Adjectives | Rules, Types and Useful Usage in Comparison

An adjective is a word used in a sentence to modify a noun or a pronoun. They are usually, but not always, used to describe.

Adjectives

Rules of Adjectives

Adjectives are important because they add extra details to a sentence by describing the attributes of a noun. This means that adjectives can be used to make sentences more complex and interesting. Adjectives also add specificity to sentences and help us to better describe and explain things. Without the use of adjectives, we could not express our thoughts or experiences in any detail because we would be unable to describe them.

How to Identify An Adjective in A Sentence

You can usually identify an adjective by its placement in a sentence. An adjective usually comes before a noun, so to use the example “beautiful day”, “beautiful” is the adjective that precedes the noun “day”. Adjectives also commonly end in -ful, -ous, -able, and -al, among other endings.

It is important to distinguish between adjectives and adverbs. Where an adjective is the component of a sentence that modifies the noun, an adverb is a component that modifies an adjective, or a verb, or another adverb. Adverbs usually end in -ly. Below is an example of the difference between a sentence with an adjective and a sentence with an adverb.

Adjective– “She is beautiful

Adverb– “She smiles beautifully

Types of Adjectives

There are eight different types of adjectives:

Descriptive Adjectives– These are used to describe nouns and pronouns, providing further information about them in a sentence. The majority of adjectives are descriptive adjectives.

Quantitative Adjectives– These provide information about the quantity of the nouns and pronouns in a sentence, specifically how much or how many of something there is.

Proper Adjectives– These are proper nouns in adjective form and they occur when a proper noun modifies another noun or a pronoun. Proper adjectives make sentences more concise because a longer phrase can be summarised in one word.

Demonstrative Adjectives– These adjectives refer directly to a thing or a person and always come before the word that they modify.

Possessive Adjectives– These demonstrate that something belongs to something or someone else and they must always be followed by a noun. The noun is the thing owned by the possessive adjective.

Interrogative Adjectives– These are used to ask a question and always come before a noun or a pronoun.

Indefinite Adjectives– These are a less direct form of adjective because they provide unspecific information about the noun that they modify.

Compound Adjectives– These usually occur when a compound noun modifies another noun and creates a combination of words. These words can be connected by a hyphen or enclosed inside quotation marks.

Comparison Of Adjectives

Adjective comparison is a scale on which adjectives can be positioned depending on what a sentence is expressing. There are three forms of adjective comparison.

The positive form is the adjective as it is, the base for adjective comparison. For example, “pretty”.

The comparative form is used to demonstrate a higher degree of this adjective. So, to follow the same example, “prettier”. While the comparative form of an adjective often ends in -er, this form can also be achieved by adding the word more in front of the positive adjective.

The superlative form demonstrates the highest degree to which the adjective can be expressed. So, “prettiest”. Similar to the comparative form, the superlative form can be achieved by adding the word most in front of the positive adjective.

List of Adjectives

Below is a list of twenty common adjectives:

  • New
  • Good
  • Long
  • Little
  • Great
  • Old
  • Big
  • Young
  • Bad
  • Early
  • Small
  • Right
  • High
  • First
  • Last
  • Late
  • Strong
  • Other
  • Important
  • Different

Adjectives – Infographic

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