Adjectives are words that are used to modify nouns. They offer more information about the noun after them.
What Are Adjectives?
Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns or pronouns. They provide additional information about the qualities, characteristics, or attributes of the noun or pronoun they are describing. Adjectives can be used to provide more detail about a person, place, thing, or idea.
Adjectives as Subject Complements
Adjectives do more than describe nouns. They can also act as a subject complement to describe or modify the subject of linking verbs. For example:
This is the
The man was really
Here, 'breathtaking' is a subject complement, while 'gorgeous' modifies the noun 'dress'
We can categorize adjectives based on different properties:
Based on Placement
Based on their position in a sentence, i.e. where they appear in a sentence, adjectives can be categorized into two main groups:
Based on Capitalization
Based on whether their first letter is capitalized or not, adjectives can be categorized as:
Based on Gradeability
Gradeability in adjectives refers to their ability to express different degrees or levels of the quality they describe. Some adjectives are more gradeable than others, meaning that they can be used to express a wider range of degrees or levels of the quality they describe. With this regard, adjectives can be categorized as:
Based on Comparability
Comparability in adjectives refers to the ability of an adjective to be compared to another noun or pronoun in terms of the degree or level of the quality it describes. Based on comparability, adjectives can be categorized into two main groups:
Based on Formation
Formation in adjectives refers to the process of creating adjectives from other words, such as nouns, verbs, or other adjectives. Based on how they are formed, we can categorize adjectives into two types:
Based on Degree
Comparative degree is a feature of some adjectives, which allows for the comparison of two or more nouns or pronouns in terms of the quality described by the adjective. For example, a person may be 'nice,' but another person may be 'nicer,' and a third person may be the 'nicest' of the three. Based on this comparison, adjectives can be:
Based on Restrictiveness
Based on whether the adjectives are necessary to the whole meaning of the sentence or not, they can be categorized into two groups:
Adjectives can come before or after the noun they modify. Basically, in English, placement of adjectives can be classified into three categories:
Nominal adjectives, also known as substantive adjectives, function similarly to nouns in that they can act as the head of a noun phrase. They are often used in contexts where a noun is implied but not explicitly stated, and can be easily understood from the context in which they are used. Check out the examples:
It has been set up to help the
The charity dedicated $100 to the
In this example, by 'poor' we mean the 'poor people.'
Determiners vs. Adjectives
One key difference between 'determiners' and adjectives is that determiners can only be used before nouns, while adjectives can also be used after verbs.
I am supposed to submit
Moreover, the number of determiners used before a noun is limited to
Additionally, determiners are essential to clarify the noun they precede, and cannot be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence. In contrast, omitting adjectives may not substantially affect the sentence's meaning.
'She had a dog' ✓ But 'She had small beautiful dog' ✗
The following table summarizes the differences between determiners and adjectives.
|determiner + determiner||
||adjective + adjective||✓|
|determiner + adjective||✓||adjective + determiner||
|determiner + noun||✓||adjective + noun||✓|
|noun + determiner||
||noun + adjective||
|verb + determiner||
||verb + adjective||✓|
|can omit determiner||
||can omit adjective||✓|
What Is an Adjective Phrase?
An adjective phrase is a group of words that functions as an adjective and modifies a noun or pronoun in a sentence.
The smell of
What is an Adjective Clause?
The term 'adjective clause' is often used interchangeably with 'relative clause', as they typically consist of a relative pronoun followed by a clause that modifies a noun. These clauses provide additional information that helps to define or identify the noun they modify. Here are some examples of adjective clauses:
In some languages, such as French, adjectives change their form to reflect the gender, case, and number of the noun they describe. This is called agreement. In English, adjectives never agree with the noun they modify.
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Adjective Placement and Order
In this lesson, we will learn the place of adjectives in a sentence and where they appear. We will also learn about the order of different types of adjectives
Types of Adjectives
Adjectives are the most used words in sentences. There are several types of adjectives according to their uses. Let's get to know them!
Descriptive adjectives are adjectives that modify a noun or pronoun by showing its quality. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
Comparative adjectives are used to compare one noun to another noun. Superlative adjectives are used to compare three or more nouns.
Attributive and Predicative Adjectives
An attributive adjective is an adjective that appears before the noun or pronoun it describes. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.