The really good golfer is playing well.

I know really modifies good and good modifies golfer, but does the full phrase really good modify golfer?

The really big house is for sale.

Does the phrase really big modify house?

  • 1
    Different accounts of English grammar use the word "modify" to mean different things; there isn't a single standard. See e.g. Dependency Grammar v. Constituency Grammar.
    – alphabet
    Mar 31 at 20:10
  • 1
    With adverbs like really and very (called "intensifiers" in the trade), yes, that's the way it works. The intensifiers intensify the adjective they modify, and the whole phrase in turn modifies a noun (if it's attributive, and not a predicate adjective -- predicate adjectives don't modify anything). It's recursive, with the same structure inside and outside. But not all adverbs modify (or intensify) adjectives. They've got dozens of uses. Mar 31 at 20:17
  • Yes, really good modifies golfer, just as great or excellent modifies golfer. Apr 1 at 3:40


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