Adjectives - What is an Adjective?

Adjective is a word that adds something to the meaning of a noun or a pronoun. For example a good boy, a beautiful girl, a wise man, an old woman, dirty clothes, a large room, a small house, a heavy box etc.

In the examples above boy, girl, man, woman, clothes, room, house and box are nouns whereas good, beautiful, wise, old, dirty, large, small and heavy are adjectives.


Types of Adjectives:

There are 7 types of adjectives:

1. Adjectives of Quality or State (Descriptive Adjectives)
2. Adjectives of Quantity
3. Adjectives of Number (or Numeral Adjectives)
4. Demonstrative Adjectives
5. Interrogative Adjectives
6. Distributive Adjectives
7. Possessive Adjectives

Now lets know something about them briefly:

1. Adjectives of Quality

Adjectives of quality are the adjectives that show the kind, state or quality of a person or a thing etc. They are also known as descriptive adjectives and can be formed from proper nouns too. See the examples below:

big, small, wise, foolish, dangerous, peaceful.
American, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish

  • Barney is a wise man.
  • Sybil is a beautiful lady.
  • The foolish old crow tried to sing.
  • His performance was very bad.
  • The proud boy refused to help me.
  • Boxing is a dangerous game.

  • 2. Adjectives of Quantity

    Adjectives of quantity are the adjectives that show the quantity of a thing or nature of quantity. They are also known as descriptive adjectives and can be formed from proper nouns too. Lets see the examples:

    little, some, much, enough, all, no, great,, half, two-third, whole, sufficient.

    A little pure water, the tremendous weight of the truck, all the food, the bag full of rice, was it half full? Enough salary, great strength, insufficient food supplies, slight pressure, weighty arguments.

  • I ate some rice.
  • He showed much tolerance.
  • He has little knowledge.
  • Barron has lost all his wealth.
  • You have no sense about the matter.
  • She did not eat any fruit.

  • 3. Adjectives of Number

    Adjectives of number are the adjectives that show how many persons, things are meant, or in what order a person or thing stands. Following examples will clarify the things:

    one, two, first, few, many, some, most, several, all, no, certain, each, every, either, neither, enough.

  • They played five matches, the first in Canada and the last in Brazil.
  • Some glorious efforts and a few mistakes were seen in their work.
  • There are no pictures in the book.
  • I have taught you many things.
  • Here are some ripe mangoes.
  • There are several mistakes in your exercise.

  • Some adjectives can be used both for quantity and number.

    some, all, no, any, enough

    Adjectives Video

    4. Demonstrative Adjectives

    Demonstrative adjectives are the ones that are used with nouns to point out which person or thing is meant. For example:

    this, that, those, these, such, the, same,

    5. Interrogative Adjectives

    interrogative adjectives are question words functioning as adjectives like what, which and whose. They are used with nouns to ask questions.

    what, which, whose

    6. Distributive Adjectives

    Distributive adjectives are used with noun to refer to persons or things one at a time. Lets see some example for this:

    each, either, neither, every

  • Each boy must do his best.
  • Either dress will do.
  • Neither statement is true.
  • Every soldier fought bravely.

  • 7. Possessive Adjectives

    Possessive adjectives are used with nouns to show possession of something. For example:

    my, our, your, his, her, their

  • He is wearing my shirt.
  • Our house is near the park.
  • I want to see your house.
  • This is his book.
  • Her car is of red color.
  • Those are their clothes.

  • Degrees of Adjectives:

    Most adjectives have 3 degrees

    1. Positive Degree
    2. Comparative Degree
    3. Superlative Degree

    Lets touch upon them briefly:

    1. Positive Degree of Adjectives

    Positive degree is used when the merit or demerit of a noun is described. See the examples below:

    tall, intelligent, beautiful, wise

  • Barney is a tall man.
  • He is an intelligent student.
  • She is the most beautiful lady.
  • Bernard Shaw was a very wise man.

  • 2. Comparative Degree of Adjectives

    Comparative degree of an adjective is used when two nouns are compared with each other.

    taller than, more intelligent, wiser than, prettier than, faster than etc.

  • Barney is taller than Allan.
  • He is more intelligent than Robert.
  • Sybil is wiser than Jane.
  • Beenish is prettier than Ruby.
  • Aero plane is faster than train.

  • 3. Superlative Degree of Adjectives

    Superlative degree of an adjective is used when a noun is superior to all other nouns of its class.

    tallest, most intelligent, prettiest

  • Barney is the tallest man in his family.
  • He is the most intelligent student of his class.
  • Sybil is the prettiest lady in the town.
  • Gulsher is the fastest runner in the class.
  • Ejaz is the most clever person in his circle of friends.

  • List of Adjectives Starting With Alphabets

    Quotes About Adjectives

    I figure anytime you put an adjective before 'writer,' it's a way of dismissing the writer. Stephen Graham Jones

    Any adjective you put before the noun 'writer' is going to be limiting in some way. Whether it's feminist writer, Jewish writer, Russian writer, or whatever. Alice McDermott

    If you set out to write an adjective novel, you're setting out to write a mediocre novel; your allegiance is to the adjective, not to the story, and then that just sucks all the joy right out of it. Patrick Ness

    The Oscars have become such a big deal these days that it's just used as adjective. Mira Sorvino

    I have become an adjective. There is something called a Rovian-style of campaigning and it's meant as an insult. One columnist said it consists mainly of throwing mud until it sticks. One prominent blogger described the elements of a textbook Rovian race as fear-based, smear-based and anything goes. Karl Rove

    Part of the reason why I've never said that I was gay until now was because I didn't want that adjective assigned to my name for all of eternity. You know, gay Rosie O'Donnell. Rosie O'Donnell

    The only sort of descriptive adjective or catch phrase for my music would be 'eclectic.' Moby

    The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech. Clifton Fadiman

    I lived in Chicago for a few years and got a sense of - kind of that broad-shouldered, windy, um, stern, Midwestern, warm-slash-passive aggressive, wonderful - every adjective I can think of, very cold. Amy Poehler

    The noun phrase straw man, now used as a compound adjective as in 'straw-man device, technique or issue,' was popularized in American culture by 'The Wizard of Oz.' William Safire

    I like that 'Mad Men' is now an adjective I use to describe clothing when I'm shopping: 'I like this top. It's very 'Mad Men.' Alison Brie

    I'm showbiz-fat. It's so funny, in all the reviews that I read, no one wants to use the word 'fat' as an adjective. So I have to deal with 'dimpled-kneed,' 'hefty,' 'plus-sized,' the most obscure words you can imagine. Marissa Jaret Winokur

    Acting, to me, has been many things: It's a business, and it's a craft, and it's a political act - it's whatever adjective is most applicable. Adam Driver

    My pet peeve and my goal in life is to somehow get an adjective for 'integrity' in the dictionary. 'Truthful' doesn't really cover it, or 'genuine.' It should be like 'integritus.' Rashida Jones

    Anything popular is populist, and populist is rarely a good adjective. Brian Eno

    What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title - whether it's 'black actor,' a 'gay actor' or anything actor. Matt Bomer

    I wanted to write an adventure in the old-fashioned way, something to which I could apply the adjective 'rollicking' and not feel embarrassed. But I've never liked my heroes to be too heroic, so they ended up being a bunch of criminals instead. Chris Wooding

    All my adult life I have been searching for the right adjective to describe my father's peculiarly aggressive comic style. I recently settled on 'defamatory.' Martin Amis

    The supermoon is a 16-inch pizza compared with a 15-inch pizza. It's a slightly bigger moon; I ain't using the adjective 'supermoon.' Neil deGrasse Tyson

    I can't tell you why I keep getting asked to play gay characters, but I never really considered 'gay' as an adjective, as a playable thing. Maybe it's an element of the character, but it just describes a preference. John Michael Higgins

    I have been called 'Bongshell' the day I stepped into showbiz. So, any adjective coming my way, I take it positively. Sometimes it's also entertaining, but I don't feel bad about it. I'm a proud woman. Bipasha Basu

    There's a misconception that survival of the fittest means survival of the most aggressive. The adjective 'Darwinian' used to refer to ruthless competition; you used to read that in business journals. But that's not what Darwinian means to a biologist; it's whatever leads to reproductive success. Steven Pinker

    You may call me selfish if you will, conservative or reactionary, or use any other harsh adjective you see fit to apply, but an American I was born, an American I have remained all my life. Henry Cabot Lodge

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