Adjectives describe or give information about nouns or pronouns.
The grey dog barked. (The adjective grey describes the noun “dog“.)
The good news is that the form of an adjective does not change. It does not matter if the noun being modified is male or female, singular or plural, subject or object.
Some adjectives give us factual information about the noun – age, size colour etc (fact adjectives – can’t be argued with). Some adjectives show what somebody thinks about something or somebody – nice, horrid, beautiful etc (opinion adjectives – not everyone may agree).
If you are asked questions with which, whose, what kind, or how many, you need an adjective to be able to answer.
There are different types of adjectives in the English language:
- Numeric: six, one hundred and one
- Quantitative: more, all, some, half, more than enough
- Qualitative: colour, size, smell etc.
- Possessive: my, his, their, your
- Interrogative: which, whose, what
- Demonstrative: this, that, those, these
!Note – The articles a, an, and the and the possessives my, our, your, and their are also adjectives.
Adjectives can be used to give your opinion about something.
good, pretty, right, wrong, funny, light, happy, sad, full, soft, hard etc.
He was a silly boy.
Adjectives can be used to describe size.
big, small, little, long, tall, short, same as, etc.
- “The big man.” or “The big woman”.
Adjectives can be used to describe age.
- “He was an old man.” or “She was an old woman.”
Adjectives can be used to describe shape.
round, circular, triangular, rectangular, square, oval, etc.
- “It was a square box.” or “They were square boxes.”
Adjectives can be used to describe colour.
blue, red, green, brown, yellow, black, white, etc.
- “The blue bag.” or “The blue bags”.
Adjectives can be used to describe origin .
- “It was a German flag.” or “They were German flags.”
Adjectives can be used to describe material.
- “It was a cotton cushion.” or “They were cotton cushions.”
Adjectives can be used to describe distance. l — o — n — g / short
long, short, far, around, start, high, low, etc.
- “She went for a long walk.” or “She went for lots of long walks.”
Adjectives can be used to describe temperature.
cold, warm, hot, cool, etc.
- “The day was hot.” or “The days were hot.”
Adjectives can be used to describe time.
late, early, bed, nap, dinner, lunch, day, morning, night, etc.
- “She had an early start.”
Adjectives can be used to describe purpose. (These adjectives often end with “-ing”.)
- “She gave them a sleeping bag.” or “She gave them sleeping bags.”
!Note – In each case the adjective stays the same, whether it is describing a masculine, feminine, singular or plural noun.
When using more than one adjective to modify a noun, the adjectives may be separated by a conjunction (and) or by commas (,).
- “Her hair was long and blonde.” or “She had long, blonde hair.”
|Example||She was a pretty girl.||He was a serious boy.||It was a fast car.||They were quiet children.|
!Note – Adjectives that go immediately before the noun are called attributive adjectives.
Adjectives can also be used after some verbs. They do not describe the verb, adverbs do that. Adjectives after a verb describe the subject of the verb (usually a noun or pronoun). They are called predicative adjectives.
- “David looks tired.” The subject (in this case David) is being described as tired not the verb to look.