What Are Adjectives? Types of Adjectives & Useful Examples

In constructing a sentence, nouns are used either as the subject or object of the action. These nouns are further described by using words that give the quality or quantity of the noun. These words are called adjectives. Read on as this article discusses what adjectives are all about.

What Are Adjectives?

What Are Adjectives? | Definition of Adjectives

What are adjectives? An adjective is a part of a speech that describes or modifies a noun or a pronoun. It provides information by indicating the quality, quantity, size, color, shape, emotion, and more about the noun or pronoun. In sentence construction, adjectives make your idea more specific and detailed.

Types of Adjectives

Adjectives are a broad group of words, and they can be further divided into types according to how they are used in speech. Here are the different types of adjectives with corresponding sample sentences:

Descriptive Adjectives

A descriptive or qualitative adjective is a word that expresses the attributes or qualities of the noun. This includes opinions and expressions of what can be seen, felt, smelled, heard, or tasted by the speaker. Most of the adjectives used in writing belong to this type.

Examples:

  • He chose the white horse.
  • The lady is attractive.
  • The road has a rough surface.

Quantitative Adjectives

This type provides the number, amount, or quantity of the noun that is being modified. Quantitative adjectives answer the question “how many” or “how much.”

Examples:

  • Five children are playing in the field.
  • He has no regrets even after losing the competition.
  • Jin ensures that he always has enough exercise every day.

Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative adjectives are used to indicate the relative position of a noun in time and space. It is different from demonstrative pronouns for the fact that those pronouns can stand alone. If the demonstrative pronoun is followed by another noun, then it already acts as an adjective.

Examples:

  • That dog is Jack’s pet.
  • A guy brought those flowers for you.
  • This cake is for your sister’s birthday.

Possessive Adjectives

These adjectives are found before a noun to show ownership.

Examples:

  • He placed his wristwatch on the table.
  • I’ve been using my laptop for four years.
  • The members of the council cast their votes.

Proper Adjectives

Proper nouns that are converted into their adjective form and are used to describe another noun are called proper adjectives. The term proper, in this context, refers to something specific. Like proper nouns, proper adjectives are also capitalized.

Examples:

  • These days, Korean dramas have been gaining popularity.
  • Starbucks coffees are good, but they can be quite pricey.
  • Arthur wants to travel to different European countries.

Position of Adjectives

Adjectives can be placed in different positions inside a sentence. An adjective can be in:

Attributive Position

An adjective in attributive position is found before the noun that it modifies.

Example: That tall building has a height of 50 meters.

Postpositive Position

An adjective is in a postpositive position if it is placed directly after the noun that it describes.

Example: The hotel promised them the best room available.

Predicative Position

If an adjective is found in the predicate of a sentence and is separated from the noun by a linking verb, then it is predicative in position.

Example: That building is tall.

For a series of adjectives that modify the same noun, the correct order of the enumeration of such adjectives must be followed. This proper order is as follows: determiners or quantity, opinion, size, age, color, shape, origin, material, and purpose.

List of Adjectives

Here are some of the numerous adjectives in English vocabulary:

  • Descriptive Adjectives: long, short, tall, small, big, rough, smooth, soft, hard, fragrant, sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy, handsome, beautiful, pretty, cool, cold, hot, warm, thick, thin, white, black, red, other colors, etc.
  • Quantitative Adjectives: many, some, half, whole, and all numbers
  • Demonstrative Adjectives: this, that, these, those,
  • Possessive Adjectives: my, your, his, her, their, our, its
  • Proper Adjectives: Chinese, Korean, American, Japanese, Shakespearean, Victorian, Marxist, Christian, Muslim, etc.

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