What is an Adjective?

As you begin to learn more about the English language you will come across words that are used to describe certain things – these are called adjectives. What are adjectives? How are they used? Why are they important to understand? These are a few questions that will be discussed in this article. What is an adjective?

Adjectives qualify or describe Nouns and Pronouns. They add interest and colour to sentences by describing or giving more information about the subject you are talking about.

There are different types of adjectives, several in fact. This article will discuss the variety of different kinds of adjectives that we find in the English language and how we can understand them better. So how are adjectives used in a sentence? Take a gander at a few examples.

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What is an Adjective?

Examples of Adjectives

It’s always practical to get a better understanding of any subject by putting the theory into practice. Try to see how you can begin identifying adjectives from the examples below…

The adjective may come before a noun. For example

  • The (clever,
  • bright,
  • intelligent) boy won the prize.

The word describing the boy is referred to as an adjective. This helps the reader understand more about the subject (in this case the boy).

The adjective may follow a linking verb. (is, am, are, was, were).

  • The boy is (clever,
  • bright,
  • intelligent.)

This proves to us that adjectives can also be used after the noun. Always remember – the core ingredient of an adjective is to describe the noun in the sentence.

Adjectives can be formed from nouns.

  • The boy is an athlete(noun).
  • He is an athletic(adjective) boy.
  • She won the competition for her beauty (abstract noun).
  • The beautiful (adjective) girl won the competition.
  • Paris has an interesting history (noun).
  • It is a historical (adjective) place.

This gives us a more comprehensive understanding of how adjectives are used in a sentence. Yet these are common simple examples. There are many more examples of different types of adjectives classified in the English language.


Several Types of Adjectives

Adjectives can be classified into many different groups. Remember the definition of an adjective is to – qualify or describe Nouns and Pronouns. Take a look at the variety of adjectives available at our disposal.

Descriptive Adjectives or Adjectives of Quality. (What kind?)

These tend to be the most commonly used adjectives.

  • The (loyal,
  • intelligent,
  • creative,
  • motivated)child.

Proper Adjectives. (These can be a bit tricky to understand)

These are proper nouns used as adjectives.

  • The Cape town
  • Eastern Cape beaches are scattered with shells.
  • The (August) winds are good for flying kites.

Adjectives of Quantity/Number. (How many)

  • (two,
  • many,
  • several,
  • few,
  • some,
  • most)children…
  • (each,
  • every,
  • neither) child.

The store was filled with

  • (a number
  • many
  • few) people…

Adjectives of Order. (Position)

He came

  • (first
  • second
  • last) in the race.

Demonstrative Adjectives. (Which one)

  • (This
  • That)book…
  • (These
  • Those)books…

Possessive Adjectives. (Belonging to)

  • (My
  • His
  • Her
  • Our
  • Their
  • Your
  • Its)computer …

Interrogative Adjectives (which one?)

  • (Which
  • What
  • Whose)lesson…

Compound Adjectives. (Adjectives joined by hyphens are called compound adjectives.)

  • A (well-deserved) result…
  • A (feather-light) cake…
  • A (half-ripe) avocado pear…
blue pink and orange sticky notes
What is an Adjective?

Suffixes and Adjectives

Adjectives can be formed or recognized by these suffixes (endings). Look at the table below.

able – comfortableen – provenible – convertibleless – painless
ant – constantent – permanentish – feverishory – preparatory
ary – ordinaryful – hopefulive – possessiveous – adventurous
What is an Adjective?

These are a few examples of how just by recognizing the ending of a word, the user will be able to see if the word itself becomes an adjective or not.

In Conclusion – What is an Adjective?

As you near the end of the article we hope you have a better understanding of what an adjective is. This can empower you to have full command of the English language. Take the time to read through the examples and try to come up with some of your own when studying the language and preparing for exams. Remember the definition of an adjective?

Adjectives qualify or describe Nouns and Pronouns. They add interest and colour to sentences by describing or giving more information about the subject you are talking about. An adjectives sole purpose in a sentence is to provide the reader/listener more information regarding the subject he/she is discussing.

This website is designed for those who are excelling at English as well as the student that may struggle to grasp some basic concepts. Forgot some Collective nouns? Poetry Turning out to be a problem to interpret? Looking for tough concepts to be easily explained? Look no further!

Our development team hope you enjoy the content provided. Please leave us a comment below should you have any queries or concerns. This content is designed to assist the end-user with the Department of education syllabus.

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