An adjective is an unmissable concept in the parts of speech. If you have a noun, then an adjective only makes it better. If a noun is a car, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that an adjective is the petrol that fuels the noun, and thereby the sentence. In this lesson, we will understand this part of speech, take a look at its types, and also understand its usage.
Adjective- Elementary Grammar
1. What is an adjective?
A word used with a noun to describe or point out the person, animal, place, or thing which the noun names, or tell the number or quantity is an adjective. In simple language, it is the word that describes the noun and gives us more information about the noun.
Let us take a look at some examples.
Gavin is a brave boy.
In this simple example, we can find out that the noun is Gavin. We learn that he is a brave boy. Which means, we now have more information about the noun. Hence, it is the adjective.
2. Does this part of speech have types?
Yes, this part of the speech does have seven types. They are:
a) Adjectives of Quality
This is the type that describes the noun with a specific quality. For example, New York is a fashionable city. “Fashionable” in this sentence speaks of quality. It answers the question- Of what kind?
b) Adjective of Quantity
The name of this type if pretty suggestive of what it does. Whenever the noun is such that requires a quantity, it takes word from this type category. It indicates how much that particular noun is in quantity. For example, He has lost all his wealth. The noun “he” has lost his wealth. But how much of his wealth? All of his wealth and “all” is a quantity that is adding more information about the noun.
It answers the question- How much?
c) Adjectives of Number
This is the kind that gives the noun a specific number. It shows how many persons or things are in the context. For example, Few cats like cold water. This type of adjective answers the question- How many? So, how many cats like cold water? A few cats like cold water.
The sentences that have the actual number like first, fourth, one, two are Definite Numeral adjectives. Those which do not denote an actual number like many, few, several, etc. are indefinite numeral adjectives.
d) Demonstrative Adjectives
When an adjective points out clearly at the person or noun, it is the demonstrative kind. For example, Those rascals deserve punishment. The word rascals is the noun, while the word “those” demonstrates and points out to which noun. Therefore, this type answers the question- which?
Other such demonstrative words include this and that word singular nouns and these and those for plural nouns.
e) Interrogative Adjectives
Questions words like what, which and whose combined with nouns fall in this category. For example, Which way shall we go? or Whose book is this?
Some lesser-known adjectives include emphasizing words which are- own and very. For example, My very adversary took my part or He is his own master.
Another one is the Exclamatory Adjectives like What an idea!
3. How do you form adjectives?
We can form adjectives from nouns, verbs, and other adjectives. Although, there is no set rule to do that. Usually, it requires the addition of prefixes or suffixes.
Some examples of formation from nouns: Fool becomes foolish, silk becomes silken, hope becomes hopeful, king becomes kingly, glory becomes glorious, etc.
Examples of formation from verbs: talk becomes talkative, move becomes moveable, tire becomes tireless, etc.
Here are some examples of formation from other adjectives: Whole becomes wholesome, white becomes whitish, tragic becomes tragically, etc..
4. Do adjectives have a particular position?
Yes, adjectives do have a specific position based on the sentence.
a) A single simple adjective usually comes right before the noun. Our fearful trip is finally coming to an end. The word “fearful” comes immediately before the noun.
b) Poetries can have a lot of liberty, but mostly the placement is immediately after the noun. O man with sisters dear! This a line from a poem, and the word “dear” comes after the noun “sisters.”
c) If a noun uses more than one adjective, they find their place after the noun. For example, The king, fearless, and resolute, at once advanced. The two words- fearless and resolute come after the noun “the king.”
5. What is the degree of comparison?
Adjectives change their form whenever they want to showcase a comparison. There are three degrees:
- Positive Degree- It is the simplest form. We use this form when we do not want to compare the noun with anything else. These cookies are very sweet.
- Comparative Degree- When there is slight comparison, we use a higher degree called the comparative degree. It usually draws a comparison between two things. These cookies are sweeter than I expected.
- Superlative Degree- It is the highest degree of comparison when we compare two or more things. These are the sweetest cookies I have ever eaten.
Degrees of comparison differ in various words. Some require only the suffixes “er” and “est.” Sometimes, this comparison of adjectives is irregular. For example, Good-better-best. There are some words that require two-syllables which are more and most. For example, Beautiful-more beautiful-most beautiful.
We hope this lesson on Adjectives brought back memories of your English classes in school. In case you liked this one, then you can check out the other Elementary Grammar lessons we have for you. Click this link to read our last one on nouns.