Adjective

Definition

 

An adjective is a part of speech which describes, identifies, or quantifies a noun or a pronoun. So basically, the main function of an adjective is to modify a noun or a pronoun so that it will become more specific and interesting. Instead of just one word, a group of words with a subject and a verb, can also function as an adjective. When this happens, the group of words is called an adjective clause.

 

For example:

 

My brother, who is much older than I am, is an astronaut.

 

In the example above, the underlined clause modifies the noun” brother.”

 

What are the Different Kinds of Adjectives?

 

Now that you already know the answer to the question, “What is an adjective?” you should know that not all adjectives are the same. They modify nouns and pronouns differently, and just like the other parts of speech, there are different kinds of adjectives. These are:

 

1. Descriptive Adjectives

 

Among the different kinds of adjectives, descriptive adjectives are probably the most common ones. They simply say something about the quality or the kind of the noun or pronoun they’re referring to.

 

Examples:

 

  • Erika is witty.
  • She is tired.
  • Adrian’s reflexes are amazing.

2. Adjectives of Number or Adjectives of Quantity

 

As the name suggests, this kind of adjective answers the question, “How many?” or “How much?”

 

Examples:

 

  • The plants need more
  • Twenty-one students failed the exam.

3. Demonstrative Adjectives

 

Demonstrative adjectives point out pronouns and nouns, and always come before the words they are referring to.

 

Examples:

 

  • I used to buy this kind of shirts.
  • When the old man tripped over that wire, he dropped a whole bag of groceries.

 

4. Possessive Adjectives

 

Obviously, this kind of adjectives shows ownership or possession. Aside from that, possessive adjectives always come before the noun.

 

Examples:

 

  • I can’t answer my seatwork because I don’t have a calculator.
  • Trisha sold his

 

5. Interrogative Adjectives

 

Interrogative adjectives ask questions and are always followed by a noun.

 

Examples:

 

  • What movie are you watching?
  • Which plants should be placed over here?

 

What are the Degrees of Adjectives?

 

There are only three degrees or levels of adjectives (also known as degrees of comparison) namely, positive, comparative, and superlative. When you talk about or describe only a single person, place, or thing, you should use the positive degree.

 

Examples:

 

  • She is a beautiful
  • It was a memorable

 

If on the other hand, you are comparing two persons, places, or things, it is appropriate to use the comparative degree of the word. Normally, you will need to add “- er” to transform the word into its comparative form or add the word “more.” Also, the word “than” should be added after the adjective in the comparative degree.

 

Examples:

 

  • This swimming pool is bigger than that one.
  • Ashley is more intelligent than Aldrin.

 

Note: 

 

For words ending in “y,” you should first change the “y” into “i,” and then add “-er” (e.g., lovely-lovelier; pretty- prettier; tasty- tastier)

 

Lastly, if you are comparing more than two things, the superlative form of the adjectives should be used and the word “the” should be added before the adjective.

In order to transform the adjective into its superlative form, you just have to add the suffix “-est” or the word “most.”

 

Examples:

 

  • That is by far, the tallest tree I have ever seen in my entire life.
  • This is the most crucial match of the season.

 

Note:

 

 For words ending in “y,” you should first change the “y” into “i,” and then add “-est” (e.g., lovely-loveliest; pretty- prettiest; tasty- tastiest)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorrect and Correct sentences based on Adjectives

Adjective

An adjective modifies a noun or pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective usually precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies.

The highlighted words are adjectives-

 

  • The truckshaped balloon floated over the treetops.
  • The small boat foundered on the wine dark
  • The coal mines are dark and dank.
  • The back room was filled with large, yellow rain boots.

Kinds of adjective

 

  • Adjective of quality: –

 

Adjective showing the kind or quality of nouns or pronouns are called Adjective of Quality.

 

  • Adjective of quantity: –

 

Adjective which shows the quantity of thing is called the Adjective of Quantity.

 

  • Demonstrative adjective: –

 

This Adjective straight=away points out the person or thing concerned

 

The four words this, that, these and those are called demonstratives.

 

  • Incorrect He is sick.
  • Correct He is ill.

 

  • Incorrect I have strong headache.
  • Correct I have a severe headache.

 

  • Incorrect This is more preferable than that.
  • Correct This is preferable to that.

 

  • Incorrect No less than fifty students were present.
  • Correct No fewer than fifty students were present.

 

  • Incorrect I want a little quantity of milk.
  • Correct I want a small quantity of milk.

 

  • Incorrect John only is guilty.
  • Correct John alone is guilty.

 

  • Incorrect Do not go out in the sun with your head open.
  • Correct Do not go out in the sun with your head bare OR uncovered.

 

  • Incorrect Give a verbal translation of the passage.
  • Correct Give a literal translation of the passage.

 

  • Incorrect The association has three thousands of rupees in cash.
  • Correct The association has only three thousand rupees.

 

Common Errors with Adjectives – Part III

 

  • Incorrect: We live in city.
  • Correct: We live in a city.

 

Explanation

A singular common noun (e.g. city, state, country, boy, girl, teacher etc.) takes the article a/an before it. But if the common noun refers to a particular person or thing it requires the definite article the whether the noun is singular or plural.

 

Compare:

 

  • We live in a city.

            (Here we use the indefinite article because we are not referring to any particular city.)

 

  • The city is very big.

(Here we use the definite article (the) because we are referring to a particular city that has already been mentioned in a previous sentence.)

 

  • Incorrect: He is best player.
  • Correct: He is the best player.

 

  • Incorrect: She is a most intelligent girl in the class.
  • Correct: She is the most intelligent girl in the class.

 

Explanation

Adjectives in the superlative degree takes the article the before them.

 

  • Incorrect: The London is big city.
  • Correct: London is a big city.

 

  • Incorrect: I live in the Mumbai.
  • Correct: I live in Mumbai.

 

Explanation

Both London and Mumbai are proper nouns because they are the names of particular cities. Proper nouns do not take articles before them.

Remember that a noun can be proper in one sentence and common in another sentence; so it is useless to label a particular noun as proper or common.

 

  • Incorrect: The gold is yellow.
  • Correct: Gold is yellow.

Explanation

Material nouns (gold, rice, silver, iron, wood, marble etc.) do not take articles before them.

 

  • Incorrect: Himalayas are mountains.
  • Correct: The Himalayas are mountains.

 

  • Incorrect: We should love the God.
  • Correct: We should love God.

 

  • Incorrect: The man is a member of society.
  • Correct: Man is a member of society.

Explanation

Here the noun man refers to the whole of mankind. We do not use                           articles before a noun used to refer to the whole of its kind.

 

  • Incorrect: We had a picnics nearly every day.
  • Correct: We had picnics nearly every day.

 

Articles are not normally used before plural common nouns that do not refer to a particular person or thing.

 

  • Incorrect: Each of us loves our country.
  • Correct: Each of us loves his/her country.

 

  • Incorrect: None of the boys had brought their books.
  • Correct: None of the boys had brought his books.

 

Explanation

                                    The pronoun referring back to singular words like each, every and none should be singular in number.

 

            Notethat this rule is no longer strictly followed.

Sentences like ‘Each of us loves our country’ and ‘None of the boys had brought their books’

are now considered correct in informal speech and writing. However, in a formal style you must stick to the rules and use the correct pronoun.

 

Common Errors with Adjectives – Part II

 

  • Incorrect: In our school the number of students is less.
  • Correct: In our school the number of students is small.

 

Explanation

Less is the comparative of little. Comparative forms are not used in sentences where no comparison is implied.

         But is the sentence In our school the number of students is little’ correct? No.

 

The adjective little can be used only in the attributive position (before a noun).     In the predicative position (after a verb like is) we have to use a word with a   similar meaning.

 

  • Incorrect: From the two she is pretty.
  • Correct: She is the prettier of the two.

 

  • Incorrect: Of the two routes this is the short.
  • Correct: Of the two routes this is the shorter.

 

            Explanation

When a comparison is made between two people or things we use a structure with of, not from. Note that we use an adjective or adverb in the comparative form to compare two people or things.

 

  • Incorrect: From the three he is the smarter.
  • Correct: He is the smartest of the three.

 

Explanation

To compare more than two people or things we use an adjective or adverb in the superlative degree.

 

  • Incorrect: There is a best student in that class.
  • Correct: There is a very good student in that class.

 

            Explanation

It is wrong to use comparative and superlative forms when no comparison is implied.

 

 

Compare:

  • Charles is the smartest boy in the class.

(Here Charles is being compared with other boys in the class. Therefore, we use a superlative adjective.)

 

  • He is the smarter of the two brothers.

(Here a comparison is made between two people. Therefore, we use a comparative adjective.)

 

  • He is a smart boy. OR He is very smart.

 (Here no comparison is implied. Therefore, we use a positive adjective.)

 

  • Incorrect: I have never seen a so good boy.
  • Correct: I have never seen such a good boy.
  • Correct: I have never seen so good a boy.
  • Incorrect: He was a so big man that he could not sit in that chair.
  • Correct: He was so big a man that he could not sit in that chair.

 

Explanation

So is very often used in the rather formal structure so + adjective + a/an + singular countable noun.

            Note that it is wrong to put the article before so in this structure.

 

  • Incorrect: Yours affectionate brother
  • Correct: Your affectionate brother
  • Correct: Yours affectionately

 

  • Incorrect: Your lovely friend
  • Correct: Your loving friend

Lovely doesn’t mean the same as loving.

 

Common Errors with Adjectives

 

  • Incorrect: Every one knows this.
  • Correct: Everyone knows this.

 

Explanation

Everyone should be written as one word.

 

  • Incorrect: He held the bag in the both hands.
  • Correct: He held the bag in both hands.
  • Correct: He held the bag in both his hands.

 

            Explanation

We do not use the before both.

 

  • Incorrect: Everybody should do some or other work.
  • Correct: Everybody should do some work or other.

 

  • Incorrect: Iron is more useful than any other metals.
  • Correct: Iron is more useful than any other metal.

 

  • Incorrect: Winston Churchill is greater than any other British politicians.
  • Correct: Winston Churchill is greater than any other British politician.

 

Explanation

In these comparative sentences we should use a singular noun after any other.

 

  • Incorrect: He came a 3rd time.
  • Correct: He came a third time.

 

  • Incorrect: He is in class eighth.
  • Correct: He is in class eight.
  • Correct: He is in the eighth class.

 

  • Incorrect: He opened the book at six page.
  • Correct: He opened the book at page six.

 

  • Incorrect: This is a portrait of King George the sixth.
  • Correct: This is a portrait of King George VI.

 

Explanation

 

The numbers of kings and queens should be written in Roman characters. Examples are: Elizabeth II, Louis XIV

 

Ordinal numbers (e.g. first, second, tenth etc.) up to twelfth should be written in words except in dates.

Examples

18th October 2003 (NOT Eighteenth October 2003)

 

  • This is the fifth time you have asked the same question.

 (NOT This is the 5th time …)

 

Dates should be written as follows:  July 7th or 7th July. (NOT 7th of July or seventh of July)

 

Cardinal numbers up to twelve should be written in words except when telling the time.

 

Examples

 

  • He came at 10 am. (NOT He came at ten am.)
  • She has seven siblings. (NOT She has 7 siblings.)

 

Cardinal and ordinal numbers above twelve and twelfth may be written in either words or figures.

 

  • Incorrect: He is worst than you.
  • Correct: He is worse than you.

 

  • Incorrect: Mumbai is hot than Delhi.
  • Correct: Mumbai is hotter than Delhi.

 

Explanation

Only an adjective or adverb in the comparative degree can be used                         before than.

  • Incorrect: A horse is usefuller than a car.
  • Correct: A horse is more useful than a car.

 

Adjectives and adverbs having more than one syllable form their comparative and superlative forms by the addition of more and most.

Correct Use of Some Adjectives

 

Adjectives with verbs

An adjective can be used with a verb when some quality of the subject, rather than the action of the verb is to be expressed.

 

Read the sentences given below:

 

  • Roses smell sweet. (NOT sweetly)

Here what we are talking about is a particular quality of the subject (roses).

 

  • She looks smart. (NOT smartly)
  • The milk turned sour. (NOT sourly)
  • I feel sad. (NOT sadly)

 

Kind and Kinds

As a general rule the word kind is singular and should be used with that and this to modify a singular noun. Similarly, the word kinds is plural and should be used with these or those to modify a plural noun.

 

  • This kind of thing . These kinds of things
  • These sorts of apples . Those kinds of dogs

 

This rule, however, is not strictly followed. Expressions such as ‘this kind of things’ and ‘these kind of things’ are now used even by educated native speakers.

 

Comparison of Adjectives

When a comparison is made by means of a comparative followed by than, the thing that is compared must be excluded from the group of things with which it is compared. This is usually accomplished by using a word such as other.

  • James was wiser than any other man. OR James was wiser than all other men. (NOT James was wiser than all men/any man.)

 

  • The Taj Mahal is more beautiful than all other mausoleums.

             OR The Taj Mahal is more beautiful than any other mausoleum.

 

  • The crocodile is larger than any other reptile.

             OR The crocodile is larger than all other reptiles.

 

When a comparison is made by means of a superlative, the thing that is compared must be a part of the group of things with which it is compared.

 

  • Solomon was the wisest of all men. (NOT … all other men.)
  • The crocodile is the largest of all reptiles. (NOT … all reptiles.)

 

Another very common error is exemplified in the following example:

 

Wrong: The population of Tokyo is greater than any other city in India.

 

The above sentence is wrong because it makes a comparison between the population of Tokyo and cities in India whereas the comparison should have been made between the population of Tokyo and the population of the cities in India.

 Therefore we should say:

 

Right: The population of Tokyo is greater than that of any other city in India.

 

More examples are given below:

 

  • Incorrect: The quality of education provided by our school is better than any other school.
  • Correct: The quality of education provided by our school is better than that provided by any other    school.

 

Correct Use of Some Adjectives

 Adjectives with verbs

An adjective can be used with a verb when some quality of the subject, rather than the action of the verb is to be expressed.

 

Go through the sentences given below:

 

  • Roses smell sweet. (NOT sweetly)

Here what we are talking about is a particular quality of the subject (roses).

  • She looks smart. (NOT smartly)
  • The milk turned sour. (NOT sourly)
  • I feel sad. (NOT sadly)

 

Kind and Kinds

                             As a general rule the word kind is singular and should be used with that and this to modify a singular noun. Similarly, the word kinds is plural and should be used with these or those to modify a plural noun.

 

  • This kind of thing
  • Those kinds of dogs
  • These sorts of apples
  • These kinds of things

 

This rule, however, is not strictly followed. Expressions such as ‘this kind of things’ and ‘this kind of things’ are now used even by educated native speakers.

 

Leave a Comment