English Grammar Basic Grammar and syntax

Adjective Complement Master Class

Adjective Complement Masterclass

This lesson helps you understand what an adjective object is and how to use it correctly in a sentence.This lesson helps you understand what an adjective object is and how to use it correctly in a sentence.

What is an Adjective compliment?

An adjective complement is a phrase or clause that completes the meaning of an adjective by giving more information about it. The information helps readers or listeners better understand the situation. So the information you provide is necessary to complete the meaning of the adjective.

Points to consider:

  1. An adjective complement is more than a word: a phrase or a clause.
  2. Comes right next to an adjective.
  3. Sits right next to an adjective.

Types of adjective complement

The following 3 things can work as an adjective complement in a sentence:

  1. Prepositional phrase
  2. Infinitive phrase
  3. Noun clause

Prepositional phrase as an adjective complement

A prepositional phrase often functions as an adjective complement in a sentence. As an adjective complement, it sits next to an adjective and provides more information about the adjective. This information you provide helps the readers or listeners better understand the context.

Prepositional phrases are formed using a preposition and its object (noun, noun phrase, noun clause, pronoun).

  • I am not happy with your performance.

Here, ‘with your performance’ is a prepositional phrase that’s working as an adjective complement. It’s coming next to the adjective ‘happy’ and giving useful information about it. If we ended the sentence with the adjective happy, we wouldn’t have more clarity about the sentence. We wouldn’t know what the speaker is unhappy with.


  • I am concerned about your health.
  • We are happy about what happened last night.
  • Sam is dedicated to this project.
  • The management is disappointed with your actions.
  • Sneha is scared of dogs.
  • Some of them are still mad at you.
  • It is dark in the dining room.
  • He is great at public speaking.
  • You should never be satisfied with what you have.
  • We are really excited about Jon’s wedding.
  • Jon is very kind to all of us.

Nota: Quitar las frases preposicionales de estas oraciones cambia el significado de las oraciones ya que las oraciones, ahora, tienen menos información (necesaria).

Infinitive phrase as an adjective complement

When a phrase in the infinitive works as a complement to an adjective, it speaks of the reason for the adjective (state).

An infinitive in English is the ‘TO + V1’ form of a verb that functions as a noun, adjective or adverb. An infinitive phrase has an infinitive and its object, or modifier, or both.

  • I am happy to see you again.

‘To see you again’ is an infinitive phrase that’s coming next to the adjective ‘happy’ and telling us the reason for this state of existence. It completes the meaning of the adjective by telling us why the speaker is happy.

If it weren’t there, we wouldn’t know why the speaker is happy. This completely changes the meaning of the sentence.


  • We are excited to attend the party.
  • His family and friends were devastated to hear the news of his death.
  • I am delighted to see you again.
  • They were shocked to see me alive.
  • Nancy was scared to lose me.
  • I was not hesitant to leave the job for my values.
  • It is absolutely silly to argue with them.
  • We aren’t eager to be invited to the show.
  • I am very fortunate to know you.

Noun clause as an adjective complement

Una cláusula nominal es una cláusula dependiente que funciona como un sustantivo en una oración. Las cláusulas nominales a menudo comienzan con las siguientes conjunciones subordinadas: qué, quién, quién, eso, dónde, por qué, cuándo y cómo.

But note that noun clauses here do not function as a noun; they simply give information about an adjective and complete its meaning.

  • It is evident that she is angry with us.

Here, the noun clause is giving more information about the adjective ‘evident’ and telling us what is evident. It actually shouldn’t be called a noun clause here as it’s functioning as a noun; it is functioning as a modifier: giving information about an adjective.


  • It is disappointing that you are still working there.
  • It is evident that she is dying.
  • I am delighted that all my students have passed the exams.
  • We were shocked when he came back to our team.
  • It is amazing how you communicate with snakes.
  • We are excited that Virat is back on the team.
  • She is curious what her gift will be.
  • Ron seemed disappointed when the results came out.
  • It is shocking how she survived the onslaught.
  • Tina is so happy that she is back home.
  • You seem confident that colleges will be closed tomorrow.

Modifier vs Adjective complement

Un modificador regular (adverbio) que modifica un adjetivo es un poco diferente de un complemento de adjetivo. Un adverbio que modifica un adjetivo simplemente intensifica o mitiga el significado de un adjetivo, mientras que un complemento de adjetivo proporciona más detalles sobre el adjetivo y completa su significado con información esencial. Un complemento adjetivo es importante para dar el significado correcto.

  • I am very happy. (very = modifier)
    The adverb ‘very’ is modifying the adjective ‘happy’ and intensifying its meaning. Its presence does make a huge difference in the sentence.
  • I am happy to see you again. (to see you again = adjective complement)
    The adjective complement is giving information about the adjective ‘happy’ and completing its meaning by telling us the reason for the state of the subject.

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