Adjectives

Adjectives

Study these adjectives:

An adjective is a word that describes, identifies, modifies, or quantifies something (a noun or a pronoun).

In the phrase, "the black cat" the word black is an adjective because it describes the cat.

Adjective answer four questions:

  1. Which one?
  2. How much?
  3. How many?
  4. What kind?

Some of these categories are (roughly in the order in which adjectives are used in English)

  1. Quantity - few, no, one, two, three, four, little, several, many, all, some, every, each, ...
  2. Opinion - good, better, best, bad, worse, worst, wonderful, splendid, mediocre, awful, fantastic, pretty, ugly, clean, dirty, wasteful, difficult, comfortable, uncomfortable, valuable, worthy, worthless, useful, useless, important, evil, angelic, rare, scarce, poor, rich, lovely, disgusting, amazing, surprising, loathesome, unusual, usual, pointless, pertinent,

  1. Personality/emotion - happy, sad, excited, scared, frightened, outgoing, funny, sad, zany, grumpy, cheerful, jolly, carefree, quick-witted, blissful, lonely, elated, ...
  2. Sound - loud, soft, silent, vociferous, screaming, shouting, thunderous, blaring, quiet, noisy, talkative, rowdy, deafening, faint, muffled, mute, speechless, whispered, hushed, ...
  3. Taste - sweet, sour, acidic, bitter, salty, tasty, delicious, savory, delectable, yummy, bland, tasteless, palatable, yummy, luscious, appetizing, tasteless, spicy, watery, ...
  4. Touch - hard, soft, silky, velvety, bumpy, smooth, grainy, coarse, pitted, irregular, scaly, polished, glossy, lumpy, wiry, scratcwhy, rough, glassy, ...
  5. Size, eight - heavy, light, big, small, little, tiny, tall, short, fat, thin, slender, willowy, lean, svelte, scrawny, skeletal, underweight, lanky, wide, enormous, huge, vast, great, gigantic, monstrous, mountainous, jumbo, wee, dense, weighty, slim, trim, hulking, hefty, giant, plump, tubby, obese, portly, ..

  1. Smell - perfumed, acrid, putrid, burnt, smelly, reeking, noxious, pungent, aromatic, fragrant, scented, musty, sweet-smelling,...
  2. Speed - quick, fast, slow, speeding, rushing, bustling, rapid, snappy, whirlwind, swift, hasty, prompt, brief, ...
  3. Temperature - hot, cold, freezing, icy, frigid, sweltering, wintry, frosty, frozen, nippy, chilly, sizzling, scalding, burning, feverish, fiery, steaming, ...
  4. Age - young, old, baby, babyish, teenage, ancient, antique, old-fashioned, youthful, elderly, mature, adolescent, infantile, bygone, recent, modern, ...
  5. Distance - short, long, far, distant, nearby, close, faraway, outlying, remote, far-flung, neighboring, handy, ...
  6. Shape - round, circular, square, triangular, oval, sleek, blobby, flat, rotund, globular, spherical, wavy, straight, cylindrical, oblong, elliptical, zigzag, squiggly, crooked, winding, serpentine, warped, distorted,                   
  7. Miscellaneous qualities- full, empty, wet, dry, open, closed , ornate, ...
  8. Brightness - light, dark, bright, shadowy, drab, radiant, shining, pale, dull, glowing, shimmering, luminous, gleaming,
  9. Colour - pink, red, orange, yellowish, dark-green, blue, purple, black, white, gray, brown, tanned, pastel, metallic, silver, colorless, transparent, translucent,...
  10. Time - early, late, morning, night, evening, everlasting, initial, first, last, overdue, belated, long-term, delayed, punctual, ...
  11. Origin/Location - lunar, northern, oceanic, polar, equatorial, Floridian, American, Spanish, Canadian, Mexican, French, Irish, English, Australian,...
  12. Material - glass, wooden, cloth, concrete, fabric, cotton, plastic, leather, ceramic, china, metal, steel, silicon, ...
  13. Purpose - folding, swinging, work, racing, cooking, sleeping, dance, rolling, walking,..

Comparison of adjectives

Positive, comparative and superlative

Two or three items are compared in different ways. Study this table:

Order of adjectives

Adjectives describing general characteristics

  1. A brave old man
  2. A beautiful new dress

But if there are more than two adjectives, the following order is used:

opinion — size — age — material — origin — noun

[resource: 869, align: left]

Compound adjectives ending with ed

There are many adjectives that we have in English that end in -ED or -ING.
Yes, that's correct, they are not only endings that we use for verbs!

An adjective that ends in -ING is used to describe: the characteristic of a person or a thing.

An adjective that ends in -ED is used to describe: a feeling.

Compare the difference:

  1. My girlfriend is bored. - (My girlfriend feels bored)
  2. My girlfriend is boring. - (My girlfriend is a boring person)

 

You can use these adjectives to describe people or situations but be careful that you are using the correct adjective. For example, there is a big difference in meaning between:

  1. I am confused. - (I don't understand something)
  2. I am confusing. - (I will cause you to be confused)

Of course, you could also find both adjectives in the same sentence. Then you really need to concentrate on the intent / context of the sentence.

Examples:

  1. I was shocked by how shocking the accident was last night.
  2. They were frightened by the frightening roller-coaster ride!
  3. I am annoyed by how annoying that person in front of us is.
  4. Sally was confused by the confusing street signs in the city.

List of Adjectives ending in -ED and -ING

There are many adjectives ending in -ED and -ING in English, and most of them are based on a verb that can be changed into an adjective by adding either -ED or -ING.

Some of them include:

  1. Alarmed - Alarming
  2. Aggravated - Aggravating
  3. Amused - Amusing
  4. Annoyed - Annoying
  5. Astonished - Astonishing
  6. Astounded - Astounding
  7. Bored - Boring
  8. Captivated - Captivating
  9. Challenged - Challenging
  10. Charmed - Charming

Adjective compounds

A single adjective made up of more than one word is called a compound adjective (e.g. two-seater aircraft, free-range eggs). The words in a compound adjective are often linked together with hyphens.
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99
A single adjective made up of more than one word is called a compound adjective (e.g. two-seater aircraft, free-range eggs). The words in a compound adjective are often linked together with hyphens.
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99
A single adjective made up of more than one word is called a compound adjective (e.g. two-seater aircraft, free-range eggs). The words in a compound adjective are often linked together with hyphens.
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99
A single adjective made up of more than one word is called a compound adjective (e.g. two-seater aircraft, free-range eggs). The words in a compound adjective are often linked together with hyphens.
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99
A single adjective made up of more than one word is called a compound adjective (e.g. two-seater aircraft, free-range eggs). The words in a compound adjective are often linked together with hyphens.
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99

Two adjectives are sometimes used to form adjective compounds. 

A compound adjective is sometimes called a hyphenated adjective. What are they?

Let's look at the following sentences:

  1. I saw a man-eating alligator.
  2. I saw a man eating alligator.

The first sentence contains a compound adjective.

The second sentence doesn't.

However the meaning of the two sentences are very different as can be seen in the picture below:

I saw a man-eating alligator.
We are describing the alligator. What type of alligator is it? It is one that eats men (or people).

I saw a man eating alligator.
This sentence without the hyphen sounds like a man is eating an alligator.
(man is the subject, eating is the verb, alligator is the object or thing that is being eaten).

As you can see, the hyphen (or lack of it) makes a big difference in the meaning of the sentence.

Compound Adjectives + Periods of Time

When he have compound adjectives using numbers + a time period, that word referring to a time period is in singular form and is joined to the number with a hyphen.

  1. I work eight hours every day --> I work an eight-hour day
  2. I'm going on vacation for three weeks --> I have a three-week vacation
  3. There was a delay of 5 seconds --> There was a five-second delay

Notice how we normally write the number as a word, not in numerical form.

Adverbs and Compound Adjectives

Adverbs modify a verb.

  Example

   She walks slowly.

How does she walk? Slowly. Slowly is an adverb that modifies (or describes) the verb.

Adverbs can also be used to modify an adjective.

  1. It is very hot today. (Very is an adverb)
  2. She is extremely intelligent. (Extremely is an adverb)

Notice how we do not put a hyphen between an adverb and an adjective (not even before a noun).

  1. It is a very hot day.
  2. She is an extremely intelligent girl.

Adverb + Past Participle

However when we have an Adverb + past participle, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. This is a brightly-lit room.
  2. She is a well-known actress.
  3. We live in a densely-populated city.

Noun + Past Participle

When we have a noun + past participle, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. We should start using wind-powered generators to cut costs.
  2. I love eating sun-dried raisins.

Noun + Present Participle

When we have a noun + present participle, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. I bought some mouth-watering strawberries.
  2. That was a record-breaking jump.

Noun + Adjective

When we have a noun + adjective, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. She is a world-famous singer.
  2. This is a smoke-free restaurant.

Adjective + Noun

When we have an adjective + noun, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. It was a last-minute decision.
  2. We watched the full-length version of the movie.

Adjective + Past Participle

When we have an adjective + past participle, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. That is an old-fashioned dress
  2. Reptiles are cold-blooded creatures.

Adjective + Present Participle

When we have an adjective + present participle, we put a hyphen between the two words to make it a compound adjective.

  1. She is a good-looking girl.
  2. It left a long-lasting taste in my mouth.

Compound Adjectives with Proper Nouns

A proper noun is the name of something or someone (e.g. John, Susan Sanders).

Compound Adjectives made from Proper nouns don't need a hyphen though must have capital letters.

  • I bought the James Jackson tickets for us.

James Jackson is a compound adjective describing the tickets (What type of tickets? James Jackson tickets). Since the adjective is a Proper noun, we don't need a hyphen between the two names.

Compound Adjectives

A compound adjective is an adjective that comprises more than one word. Usually, hyphens are used to link the words together to show that it is one adjective.

Examples:

Please request a four-foot table.
(Four-foot is an adjective describing the table. A hyphen is used to link four
and foot to show that it is one adjective.)

It is a 6-page document.

Claire worked as a part-time keeper at the safari park.

Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99

Compound Adjectives

A compound adjective is an adjective that comprises more than one word. Usually, hyphens are used to link the words together to show that it is one adjective.

Examples:

Please request a four-foot table.
(Four-foot is an adjective describing the table. A hyphen is used to link four
and foot to show that it is one adjective.)

It is a 6-page document.

Claire worked as a part-time keeper at the safari park.

Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm#j6lwsgOLcH3krszM.99

 


Adjective phrases

An adjective phrase is a group of words that describe a noun or pronoun in a sentence.

The adjective phrase can be placed before, or after, the noun or pronoun in the sentence.

  1. The movie was not too terribly long.
  2. A person smarter than me needs to figure this out.
  3. The final exams were unbelievably difficult. 
  4. This pie is very delicious and extremely expensive.
  5. Everyone was extremely delighted when the winner was announced.

An adjectival phrase can be made by combining more than one adjective:

The rich chocolate melted in her mouth.
(adjective)

The rich and creamy chocolate melted in her mouth.
(adjectival phrase)

An adjectival phrase can give more detail about a noun. It can help to answer the questions:
a) Which chocolate?
b) What was the chocolate like?

eg She tasted the chocolate in the silver wrapper.

An adjectival phrase can come before or after a noun.

She tasted the chocolate which was melting fast.

She tasted the fast-melting chocolate.

The correct use of: each, every, some and any, few, a few, the few.

Consider the following:

  1. Every artist is sensitive.
  2. Each artist sees things differently.
  3. Every soldier saluted as the President arrived.
  4. The President gave each soldier a medal.

Each can be used in front of the verb:

        The soldiers each received a medal.

Each can be followed by 'of':

  1. The President spoke to each of the soldiers.
  2. He gave a medal to each of them.

Every cannot be used for 2 things. For 2 things, each can be used.

         He was carrying a suitcase in each hand.

Every is used to say how often something happens:

  1. There is a plane to Bangkok every day.
  2. The bus leaves every hour.

 - Each and every

  1. ‘each’ can be used as a pronoun. Example: Each lady was dressed in black.
  2. ‘every’ always refers to three or more. Example: Every student there was delighted to learn of the school’s success.

  - Some and any ‘some’ and ‘any’ are both adjectives of quality.

  1. ‘some’ is used in a positive statement. Example: I want some more tea.
  2. ‘any’ is used in a negative statement. Example: I haven’t got any money.

    Some is used in positive sentences:

    'I have some friends.'
    'We bought some coffee.'

    Offering
    We us      use
    We use some in questions when we expect the answer to be 'yes' or when we are offering something, otherwise, we use any

  3. 'Would you like some milk?

    Requests

    Some is also used in questions when we are making a request:

    'Can I borrow some money?'

    Any is used in negative sentences:

    'I don't have any friends.'
    'There isn't any bread left.'

Questions

Any is used in questions:

'Do you have any money?'
'Is there any sugar?'

(c) few, a few and the few

‘ few ’ on its own has a negative meaning. It is roughly equivalent to not many, hardly any.

Example

‘a few’ has a positive meaning.Mean a small quantity. It is roughly equivalent to some.It goes before countable  nouns

Example

‘the few’ is also quite positive. It is roughly equivalent to not many but the only ones there are.

Example:She doesn’t know many people but the few friends she has all like her a lot. 

The video below explains more on the use few, a few and the few:

Here is a video on order of adjectives:

 

Observe the Rules

Look at the following sentences and adjectives

Rewrite the sentences using the adjectives in blue/brackets

Be sure to write them in the correct order. 

1.  Aunt Betty wants a coffee table.  (stone, square, gray)

2.  The king took a trip.  (2-week, exhausting)

3.  These are cookies!  (chocolate chip, delicious, huge)

4.  Alice prefers furniture.  (leather, Italian, black)

5.  Archeologists get very excited when they find bones.  (animal, large, prehistoric)

ANSWERS

1.  Aunt Betty wants a square, gray, stone coffee table. 

2.  The king took an exhausting,2-week trip.

*exhausting refers to opinion

3.  These are delicious, huge, chocolate chip cookies!

*chocolate chip refers to a material used to make the cookies

4.  Alice prefers black, Italian, leather furniture.

5.  Archeologists get very excited when they find large, prehistoric, animal bones.

Decide whether you have to use "a little" or "a few".

  1. We had ..................snow last winter.
  2. .........................people were interested in the exhibition.
  3. I speak ..................French.
  4. There are......................... students in the classroom.
  5. She has ..........................relatives.
  6. There is............................. water in the pond.
  7. The professor spends ............................time playing tennis on Sundays.
  8. We have......................... knowledge of this phenomenon.
  9. There are ...................................mushrooms in my mushroom soup.
  10. .................................animals can survive in the desert.

Mitigators are the opposite of intensifiers. When we want to make an adjective less strong we use these words:

fairly - rather - quite

Fairly is an adverb of degree. It generally modifies adjectives and adverbs.

  • He can speak English fairly well.

Fairly does not suggest a very high degree.

  • ‘How was the film?’ ‘Fairly good.’ (Not the best one I have seen this year.)

Quite suggests a higher degree than fairly.

  • ‘How was the film?’ ‘Quite good.’ (You ought to watch it.)

Quite can modify adjectives, adverbs, verbs and nouns.

  • She speaks English quite well.
  • He is quite tall.
  • He is quite a scholar.
  • quite enjoyed myself at the party

Rather is stronger than quite. It suggests ideas such as ‘more than is usual’, ‘more than was expected’ or ‘more than was wanted’.

  • I think I should close the window. It is rather cold.
  • Do you see that rather tall boy standing over there.
  • ‘How was the film?’ ‘Rather good.’ (I was surprised.)

Rather can modify adjectives, adverbs, verbs and nouns.

  • It was rather a success.
  • rather think we are going to lose.

Pretty is similar to rather.

  • She is a pretty good girl.
  • ‘How is things?’ ‘Pretty good.

Pretty can modify adjectives and adverbs. It can’t modify nouns or verbs.

We call these words mitigators.

Warning

quite

When we use quite with a strong adjective it means the same as absolutely:

The food was quite awful. = The food was absolutely awful.


As a child he was quite brilliant. = As a child he was absolutely brilliant.


Use of prefix un and adjectives to form opposites

Negative statements are the opposite of affirmative statements.

In English, one way to make negative statements is by adding negative prefixes to nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

For example, the prefix un- can be attached to the adjective happy to create the negative adjective unhappy.

Words that take un- as a negative prefix may begin with a vowel or consonant.



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