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!

"Types of Adjectives" in English Grammar

What Are Adjectives?

Adjectives describe quality, size, shape, duration, feelings, contents etc. about a noun or pronoun in a sentence by answering the questions 'How many?', 'How much?', 'What kind?', 'Which one?' But, there are so many adjectives that do not answer the questions we mentioned above.

Adjectives According to Their Uses

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives (or qualitative adjectives) are adjectives which describe nouns and pronouns. Most of the adjectives belong in this type.
Descriptive adjectives can be:

Attributive Adjectives

Attributive adjectives come directly before a noun and attribute a quality to the noun they modify. More than one adjective can modify the same noun.

I have a fast car.

The word 'fast' is describing an attribute of the car.

I'm having a nice day.

Sometimes the attributive adjective appears directly after the noun. They are called postpositive adjectives.

The rain made the day nice and romantic.

This is an instance in which the attributive adjective appears directly behind the noun. 'nice and romantic' are describing the 'day'.

Predicate Adjectives

When adjectives appear after a linking verb (be, seem, become, appear ...) they are called predicative adjectives, because they form part of the predicate.

She became angry.

These muffins are delicious.

Quantitative Adjectives

Quantitative adjectives give us information about the quantity of the nouns. These adjectives answer to the questions of 'how much' and 'how many.' They can be further categorized into three groups:

  • cardinal adjectives
  • ordinal adjectives
  • multiplicative adjectives

'delicious' here is an example of predicative adjective

Cardinal Adjectives

The Cardinal Adjectives answer to the question 'how many' as one, two, three, four, etc.

I got five chocolate chip cookies.

Ordinal Adjectives

The Ordinal Adjectives describe the numeral order of things like first, second, third, fourth, etc.

We went on our first date last night.

Multiplicative Adjectives

Multiplicative adjectives describe 'how many folds' something is, like single, double, triple, etc.

Do you want to go on a double date?

Compound Adjectives

A compound adjective (also called a hyphenated adjective) contains two or more words. They are often separated by a hyphen to avoid confusion or ambiguity.

The stars enjoyed an intense but short-lived romance.

I just came from a three-hour lecture on wind-powered turbines.

Proper Adjectives

Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns. When proper nouns describe other nouns, they become proper adjectives.

I love Chinese food.

American cars are very strong.

Nouns Used as Adjectives

Sometimes we use a noun to describe another noun. In that case, the first noun acts as an adjective.

My math teacher is very mean.

I'm reading a love story.


Adjectives are words that name attributes of nouns. There are different types of adjectives that may help you describe nouns.

  1. Descriptive Adjectives
  2. Quantitative Adjectives
  3. Compound Adjectives
  4. Proper Adjectives
  5. Nouns Used as Adjectives
attributive adjectives predicate adjectives
descriptive adjectives describing nouns and pronouns I had an awful day. he seems exciting.
cardinal adjectives ordinal adjectives multiplicative adjectives
quantitative adjectives give us information about the quantity of the nouns There are five students in the class. it is our second anniversary. She does yoga twice a week.
compound adjectives I need a two-week break from work.
proper adjectives Myra is an Indian name.
nouns used as adjectives We have been going to a car race.


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Adjectives are words that are used to modify nouns. They offer more information about the noun after 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.

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

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are adjectives that modify a noun or pronoun by showing its quality. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.

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.

Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives are used as one single adjective. They function as the head of the sentence. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

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