22-07-2021 Ahmad Hussaini

An Introduction to adjectives

Adjectives play a very important role in our daily English speaking, such that without them we cannot express our opinions or introduce something to others.
when we talk about something we most probably describe or introduce it, so whether it be about color, size, material or about quality, none of these can happen without the help of adjectives.


An introduction to adjectives in English

So what is Adjective?

Adjective is a word that adds more meaning or sense to a noun or pronoun. or in other words; adjectives describe a noun or pronoun and tells about its type, shape, size, color, material or quality.

In this article we will learn about 9 of the most common types of adjectives in English.

Adjectives in terms of their position to the noun or pronoun are generally of two types: Attributive adjectives and Predicative adjectives

Attributive Adjectives

Attributive adjectives are placed before a noun.

For example: “Sara is a smart girl” in this sentence the word “smart” is an adjective which is positioned before “girl” that is a noun. So, the adjective in this sentence has an attributive position.

Other than positive adjectives (e. g. small, nice, cheap ), present participles (the “ing” form of the verb) can also be used as an adjective (e. g. exciting, amusing, adoring).

For example: in the sentence “Hamed is an exciting football player the word “exciting” is a present participle which functions as an adjective. And likewise, the word “amusing” in the following sentence. “Today, I read an amusing story about a very beautiful city”


Predicative adjectives

Predicative adjectives, contrary to Attributive adjectives – come after a linking verb that follows the noun or pronoun.

For example: “Hadi is funny”. In this sentence, the word “funny” is an adjective and has come after “is” which is a linking verb.

The words “nice, sick and tired” are all predicative adjectives in the following sentences.

The car is nice.
She feels sick.
I am tired.


Interrogative adjectives

Interrogative adjectives are some Wh-question words that are used in interrogative questions. they come before a noun and modify it’s meaning. Interrogative adjectives are “what, which, whose”.

Example: “What color do you like?” Here the word “what” appeared before the noun in question and has added more sense or purpose to word “color” which is a noun.

And likewise the words “which and whose” in the following sentences are interrogative adjectives.

Which car do you want to buy?
Whose name is John?


Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives answer the question “whose”. They are placed before a noun and show who possesses something. They are “my, your, our, their, his and her”.

For example: “It is my book”. In this sentence “my” answers the question “whose book is this”.


Demonstrative adjective

Demonstrative adjective as its name suggests, tells us “which one” we are talking about or referring to. Words like “this, that, these, those” are some of the commonly used demonstrative adjectives.

Example: “this car is mine and that car is yours”. So the words “this, that” each tells us which car belongs to me and which car belongs to you.

Learn more about demonstrative adjectives with the following examples.

These students are from Russia but those students are from China.
This park has a big swimming pool but that park doesn’t have any.


Descriptive adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are those which talk about size, shape, type, color, material or quality. Such as “large, circular, silver, black, leather, great” in the following examples:

They live in a large house.
The earth has circular movements.
He wears a silver watch and a black coat.
His leather boot is black too.
He has got a great look.


Proper adjectives

Proper adjectives, opposite to common adjective, describe people, places or things.

For example: “Putin is Russian president”. in this example the word “Russian” is a proper adjective which is derived from the proper name “Russia” the name of the country.

Proper Adjectives same as Proper names start with capital letter.

A good example of a proper adjective is “Martian”. It’s a proper adjective of a proper noun “Mars”. And the same is “Historian” as a proper adjective for someone who knows history especially a popular one.


Comparative adjectives

Comparative adjectives compare two things and show the difference between the two objects comparatively (e. g. larger, nicer, cheaper, taller).

For example: “a cat is smaller than a dog”. In this sentence the word “smaller” is a comparative adjective that shows the contrast between a cat and a dog.

One syllable and two syllable adjectives are made comparative by adding “er” at the end, whereas more than two syllable adjectives are preceded by “more” to do a comparison.

Positive Adjective Comparative Adjective
small smaller
happy happier
interesting more interesting
beautiful more beautiful

Superlative adjectives

Superlative adjectives unlike comparative adjectives, compare one thing to a group of things and shows that the compared object is the upper most in the aspect of comparison (e. g. smallest, tallest, biggest)

For example: “She is the smartest student in the class” here the superlative adjective “smartest” compares her with the whole class and says that she is the top.

One or two syllable adjectives are turned into superlative by adding “-est” at the end (e. g. smallest, largest) whereas more than two syllable positive adjectives are preceded by “most” to function as a superlative adjective.

Positive Adjective Superlative Adjective
small smallest
happy happiest
interesting most interesting
beautiful most beautiful
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