Types of Adjectives in English Grammar
Adjectives are the most used parts of speech in sentences. There are several types of adjectives according to their uses. Let's get to know them briefly!
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?'
In modern grammar, demonstratives are no longer considered adjectives, but 'determiners'.
But, there are so many adjectives which do not answer the questions we mentioned above. There are several types of adjectives according to their uses.
- Descriptive Adjectives
- Quantitative Adjectives
- Compound Adjectives
- Proper Adjectives
- Nouns Used as 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
- predicate 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.
The word 'fast' is describing an attribute of the car.
Sometimes the attributive adjective appears directly after the noun. They are called postpositive adjectives.
This is an instance in which the attributive adjective appears directly behind the noun. 'nice and romantic' are describing the 'day'.
When adjectives appear after a linking verb (be, seem, become, appear ...) they are called predicative adjectives, because they form part of the predicate.
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
The Cardinal Adjectives answer to the question 'how many' as one, two, three, four, etc.
The Ordinal Adjectives describe the numeral order of things like first, second, third, fourth, etc.
The Multiplicative Adjectives describe 'how many fold' something is, like single, double, triple, etc.
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.
Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns. When proper nouns describe other nouns, they become proper adjectives.
Nouns Used as Adjectives
Sometimes we use a noun to describe another noun. In that case, the first noun acts as an adjective.