Adjective in English Grammar
Comprehensive Definition, Description, Examples & Rules
What is an adjective? What is an adjective’s definition? How can we define adjectives? We have heard that word in our grammar classes, but many are confused over the right way to use them. Edulyte’s English trainers have created easy methods to master this grammar concept.
What is an adjective?
Adjectives are words that modify or describe nouns or pronouns by providing information about characteristics, qualities, and attributes. Adjectives can indicate size, colour, shape, texture, sound, smell, taste or any abstract quality. They are an essential part of language, empowering us to create more precise and vivid descriptions of the world around us.
In short, adjectives can be describing words for a person, a place or anything under the sun.
Several adjectives examples include:
The happy dog wagged its tail. (happy describes the dog)
- She wore a pretty dress to the party. (pretty describes the dress)
- The tall building stood out in the skyline. (tall describes the building)
- The spicy curry made my mouth burn. (spicy describes the curry)
Importance of adjectives in communication
Adjectives play a decisive role in language by allowing us to add depth and detail to our descriptions. They enable us to convey more specific meanings.
Adjectives play a vital role in communication as they can make the language more descriptive, vivid, and expressive. Adjectives can convey emotions, create images, and provide details that make a story or message more engaging and memorable.
They can also clarify meaning and help to distinguish between similar or ambiguous nouns. Adjectives are used in many forms of communication, including written texts, speeches, advertising, and everyday conversations.
Definition of adjective with reference to dictionary sources
What is an adjective as per the dictionaries usually used by us? As per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “an adjective is a word belonging to one of the significant syntactic classes in many languages. It serves as a modifier of a noun to denote a quality of the thing named, to indicate its quantity or extent, or to specify a thing as distinct from something else.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines an adjective as “a word or group of words that describes or modifies a noun or pronoun, giving more information about its quality, size, shape, or other characteristics.”
In both definitions, the emphasis is on the role of adjectives as modifiers that provide additional information about nouns or pronouns.
Examples of adjectives
To further understand their role in English, commonly used adjectives list along with their use in sentences, are mentioned below. Each adjective’s meaning becomes clear through the sentences. These words are considered good adjectives that we can effortlessly use.
feeling or showing sorrow; unhappy.
The sad news of his grandfather’s death left her in grief..
feeling joy, pleasure
She is happy to see them.
The pie smells delicious
tall, bright blue
tall: great height
bright blue: shade of blue that is intense
She is a tall woman with bright blue eyes
The flowers in the vase are beautiful
cold: lack of warmth
creamy: rich in texture and taste
The ice cream is cold and creamy.
courageous: brave, fearless
She is a smart and courageous girl.
huge: extremely big, in size or volume
majestic: grand, impressive
The mountain is huge and majestic.
Where and how to use adjectives: their types, definitions, rules and examples
After finding the answer to what’s an adjective, its use has to be mastered.
Adjective before noun:
When we use adjectives immediately before the noun, they are called attributive adjectives.
- She wore a long, flowing dress to the party.
In this sentence, “long” and “flowing” are attributive adjectives that modify the noun “dress”.
- He drove a sleek, black sports car down the highway.
In this sentence, “sleek” and “black” are attributive adjectives that modify the noun “sports car”.
Adjective after the noun
When adjectives come after a noun, they are called postpositive adjectives. They provide additional information about its qualities or characteristics.
In English, some adjectives come after the noun, such as “concerned,” “afraid,” “alive,” “alone,” “asleep,” “awake,” “ill,” and “well.” Certain other adjectives used in this way are for stylistic effect or emphasis, but this is rare.
- The team won the championship game, exhausted.
In this sentence, “exhausted” is a postpositive adjective that comes after the noun “team” and provides information about their state after the game.
- He left the room, angry and frustrated.
In this sentence, “angry” and “frustrated” are postpositive adjectives that come after the noun “room” and provide information about his emotions.
Adjective immediately after the noun
When adjectives are immediately placed after a noun, they are called predicate adjectives.
In English, predicate adjectives are used after linking verbs such as “be,” “appear,” “seem,” “become,” “feel,” and “look.” They are used to provide more information about the subject of the sentence.
- The cake smells delicious.
In this sentence, “delicious” is a predicate adjective that describes the subject “cake.”
- He seems happy today.
In this sentence, “happy” is a predicate adjective that describes the subject “he.”
Types of adjectives: definitions, lists of adjectives and examples
The types of adjectives are useful tools in English. Their comprehension improves your communication skills.
Comparative adjectives compare two or more things. These adjectives show the degree of difference between two nouns and indicate which one has more or less of a particular quality than the other.
Adjective’s example : Out of the two cars, the blue one is the older one.
Comparative adjectives are formed by adding “-er” to the end of the adjective if it is a one-syllable adjective or by adding “more” before the adjective if it has two or more syllables.
Example: “tall” becomes “taller”, and “interesting” becomes “more interesting.”
Three commonly used comparative adjectives and their use are:
- Better: used to compare two things and indicate that one is of higher quality or more desirable than the other.
Example: This pizza is better than that one.
- Faster: used to compare the speed of two things or actions. Example: She runs faster than her brother.
- More expensive: used to compare the cost of two items or services, indicating that one is more costly than the other. Example: The designer bag is more expensive than the regular one.
Superlative adjectives compare three or more things. They indicate the highest or lowest degree of a particular quality among a group of nouns.
Example: Mary is the oldest sister.
A superlative adjective is created by adding -est at the end adjective, if it is a one-syllable adjective. Most is added before the adjective if the adjective has two or more syllables.
Example: The adjective “tall” becomes “tallest” in superlative form, as “tall’ is one syllable.
The adjective “interesting” becomes “most interesting” in superlative form, as it has 4 syllables: “in-ter-est-ing.”
Commonly used superlative adjectives include:
- Best: indicates the highest degree of quality or excellence. Example: She is the best singer in the choir.
- Worst: indicates the lowest degree of quality or excellence. Example: That was the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
- Biggest: indicates the largest size or quantity. Example: The elephant is the biggest animal in the zoo.
Predicate adjectives meaning indicates that these adjectives describe the subject of a sentence. They are linked to the subject by a linking verb. These adjectives give more information about the subject.
Example: The flowers are beautiful.
In the sentence, “beautiful” is the predicate adjective that describes the subject “flowers.” The linking verb “are” connects the subject and the predicate adjective.
Commonly used predicate adjectives include:
- Happy: conveys a positive emotional state. Example: She felt happy after receiving the good news.
- Sad: conveys a negative emotional state.
Example: He looked sad after the loss of his pet.
- Beautiful: conveys a pleasing appearance. Example: The sunset was beautiful.
- Ugly: conveys an unattractive appearance. Example: The old building was ugly and rundown.
- Smart: conveys intelligence or quick thinking. Example: She is a smart student.
Compound adjectives are formed by joining two or more words together to create a single descriptive term. These adjectives can be hyphenated or written as one word depending on their usage and position in a sentence.
Example: “well-written” is a hyphenated compound adjective formed by combining “well” and “written”. Similarly, “blue-eyed” is another hyphenated compound adjective formed by combining “blue” and “eyed”.
Compound adjectives can be formed in a variety of ways, including:
- Adjective + adjective: Example – “dark-haired boy”
- Adjective + noun: Example – “high-tech device”
- Adverb + adjective: Example – “well-known author”
- Noun + adjective: Example – “ocean-blue sky”
- Noun + participle: Example – “fun-filled day”
- Adjective + participle: Example – “heart-warming story”
Commonly used compound adjectives include:
- Red-hot: specifies extreme heat. Example: The metal was red-hot and glowing.
- Light-hearted: specifies a carefree or cheerful attitude. Example: The movie was a light-hearted comedy.
- Cold-blooded: specifies a lack of emotion or remorse. Example: The killer was a cold-blooded murderer.
- Open-minded: specifies a willingness to consider new ideas. Example: He is open-minded and always willing to learn.
- Hard-working: specifies a strong work ethic. Example: She is a hard-working employee who always gets the job done.
- State-of-the-art:specifies the most recent stage in development of technology. Example: The new research facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows scientists to conduct experiments with greater precision and accuracy.
- Fast-paced: describes an environment or situation that is characterised by a high level of activity or rapid change Example:Working in the fast-paced environment of a busy restaurant requires quick thinking and the ability to multitask efficiently.
- Eco-friendly: describes products or practices that are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. Example: Many consumers are now choosing eco-friendly products to reduce their carbon footprint
Possessive adjectives meaning indicates that these words modify the noun by identifying who has the ownership of i a noun that these adjectives ownership or possession of a noun. These adjectives are placed before the noun.
Example: “My cat is sleeping on the couch,” the possessive adjective “my” shows that the cat belongs to the speaker. Without the possessive adjective, the sentence would be “The cat is sleeping on the couch,” which does not indicate ownership.
Commonly used possessive adjectives include:
- My: indicates ownership by the speaker. Example: My car needs a new battery.
- Your: indicates ownership by the person being spoken to. Example: Is this your book?
- His: indicates ownership by a male person. Example: His house is next to mine.
- Her: indicates ownership by a female person. Example: Her bike is in the garage.
Demonstrative adjectives indicate or point to a specific noun or group of nouns. These adjectives are used to identify or distinguish between things, people, or places.
Example: “That book is mine,” the demonstrative adjective “that” indicates a specific book and distinguishes it from others.
Commonly used demonstrative adjectives include:
- This: shows something is close to the speaker. Example: This shirt is too small for me.
- That: shows something further away from the speaker. Example: That house on the hill is beautiful.
- These: shows multiple things close to the speaker. Example: These cookies are delicious.
- Those: shows numerous things further away from the speaker. Example: Those cars are blocking the road.
Proper adjectives are created from proper nouns. The origin is from the names of specific people, places, or things.
Example: “I am eating Italian pasta,” the proper adjective “Italian” is derived from the proper noun “Italy” and describes the type of pasta being eaten.
Commonly used proper adjectives include:
- American: describing something related to the United States of America. Example: I am an American citizen.
- Shakespearean: describing something related to the works of William Shakespeare. Example: I am reading a Shakespearean play.
- Proper adjectives can also describe specific brands or products, such as Kodak film or Nike sneakers.
Participial adjectives, also known as participles, are a type of adjective that is formed from a verb and is used to describe a noun or pronoun. Participles can either end in “-ing” (present participle) or “-ed”, or “-en” (past participle) and can be used to modify a noun or pronoun in a sentence. Participial adjectives are tricky as they are sometimes confused with verbs.
Example: “The running water is refreshing,” the participial adjective “running” is derived from the verb “to run” and describes the water that is currently running.
Commonly used participial adjectives include:
- Exciting: indicating something that creates a feeling of excitement. Example: The exciting news made everyone jump for joy.
- Frightened: indicating someone afraid. Example: The frightened child clung to his mother’s leg.
- Boring: indicating something dull or uninteresting. Example: The lecture was so boring that I fell asleep.
- Amused: indicating someone who is entertained or finds something funny. Example: The silly antics of the clowns amused me.
Limiting adjectives restrict or specify the noun or pronoun they describe. They can indicate the quantity or specificity of the noun or pronoun and are used to distinguish it from others of the same kind.
Example: in the sentence “I need to buy a few groceries,” the limiting adjective “a few” indicates a small, specific quantity of groceries.
Commonly used limiting adjectives include:
- Any: used to indicate an indefinite or unspecified quantity of something. Example: Do you have any plans for the weekend?
- Several: used to indicate a moderate number of something. Example: I saw several birds in the park today.
- Every: used to indicate all members of a group. Example: Every student in the class must complete the assignment.
Descriptive adjectives describe or give more information about a noun or pronoun. For example, they can provide details such as size, colour, shape, age, etc.
For example, in the sentence “The big, fluffy cat slept on the soft, green couch,” the descriptive adjectives “big,” “fluffy,” “soft,” and “green” provide more detail about the cat and the couch.
Commonly used descriptive adjectives include:
- Big: used to describe something significant in size. Example: The big elephant trumpeted loudly.
- Cold: used to describe something low in temperature. Example: The cold winter wind made me shiver.
- Young: used to describe something or someone in the early stages of life.
Example: The young puppy was full of energy.
Interrogative adjectives are a type of adjective used to ask questions about a noun. They are placed before the noun they modify and are used to seek more information about the noun.
Example: “Which shirt do you prefer?”, the interrogative adjective “which” is used to ask a question about the noun “shirt.”
Commonly used interrogative adjectives include:
- Which: used to ask about a choice between limited options. Example: Which book do you want to read?
- What: used to ask for more information about a noun. Example: What time is the meeting?
- Whose: used to ask about ownership of a noun. Example: Whose pen is this?
Attributive adjectives come before a noun to describe or modify it. They are commonly used in English to add detail and information to a sentence.
Example: “She bought a beautiful red dress,” the attributive adjectives “beautiful” and “red” come before the noun “dress” to describe its appearance.
Commonly used attributive adjectives include:
- Size: Big, small, large, tiny
- Colour: Red, blue, green, yellow
- Shape: Round, square, oval, rectangular
- Age: Young, old, new, antique
- Material: Wooden, plastic, metal, cotton
Distributive adjectives refer to each member of a group or a set. They are used to distribute or divide the noun they modify into separate parts or units.
Example: “Each student received a book,” the distributive adjective “each” refers to each student, indicating that they all received one book each.
Commonly used distributive adjectives include:
- Each: Each student received a book.
- Every: Every person must follow the rules.
- Either: You can choose either book.
- Neither: Neither answer is correct.
- Both: Both of my parents are doctors.
- All: All of the students passed the test.
Determiners come before a noun to provide context and clarification. They are used to determine or identify the noun that follows.
Some common determiners are demonstratives (this, that, these, those), articles (a, an, the), possessives (my, your, his, her, its, our, their), quantifiers (some, any, many, few, several), and numbers (one, two, three, etc.).
Example: “I saw the dog” : the determiner “the” is used to specify which dog is being referred to. Likewise, in the sentence “Give me that book,” the determiner “that” indicates which book is being requested.
Commonly used determiners and their usage include:
- Articles: “A”, “An”, and “The” are used to indicate whether the noun is specific or non-specific.
- Demonstratives: “This”, “That”, “These”, “Those” are used to indicate proximity or distance.
- Possessives: “My”, “Your”, “His”, “Her”, “Its”, “Our”, and “Their” are used to indicate ownership or possession.
- Quantifiers: “Some”, “Any”, “Many”, “Few”, and “Several” are used to indicate quantity.
- Numbers: One, Two, Three, etc. are used to indicate amount or order.
Indefinite determiners are a type of determiner used to refer to non-specific or unknown nouns. They are used to indicate a general or indefinite quantity or identity of the noun that follows.
Commonly used indefinite determiners include “a,” “an,” and “some.” For example, in the sentence “I want to buy a car,” the indefinite determiner “a” indicates a non-specific or unknown car.
Other commonly used indefinite determiners include “any,” “each,” “every,” and “many.” For example, in the sentence “Many people enjoy travelling,” the indefinite determiner “many” indicates a general or unspecified number of people.
- Infographic: explaining the types of adjectives
Different aspects of grammar are related to adjectives. Edulyte’s English trainers explain them in an easy manner so that your language proficiency improves.
Nouns used as adjectives
Nouns used as adjectives are common in the English language. They are words used to modify or describe other nouns, functioning as adjectives.
Example: “chicken soup” : the noun “chicken” is used as an adjective to describe the type of soup.
Some examples of common nouns that are often used as adjectives, along with examples and how to use them:
Noun Used as Adjective
Example: How to Use?
a club focussed on reading books
a mug used for drinking coffee
a towel used at the beach
Participles used as adjectives
Participles used as adjectives are verbs that have been transformed into an adjective form, usually by adding “-ed” or “-ing” to the base form of the verb.
Example: “a broken vase”: the verb “break” has been transformed into its past participle form “broken” and is being used to describe the vase.
Some common participles that are often used as adjectives, along with examples and how to use them:
Participle used as Adjective
How to Use
glass that has been shattered
a dog making noise
water that is flowing
Infinitives used as adjectives
Infinitives are special form of verbs that can function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in a sentence.Infinitives used as adjectives are called infinitive adjectives.They are created by adding “to” to a verb and function as adjectives to describe a noun or pronoun.
Example: “I have a book to read” : the infinitive “to read” functions as an adjective to describe the book.
Table with examples of how to use infinitives as adjectives:
a book to read
a place to eat
a language to learn
A group of words that function as adjectives in a sentence are called adjective phrases. An adjective phrase is formed by an adjective and any modifiers that follow it.
Example: “the big, red apple” :an adjective phrase modifies the noun “apple.” The adjective “big” modifies the noun “apple,” while the adjective “red” modifies the noun phrase “big apple.”
Table of examples of adjective phrases and how to use them:
How to Use
the expensive Italian leather shoes
use a proper adjective(Italian) to describe the noun
the house by the river
use a prepositional phrase to modify the noun
the three-story brick building
use a hyphenated phrase to modify the noun
Adjective clause (also known as a relative clause) is a dependent clause that modifies or describes a noun or pronoun in the main clause of a sentenceThey provide more information about a noun or pronoun and are introduced by relative pronouns such as “who,” “whom,” “whose,” “that,” or “which.”
Example: “The woman who lives next door is a doctor”: the phrase “who lives next door” is an adjective clause that modifies “woman.”
List of adjective clauses examples and with examples of how to use them:
How to use
The woman whose car was stolen called the police
use ‘whose’ to show possession and introduce an adjective clause
The day when we went to the beach was very sunny
use ‘when’ to introduce a clause describing a specific time
The book that I borrowed from the library from my friend was very informative.
use ‘that’ to introduce a necessary clause
Common thumb rules to use adjectives in the proper way
Placing a word that modifies a noun in a sentence is not enough to create meaningful sentences in English. Certain rules are to be followed to use adjectives.
Reduce your word count with the right adjective
Adjectives add depth to your writing. Here are some standard thumb rules to help you properly use adjectives:
- Be specific: Use adjectives that precisely describe what you’re trying to convey. Avoid generic adjectives like “nice” or “pretty” and choose descriptive adjectives that paint a vivid picture for your readers.
- Use adjectives sparingly: Too many adjectives can make your writing feel overblown and tedious. Choose your adjectives carefully and use them only when they add something new to your writing.
- Don’t rely on adjectives alone: Use descriptive language, similes, and metaphors instead of relying solely on adjectives to convey your message.
- Compare and contrast: Use comparative adjectives to compare and contrast two things. For example, “The coffee was hotter than the tea.” It helps readers understand the difference between the two.
Reduce your word count by removing adjectives
When writing, it’s important to use adjectives effectively to enhance your message without being redundant or repetitive. One common thumb rule is to reduce your word count by removing unnecessary adjectives.
To follow this rule, consider whether each adjective you’ve used is essential to convey your intended meaning. If an adjective doesn’t add new information or insight, it may be best to remove it. For example:
With unnecessary adjectives: The tall, green tree swayed gently in the breeze.
Without unnecessary adjectives: The tree swayed gently in the breeze.
Another way to follow this thumb rule is to compare your writing with and without adjectives to see the impact on your message.
With adjectives: The delicious, hot pizza arrived at our table.
Without adjectives: The pizza arrived at our table.
Avoid incomprehensible strings of adjectives
When using adjectives, it’s essential to balance descriptive and concise language. One common issue writers face is creating incomprehensible strings of adjectives, which can overwhelm the reader and detract from the overall message.
To avoid this, it’s essential to follow a few key tips:
- Limit yourself to using two or three adjectives in a row, and ensure each adds value to the sentence.
- Use specific adjectives directly related to the described noun rather than generic ones that could apply to many things.
- Consider breaking up long strings of adjectives with other types of descriptive language, such as adverbs or prepositional phrases.
For example :
An incomprehensible string of adjectives: The tall, dark, handsome, brooding, mysterious stranger entered the dimly lit, smoky, atmospheric room.
Concise and descriptive: The brooding stranger entered the smoky, dimly lit room.
Don’t complete a linking verb with an adverb
When using linking verbs, it’s important to avoid the common error of completing the verb with an adverb. Instead, use an adjective to describe the subject.
She feels badly about the situation.
In this case, “feels” is the linking verb, and “badly” is the adverb completing the verb. However, “badly” modifies “feels” and not the subject “she.” To fix this, we can use the adjective “bad” instead, resulting in the sentence:
She feels bad about the situation.
Use postpositive adjectives for emphasis
When we use an adjective in a sentence, we usually place it before the noun it modifies. However, in some cases, a postpositive adjective (an adjective that comes after the noun) can add emphasis and make the sentence more impactful.
- The day was bright and sunny. (standard word order)
- The day was sunny and bright. (postpositive adjective for emphasis)
Order of Adjectives: explanation, examples and table with orders
Adjectives are essential parts of speech that add flavour, description, and depth to our sentences. However, when it comes to using multiple adjectives, their order matters. The proper order can make all the difference in the meaning and clarity of a sentence.
The order of adjectives should be followed in a specific sequence:
- Determiners or articles
- Opinion or observation
- Size or shape
- Origin or nationality
- Purpose or qualifier
For instance, the sentence “I have a beautiful large white fluffy Persian cat” may confuse some readers, as the order of adjectives is incorrect. Rearranging them according to the proper sequence should be “I have a beautiful fluffy large white Persian cat.”
Refer to the given table that shows the order of adjectives with their respective types and examples:
a, an, the
terrible, pretty, exciting
huge, tiny, enormous
old, young, new
green, red, blue
Indian, German, French
Plastic, wollen, cotton
Common Mistakes with Adjectives: lists of mistakes and tips to avoid them to improve your grammar
Adjectives are essential in English language learning. Many people make mistakes when using adjectives in their writing and speech. Below are some of the most common mistakes with adjectives and tips on how to avoid them:
- Using too many adjectives: using multiple adjectives to describe something can be tempting, but using too many can make your writing sound cluttered and confusing. Stick to using one or two strong adjectives that accurately describe what you are trying to convey.
- Placing adjectives in the wrong order: the order of adjectives in a sentence is important, and putting them in the wrong order can change the meaning of a sentence. The general rule is to use adjectives in the following order: opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, and purpose. For example, “the beautiful big red apple” sounds correct, but “the red beautiful big apple” does not.
- Using the wrong form of an adjective: adjectives have different forms depending on the noun they describe, such as singular or plural, or masculine or feminine. Ensure you use the adjective’s correct form to avoid confusion or errors.
- Confusing adjectives and adverbs: adjectives describe nouns, while adverbs describe verbs. Using an adverb to describe a noun, or vice versa, can lead to grammatical errors and confusion.
- Overusing comparative and superlative adjectives: comparative and superlative adjectives are used to compare things, but using them too often can make your writing repetitive and dull. Try to use a variety of adjectives to describe things instead of relying solely on comparative and superlative forms.
- Adjectives are words used to modify or describe nouns or pronouns.
- The different types of adjectives include descriptive, limiting, proper, numeral, indefinite, and absolute.
- Descriptive adjectives provide more information about the noun or pronoun they modify, such as colour, size, shape, and appearance.
- Limiting adjectives, also known as determiners, provide information about the quantity or specificity of the noun or pronoun, such as articles (a, an, the), demonstratives (this, that), and possessives (my, your, his, her, our, their).
- Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns and usually capitalised, such as American, Chinese, or French.
- Numeral adjectives provide information about the number of nouns or pronouns, such as one, two, or three.
- Indefinite adjectives provide non-specific information about the noun or pronoun, such as some, any, few, or many.
- Absolute adjectives provide a quality or attribute that cannot be compared, such as unique or perfect.
- Adjectives can be used in different positions in a sentence, including before or after the noun or pronoun they modify.
- Adjectives can compare two or more nouns or pronouns using comparative or superlative forms.
- Adjectives should agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns or pronouns they modify.
Question comes here
Frequently Asked Questions
The main difference between a descriptive and a limiting adjective is that descriptive adjectives provide more information about a noun’s qualities or attributes, while limiting adjectives limit the scope or quantity of the described noun.
The order of adjectives is opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, and purpose. However, not all adjectives have to be included, and the order can vary depending on the context and emphasis.
The comparative adjectives compare two people or things. They are formed by adding “-er” to the end of the adjective or by using “more” before the adjective. Superlative adjectives are used to compare three or more things and are formed by adding “-est” to the end of the adjective or using “most” before the adjective.
Some adjectives you can use to describe a person’s personality are: friendly, outgoing, introverted, extroverted, funny, serious, kind, generous, mean, thoughtful, and selfish.
One common way to form an adjective from a verb is by adding the suffix “-ing” or “-ed” to the verb. For example, “talk” becomes “talking” or “talked.” Another way is to use the root form of the verb with a linking verb, such as “is,” “are,” or “was.” For example, “excite” becomes “exciting” or “excited.”
To compare two things, you use the comparative form of the adjective by adding -er to the end of the base adjective or by using “more” before the adjective. To compare more than two things, you use the superlative form by adding -est to the end of the base adjective or using “most” before the adjective. For example, “This book is longer than that book” (comparative), or “This book is the longest of all” (superlative).
To identify and correct errors in adjective agreement, you must ensure that the adjective agrees in gender, number, and case with the noun it modifies. If there is a mismatch, you must change the adjective accordingly to make it agree with the noun.
Some adjectives to describe a person’s appearance are beautiful, handsome, attractive, stunning, charming, cute, pretty, etc.
A predicate adjective follows a linking verb and describes or modifies the subject of the sentence. In addition, it provides additional information about the subject, such as its state of being, condition, or quality. For example, in the sentence “The flowers are beautiful,” “beautiful” is the predicate adjective because it follows the linking verb “are” and describes the subject “flowers.” Another example is “She looks tired,” where “tired” is the predicate adjective that describes the subject “she.”
Some essential adjectives used for emotions and feelings are : happy, sad, angry, anxious, excited, proud, embarrassed, content, and frustrated.
A proper adjective is created from a proper noun and used to describe or modify a noun in a sentence. It is always capitalised. Proper describe a specific person, place, or thing that is unique or distinctive. For example, in the sentence “I love Italian food,” “Italian” is a proper adjective that describes the origin or nationality of the food. Another example would be “I bought a Toyota car,” where “Toyota” is a proper adjective that describes the brand of the car.
You can usually add a suffix such as -y, -ful, -less, -ous, or -able to form an adjective from a noun. For example, adding -y to the noun “cloud” creates the adjective “cloudy.”
An absolute adjective is an adjective that does not have a comparative or superlative form, meaning it cannot be used to describe something in degrees of comparison. Instead, it conveys an inherent quality that cannot be changed.
For example, “perfect” is an absolute adjective because something can either be perfect or not and cannot be more or less perfect.
Adjectives can modify pronouns by providing more information about the pronoun in the sentence. The adjective usually comes directly before the pronoun it is modifying. For example, “She is a kind person” – “kind” is the adjective modifying the pronoun “she”.
An attributive adjective is placed before a noun to modify or describe it. It provides additional information about the noun and is a critical element in sentence construction.
For example: “The red car is fast.” In this sentence, “red” is an attributive adjective that modifies the noun “car” and provides additional information about it.
A comparative adjective is used to compare two nouns or pronouns. It is formed by adding “-er” to the end of the adjective or by using “more” before the adjective. For example, “The blue car is faster than the red car.” In this sentence, “faster” is the comparative adjective used to compare the speed of the blue car to the red car.
An indefinite adjective does not specify the noun it is modifying but instead refers to an indefinite or general amount or quantity. Indefinite adjectives include words like some, any, many, several, and few.
- Some people prefer tea over coffee. (indicates an indefinite or unspecified number of people)
- Many students struggle with maths. (indicates an indefinite or unspecified quantity of students)
Adjectives can be used to make comparisons in a sentence by using the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective.
To form the comparative, we typically add “er” to the end of a one-syllable adjective (e.g. “bigger”) or add “more” before the adjective for longer adjectives (e.g. “more intelligent”). For the superlative, we add “est” to the end of a one-syllable adjective (e.g. “biggest”) or add “most” before the adjective for longer adjectives (e.g. “most intelligent”).
- John is taller than Bob. (comparative)
- Sara is the tallest person in her class. (superlative)
Some adjectives to describe a person’s behaviour could include:
- Friendly: She is a friendly dog.
- Rude: The child’s behaviour is quite rude.
- Polite: Mr. Smith is a polite employee.
- Respectful: You must be respectful to public property.
- Kind: A kind act can go a long way.
- Generous: The generous donation from the community helped in the construction of the park.
- Selfish: It is selfish to only think about your own needs and not consider how your actions might affect others.
- Arrogant: His arrogant behaviour and condescending attitude made it difficult for others to work with him.
- Humble: Despite his immense success, he remained humble and never forgot his roots.
- Confident: She walked into the interview room with a confident smile.
- Insecure: Because of his past experiences, he always felt in social situations.
- Impulsive: The child’s impulsive decision to jump from its bed led to his injuries.
- Reliable: She is a reliable employee who completes the work on time.
- Trustworthy: The trustworthy financial advisor provided sound advice that helped her clients achieve their financial goals.
- Dishonest: The dishonest salesman tried to sell the customer a faulty product by hiding its defects.
A numeral adjective specifies a number or numeral quantity. It describes the quantity or number of a noun in a sentence. Examples of numeral adjectives include one, two, three, first, second, third, etc.
Here are some examples of numeral adjectives used in sentences:
- I have two dogs.
- He is the first person to arrive at the party.
Adjectives can modify possessive nouns by describing or providing more information about the noun. The adjective is generally placed before the possessive noun to modify it. For example:
- His old car was parked outside.
- Her beautiful dress caught everyone’s attention.
A superlative adjective describes the highest degree of quality in a noun. It is used when comparing three or more nouns, indicating which one has the most or least of a certain quality.
To form a superlative adjective, you add “-est” to the end of the base adjective or use “most” or “least” before the adjective. For example, “tallest,” “most beautiful,” and “least intelligent.”
Example: Out of all the students in the class, Sarah is the smartest.