Adjectives

Introduction

An adjective describes or gives more information about a noun or pronoun, e.g. a cold day. A demonstrative adjective shows whether something is near or far from the speaker, e.g. this (near), that (far). An -ing/-ed adjective describes things or feelings. An -ing adjective describes things or people, e.g. The book is very interesting. An -ed adjective describes feelings, e.g. I am very interested in the book. A possessive adjective shows who something belongs to, e.g. my, our. A superlative adjective compares more than two things, e.g. He is the tallest boy in the class. An adjective is a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it. An adjective is a word that modifies or describes or specifies a noun or pronoun. An adjective is a word that modifies a noun by specifying an attribute of the noun. Adjectives are also used as the complements of sentences with verbs like "be" and "seem" - "He is happy", "He seems drunk". An adjective may also be used with a copular verb.

Example

she is polite.

Adjectives are usually associated with a noun which they act to modify in a noun phrase.

Example

Adjectives of colour, like red, size or shape, like round or large, along with thousands of less classifiable adjectives like willing, onerous, etc.

Example

A nice day.

Adjectives modify nouns and have three forms or degrees:

Positive - new

Comparative - newer

Superlative - newest

Vocabulary

The following table shows a list of adjectives.

An adjective is a word that modifies a noun. There are two basic types of adjectives: descriptive and limiting.

DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVES

A descriptive adjective describes a noun. That is, it shows a quality or condition of a noun:

Example

She is an upstanding citizen.

Example

Josh has invited his zany friends.

Example

That was a mighty clap of thunder.

Example

I prefer the white shirt with the long sleeves.

LIMITING ADJECTIVES

A limiting adjective shows the limits of a noun. That is, it indicates the number or quantity of a noun, or it points out a certain specificity of a noun. There are three types of limiting adjectives: numerical adjectives, pronominal adjectives, and articles. A numerical adjective is a number.

Example

It may be cardinal (how many) or ordinal (in what order):

Pronominal

A pronominal adjective is a pronoun that acts as an adjective. A pronominal adjective may be personal (my, our, your, his, her, their, its), demonstrative (this, that, these, those),indefinite (all, any, few, other, several, some),or interrogative (which, what).

Personal

Example

We loved her goulash.

Example

The squirrel returned to its nest.

Indefinite

Example

Pick any card from the deck.

Example

All luggage will be inspected.

Indefinite

Example

At dawn, a helicopter broke the silence.

Example

An usher seated us.

definite

Example

The paintings lacked imagination.

Vocabulary

Comparison of adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are able to indicate qualities and conditions by three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, and superlative. Adjectives may be compared in downward or upward order. For downward comparisons, all adjectives use the words less (comparative) and least (superlative.

DOWNWARD COMPARISONS

(the quality or condition) (a degree lower than the positive) (the lowest degree of the positive)

Example

intelligent

less intelligent

least intelligent

Example

kind

less kind

least kind

Example

salty

less salty

least salty

For upward comparisons, there are three different formats:

UPWARD COMPARISONS

positive

comparative

superlative

(the quality or condition) (a degree higher than the positive) (the highest degree of the positive)

Almost all one-syllable adjectives use the endings er (comparative) and est (superlative. Some adjectives with two or more syllables follow this format as well.

Example

kind

kinder

kindest

Example

straight

straighter

straightest

Example

salty

saltier

saltiest

Vocabulary

Most adjectives with two or more syllables use the words more (comparative) and most (superlative. Most one-syllable adjectives may use this format as an optional alternative to using ???er and ???est.

Example

harmonious

more harmonious

most harmonious

Example

impatient

more impatient

most impatient

Example

talkative

more talkative

most talkative

Example

kind

more kind

most kind

irregular

Some adjectives have irregular forms.

Example

bad/ill

worse

worst

Example

good/well

better

best

Example

far

farther/further

farthest/furthest

Example

little

less

least

Example

many

more

most