town in Tennessee modifes Memphis

recording modifies studio

called Sun Records modifies studio

for his mother ’s birthday modifies record

Sam Phillips modifies her boss

White modifies boy

black modifies voice

From these examples we see that adjectives are often used as modifiers. But there are other examples of modifiers which are not adjectives. Therefore a noun
also be modified by a phrase, a clause or another noun. We have also modifiers can be used both before and after the nouns they modify.

◼️ Modifiers are of two kinds: 

  1. Pre-modifiers and 
  2. Post-modifiers

🔷 Modifiers which are placed after determiners but before the head of a noun or noun phrase are called premodifiers.

🔷 Modifiers that come after the noun head are called postmodifiers.

📝 Premodifiers

Modifiers which are placed after determiners but before the head of a noun
phrase are called premodifiers. 

Adjectives are widely used as premodifiers, and there are some other types of premodifiers too. 

◼️ Different types of modifiers are shown in the examples below :

1. Adjectives as premodifiers

Read the passage below and see how adjectives are used just before nouns to modifiy them. 

The words in Italics are premodifiers.

We had a pleasant journey this time. We booked a spacious room with
comfortable beds. We enjoyed a fabulous outing in the evening, followed by
a grand dinner. In that big dining hall, we listened to the piano played by a
local artist. As we got back to the hotel. the soothing melody of the piano was
still heard in the serenity of the virgin night.

An adjective can itself be modified by degree adverbs. See the words in bold.
They modify the modifiers that follow.

We had a very pleasant journey this time. We booked a spacious room with
really comfortable beds. We enjoyed a quite fabulous outing in the
evening, followed by a grand dinner.

2. Participles as premodifiers

Both present and past participles can play the role of premodifiers. Look at the sentence below and notice the premodifiers in italics.

The flying clouds looked like the polished strokes of a gifted artist on a surface of shining blue.

3. Nouns as premodifiers

Nouns are used as premodifiers.
She wanted to buy an air ticket. But no passenger was departing on that day. Finally she asked for an online booking advice form.

4.  compound as premodifiers:

Compounds often function as premodifiers of nouns. Compounds consist of more than one word and function as a single adjective or noun.

The office has a group of hard-working executives. However, the owner of the
firm has some pretty old-fashioned attitudes. For instance, he still uses an out-of-date computer programme for keeping his accounts. He’s just bought a
brand-new computer and we have some first-class accounting softwares But I
know, he is quite happy with those old ones.

Sequences of three, four or even five nouns occur quite commonly in a noun

📝 Example:

In that hot East Indian summer noon, I was walking along the crowded Bombay Bazaar pavements looking desperately for a Lankan airline ticket office.

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Two types of pre-modifiers of head nouns
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