For a sentence from a ACT English test:

Her goal was to revive the literary boom of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance of which she had been a part.

So my question is, since there is no comma after "1920s", does that mean it functions as an adjective?

  • How can 1920's possibly be an adjective? It's a noun phrase functioning as a genitive determiner.
    – BillJ
    Oct 1, 2020 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


It is, like "Harlem" in that sentence, a noun adjunct. As is generally the case, it can be rewritten with "of": "Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s."

  • Could you expand beyond this, like when a noun function as a noun adjunct? I mean, it is not like all nouns can be used this way? Oct 1, 2020 at 5:02
  • I'd say that it's a noun phrase functioning as a genitive determiner in the nominal "1920's Harlem Renaissance".
    – BillJ
    Oct 1, 2020 at 7:24

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