Proper Adjectives for intermediate learners

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?

What Are Proper Adjectives?

Proper adjectives are made from proper nouns. These adjectives are always capitalized and are used to modify nouns or pronouns.

Proper Adjectives: Function

As mentioned above, the major function of proper adjectives is to modify a noun. Take a look at some examples below:

I have a Scottish friend.

The Islamic Republic has been governing Iran for almost half a century.


Please note that proper adjectives are always capitalized because they are made of proper nouns.

Proper adjectives can modify nouns and pronouns, or be subject complements in statements. Study the following examples carefully:

He is an Irish professor.

Here, the adjective is modifying a noun.

They are Christian.

Here, the proper adjective comes after a liking verb, therefore it is a subject complement.

Proper Adjectives: Types

Since these adjectives are derived from proper nouns, there are thousands of them in English. Take a look at the list below:

  • Nationalities: Italian, Irish, Japanese, Hungarian
  • Religions: Christian. Buddhist, Satanist
  • Cities: Chicagoan, Venetian
  • Famous People: Jacobean, Elizabethan, Victorian, Kafkaesque


If you want to add a suffix to proper adjectives, a hyphen must be added between them. Look at the following examples:

Pre-Rafaelite period

Post-Structuralist thinking

The Differences Between Proper Adjectives and Proper Nouns

The main difference between proper adjectives and proper nouns is that proper nouns are the names of specific people, places, or things, while proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. Proper nouns serve as the root words for proper adjectives, but proper nouns themselves do not have a root word. Study the following examples carefully:

I really enjoy watching German movies.

Here, the root word for 'German' is 'Germany' and it is a proper adjective.

Look at the beautiful London Tower.

Here, 'London' is a proper noun and has no root words.


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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.

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.

Participle Adjectives

Participle adjectives are the same form as participles with the same characteristics with adjectives.

Postpositive Adjectives

Post-positive adjectives or postnominal adjectives are mainly placed immediately after the noun. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Gradable and Ungradable Adjectives

'Gradable' means being able to put something into different grades. So, What are the differences between gradable and ungradable adjectives?
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