Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns (people, places, things, or animals) or pronouns. They describe the noun by telling us its size, shape, age, colour, etc. Adjectives usually come before the noun or pronoun, or sometimes they can come after it.

The following are the subsections in this lesson:

 

Adjectives coming before nouns are attributive adjectives

  • Everyone knows a giraffe has a long neck.
  • My old car didn’t have air conditioning.
  • Today, we have blue sky.

The words in bold long, old and blue are adjectives, and they come before the nouns neck, car and sky. The adjectives describe the shape of the neck, age of the car and colour of the sky.

 

Adjectives coming after nouns are predicative adjectives

  • That statue of a goddess was quite large.
  • One of my tables is round.
  • The sky looks very black.

The words in bold large, round and black are adjectives, and they come after the nouns statue, table and sky. Without the adjectives, we wouldn’t know the size of the statue, the shape of the table, and the colour of the sky.

The above adjectives large, round and black are predicative adjectives, and the verbs (was, is, looks) connecting them to their respective subjects (statue, table, sky) are linking verbs.

 

An adjective can take up any position in a sentence, preferably close to the noun that it describes. More than one adjective can appear in a sentence, and we can make the two or more adjectives describe the same noun. The adjectives are in bold in the following sentences.

  • The pretty girl is angry with her boyfriend.
  • The warm air is thick with dust.
  • His big house must be expensive to maintain.