THE ADJECTIVES

An adjective is a word that describes. It tells us about a noun or pronoun. We say an adjective qualifies the word it describes. Adjectives are distinguished by the way they are used:

PROPER ADJECTIVES

A proper adjective is formed from a proper name and requires a capital letter.

An American space shuttle; a German book; the Australian bush; Scottish bagpipes.

DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVES

Descriptive adjectives give something a particular quality:

A sour lemon; a naughty boy; a beautiful girl; a pleasant personality; a fine day.

 

QUANTITATIVE ADJECTIVES

Quantitative adjectives indicate how much of something is spoken about.

Did the accident cause much demage?

Your work shows little improvement.

He didn’t have sufficient courage to down up.

People in disadvantaged countries do not have enough food to eat.

Tim asked for some dessert.

 

ADJECTIVES OF NUMBER

Adjectives of number indicate the number of things spoken about.

She is studying three books from the library.

He won two races.

The fifth race began after lunch.

 

INDEFINITE ADJECTIVES

Indefinite adjectives also refer to the number of things spoken about. However, they do not give a definite quantity.

The many jobless are seeking work.

Several books feel from the top of the shelf.

Few girls reach a height of two metres.

 

DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES

Demonstrative adjectives point out which particular thing is indicated.

A, the, this, that, these, and those are used as adjectives when they qualify a noun.

A boy will return the list.

The man boarded the plane.

This girl is feeling ill.

Who lives in that house?

Give these books to John!

Put those flowers in a vase.

 

Note: do not misuse adjectives used with sort, kind and type.

The following is the correct usage for these words:

This kind, that sort, that type, these kinds, those sorts, those types.

I don’t like that kind of person.

I don’t like those kinds of people.

I don’t like people of that kind.

Never: Those kind of people.

 

DISTRIBUTIVE ADJECTIVES

Distributive adjectives are used to indicate that qualities belonging to a group of people or things are equally distributed among the individuals or things in the group.

Each, every, either, neither.

The librarian recommended neither book.

Each book was covered carefully with Contact before use.

Either applicant was eligible for the vacant position.

Every girl was wearing her sports uniform.

INTERROGATIVE ADJECTIVES

Interrogative adjectives ask a question.

Which, what, whatever, whose.

Which book will you read first?

What train will you catch?

Whatever are you doing?

Whose pencil is this?

Note: do not confuse whose with who’s, which always stands for who is.

POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES

Possessive adjectives denote ownership. You can always ask whose it is.

My, his, her, its, our, your, their.

My book, his hat, her glasses, our house, your car, their dog.

The new blouse had lost its button.

Note: its in this case need no apostrophe.

There is the place where they lost their dog.

Note: do not confuse the possessive adjective their with there the adverb of place.

COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVES

Most adjectives can be used in three forms, which are called degrees of comparison:

(a)    The positive degree

(b)   The comparative degree – when comparing only two things – use the suffix –er or add more.

(c)    The superlative degree – when comparing three or more things – use the suffix –est or add most.

Positive degree :

Comparative degree :

Superlative degree :

Good, pretty, beautiful

Better, prettier, more beautiful

Best, prettiest, most beautiful.

CHANGING WORDS TO FORM ADJECTIVES

 

Accident

Affection

Anger

Attract

Beauty

Custom

Danger

Describe

Disaster

Duty

Energy

Accidental

Affectionate

Angry

Attractive

Beautiful

Customary

Dangerous

Descriptive

Disastrous

Dutiful

Energetic

Expression

Faith

Height

Hero

Hope

Law

Length

Luxury

Mischief

Parent

Patience

Expressive

Faithful

High

Heroic

Hopeful

Lawful

Long

Luxurious

Mischievous

Parental

Patient

Peace

Person

Picture

Pity

Poet

Storm

Sympathy

Talk

Trouble

Truth

Value

Peaceful

Personal

Picturesque

Pitiful

Poetic

Stormy

Sympathetic

Talkative

Troublesome

Truthful

Valuable

 

 

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