Introduction to Adjectives
An adjective is one of the main parts of speech in the English language, capable of transforming our communication by enabling precise, colorful, and complex descriptions of people, places, things, and ideas. Adjectives can be used to tell your audience what kind, how much, which one, or how many items are in a particular area. They generally modify nouns, providing additional information or clarification.
In this tutorial, we will explore the various types of adjectives used in English.
Different Types of Adjectives
Adjectives are categorised into different types based on their function or how they are used in a sentence.
1. Descriptive Adjectives
Descriptive adjectives, also known as qualitative adjectives, are the most frequently used type. These adjectives provide detailed descriptions of the noun they are modifying. Examples of descriptive adjectives are: happy, blue, hard, young, round, and French.
Example Sentence: The bright sun shone in the clear blue sky.
2. Quantitative Adjectives
Quantitative adjectives describe the quantity or the number of nouns. They tell us how much or how many of something is present. Examples include: all, few, several, many, half, little.
Example Sentence: She read several books during her vacation.
3. Demonstrative Adjectives
Demonstrative adjectives point out and identify a noun or a pronoun. 'This', 'that', 'these' and 'those' are demonstrative adjectives.
Example Sentence: These shoes are too tight.
4. Possessive Adjectives
Possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession or ownership. They are: my, your, his, her, its, our, and their.
Example Sentence: Your bag is on the table.
5. Interrogative Adjectives
Interrogative adjectives are what, which, and whose when they are used with a noun to ask questions.
Example Sentence: Whose pen is this?
6. Distributive Adjectives
Distributive adjectives describe specific members out of a group. They include: each, every, either, neither.
Example Sentence: Each student must submit his/her assignment individually.
7. Comparative Adjectives
Comparative adjectives are used to compare differences between the two objects they modify.
Example Sentence: Lila is taller than Nina.
8. Superlative Adjectives
Superlative adjectives indicate the highest: degree of the quality expressed by an adjective among three or more nouns.
Example Sentence: John is the smartest boy in the class.
Rules of Using Adjectives
While using adjectives in your sentences, here are some rules you need to keep in mind:
- An adjective always stands immediately before or after the noun it modifies.
- Adjectives do not change form for singular and plural nouns: for instance, we say "a black cat" and "two black cats".
- When using more than one adjective to describe a noun, these should be written in the following order: quantity, opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose.
- When comparing with adjectives, the adjectives change in form to show comparative or superlative degree.
- Some adjectives, known as absolute or non-gradable adjectives, do not normally have comparative or superlative forms. Examples: impossible, dead, unique, perfect, complete.
Understanding the types of adjectives and knowing when and how to use them adds life, variety, and clarity to our communication, whether we are writing or speaking. By mastering their usage, you can significantly enhance your language skills. Just keep practising!