Attributive adjectives provide descriptive information about a certain characteristic of the person, place, or object, such as its appearance, color, shape, size, age, origin, and more.
You are my
Attributive Adjectives: Types
Based on whether they appear before or after the noun they are modifying, attributive adjectives can have two types:
- Pre-positive Adjectives
- Post-positive Adjectives
'Pre' means before, so as the name suggests, pre-positive adjectives can only appear before the noun it modifies.
He is such a
He is obviously a
It is possible for attributive adjectives to come after the noun or (especially) the indefinite pronoun they modify. Because of this postposition, we call them postpositive adjectives or postnominal adjectives.
We need someone
postpositive adjectives mainly appear after indefinite pronouns.
In English, postpositive adjectives are less common. They are used in archaic or poetic texts, phrases borrowed from Roman or Latin, and some fixed grammatical structures.
I watched the demons
All adjectives can be used postpositively after this/that/so.
(a) + noun + this/that/so + adjective
Who would wear a hat
Buy me a painting
A predicative adjective (also called predicate adjective) follows a linking verb. They can take an adjective complement after them or appear alone. For example:
That baby is
I tried not to be
When you want to assign a specific quality or description to a noun, you use an adjective. So what if you want to assign more than one quality to a noun?
There is actually a specific order in which you can order the adjectives.
It's interesting to know that many native English speakers are not consciously aware of this rule. They just use it naturally.
After this lesson, you can use this rule like a native speaker.
Why The Order Is Important?
The order of adjectives is important when there is no comma or 'and' between them. If we put commas or 'and' between adjectives, the order is no longer necessary. However, when we want to describe something or someone with more than one adjective, we have to pay attention to the order.
Now, imagine you have a car. And you want to describe it with more than one adjective. For example, you want to say it's red and Italian.
Do we say 'Red Italian car' or 'Italian red car?'
Adjectives: Word Order
The general rule of adjectives before a noun is as follows:
Now let's look at an example. Note that it is not very common to use so many adjectives before a noun. This is just an example for you to see how this rule works:
beautiful small new shiny red Italian sports car
fancy big old round brown German wooden musical clock
Some adjectives describe a general opinion. We can use these adjectives to describe almost any noun.
Some adjectives describe a specific opinion. We only use these adjectives to describe particular kinds of noun. For example, people, animals, food etc.
Usually, you put a general opinion before a specific opinion.
a lovely comfortable home
a nice friendly person
Size and Shape
By 'size', we mean how big or small a noun is, for example, big, small, tiny, huge etc. and the height of a noun (tall, short etc.)
By 'shape', we mean the physical quality of a noun (round, oval, triangular etc.) it also includes the weight and length of a noun, for example, long, fat, heavy.
a big fat cat
a small round plastic table
By 'purpose' we mean what the noun is used for.
Adjectives are used to describe nouns. So, there is not always only one adjective. Sometimes more than one is used. In this case, we need to know their correct orders.
sofa was placed behind the curtain.
Pay attention to where you want to put an adverb (more specifically an intensifier or a mitigator) in front of adjectives. If the adjectives are in order, you can put the adverb in front of the adjectives and it modifies all the adjectives. But if there are commas or 'and' between them, you can put an adverb in front of the adjectives.
Look at that
She is a beautiful and