Proper adjectives are commonly used in English. They tend to modify nouns and pronouns. in this lesson, we will learn more about them.
What Are Proper Adjectives?
Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. Based on English orthography, some adjectives take initial capital letters, and some do not.
So based on capitalization, we can categorize adjectives into two groups:
- Common Adjectives
- Proper Adjectives
Types of Proper Adjectives
Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. They are used to modify some specific person, place, language, organized groups, etc. They can be related to:
- countries: Italian, Polish, American, etc.
- religions: Islamic, Christian, Buddhistic, etc.
- cities: Chicagoans, Venetian, etc.
- famous people: Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Marxist, etc.
Proper Adjectives: Functions
Proper adjectives in a sentence can be:
- Predicative Adjectives
- Attributive Adjectives
as a Predicative Adjective
Proper adjective can modify an indefinite pronoun. Or they can appear after the linking verb, in which case, proper adjective are the subject complement of the sentence. Check out the examples:
We need someone
as an Attributive Adjective
Proper Noun vs. Proper Adjective
Remember there is a delicate difference between a noun as a modifier and an adjective as a modifier. Proper adjective modifiers have a proper noun as a root word, but you cannot find the root word of a proper noun.
We watched a
In this example, the root word for 'French' is 'France.'
Take a slice of
In this example, 'New York' is a proper noun, not a proper adjective and it acts as a modifier for pizza.
Proper Adjectives vs. Common Adjectives
The only difference between common and proper adjectives is that proper adjectives are derived from a proper noun; therefore, they are easy to be known. And common adjectives are common words that modify a noun or pronoun. Here are the examples:
I gave him a
In this example, there is no proper root noun.
I gave him a
Here, the root proper noun is 'Poland.'
In compound adjectives, when we have proper adjectives and nouns, the noun is still a common noun because we are not speaking about something specific.
Dictation Rules for Proper Adjectives
Since proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns and proper nouns are capitalized at the beginning, proper adjectives start with capital letter as well. For example:
When we add a prefix to a proper adjective the prefix is not capitalized and it is followed by a hyphen. Here are the examples:
Sometimes, some common adjectives are capitalized in special cases, because in a particular context, they refer to an ethnic group with a shared culture, heritage, or ancestry. For example, the words 'Native' and 'Aboriginal' in countries such as Australia and Canada.
An adverb formed from a capitalized adjective is itself capitalized. For example:
Eating pork is not
Proper adjectives are adjectives that are capitalized at the beginning and are created out of proper nouns. They are usually related to the following proper nouns:
- names of countries
- names of religions
- names of cities
- names of famous people