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.

Descriptive Adjectives in the English Grammar

What Are Descriptive Adjectives?

Descriptive adjectives are adjectives that modify a noun or pronoun by describing it or showing its quality.

Take a look at the following examples:

I heard a funny story the other day.

This coffee is sweet.

In these examples, the words 'funny' and 'sweet' are descriptive adjectives. They both describe the nouns they modify and tell us information we can use to describe the things they are referring to.


The vast majority of adjectives are descriptive adjectives.

Categories of Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive Adjectives can talk about: what size something is, how something tastes, what something smells like, and so much more. Some adjectives that describe nouns are:

  1. size: big, small, little, tiny, huge
  2. taste: sweet, bitter, sour, salty, milky, sugary
  3. smell: stinking, fishy, savory
  4. texture: pokey, seedy, grainy, lumpy, gritty
  5. sound: mellow, melodic, musical
  6. appearance: fat, skinny, beautiful, good-looking
  7. personality: smart, outgoing, shy, stupid
  8. color: red, blue, bright, dark, matte
  9. shape: round, rectangular, angular, bent

My beautiful girlfriend is really smart.

This cute cat is really friendly.

Descriptive Adjectives: Position in a Sentence

using a descriptive adjective to describe a quality

We can use descriptive adjectives:

Children played with the cute cat.

The kitten was cute.

Descriptive Adjectives: Types

We have three kinds of descriptive adjectives:

Simple Adjectives

Simple adjectives are comprised of single words that are commonly used to describe a noun. For example:

  • new
  • shy
  • ugly
  • beautiful
  • polite
  • round
  • red

Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives are comprised of two words that are combined to create a descriptive adjective. The two words are typically connected with a hyphen. For example:

  • middle-aged
  • near-sighted
  • blue-green
  • old-fashioned
  • well-known
  • short-term
  • warm-blooded

Proper Adjectives

Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. Because of this, proper adjectives are always capitalized. For example:

  • Indian
  • Shakespearean
  • Chinese
  • Victorian
  • Spanish
  • Martian
  • Marxist


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

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

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!

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.

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