What Are Proper Adjectives?
Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. These adjectives are capitalized and serve to modify nouns or pronouns.
Based on capitalization, we can categorize adjectives into two groups:
- Common Adjectives
- Proper Adjectives
Proper Adjectives: Types
Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. They are used to attribute qualities of a specific person, place, language, organized group, etc. to a noun or pronoun. They can be related to:
- Countries: Italian, Polish, American, etc.
- Religions: Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, etc.
- Cities: Chicagoans, Venetian, etc.
- Famous people: Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Marxist, etc.
Proper Adjectives: Functions
In a sentence, proper adjectives can serve as:
- Predicative Adjectives
- Attributive Adjectives
As a Predicative Adjective
As an Attributive Adjective
Proper Noun vs. Proper Adjective
There is a subtle difference between a proper noun modifier and a proper adjective. Proper adjectives have a proper noun as the root word, but proper noun modifiers do not have a root.
We watched a
In this example, the root word for 'French' is 'France.'
Take a slice of this
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 always capitalized which makes them easy to recognize. Common adjectives, on the other hand, 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 so it is a common adjective.
I gave him a
Here, 'Polish' is derived from the root proper noun 'Poland'.
When we have proper adjectives in compound nouns, the compound noun is considered a common noun because we are not speaking about something specific. For example:
Proper Adjectives: Dictation Rules
Since proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns and the initial letter of proper nouns is always capitalized, proper adjectives start with a capital letter as well. For example:
When a prefix is added to a proper adjective, the prefix is not capitalized and is followed by a hyphen. Here are the examples:
Sometimes, some common adjectives are capitalized in special cases, because in that 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 proper adjective is also 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