Descriptive Adjective


Descriptive Adjective

A descriptive adjective describes a noun and also precedes the nouns it modifies.
 Red apple
 Kind person
 Bright star
 The old man caught a bad cold

Demonstrative Adjectives
Demonstrative adjectives point at the words they describe or they are adjectives that “point out” nouns

For example:
 My father gave me this book
 I played with these children
 I saw that man
 I went with those boys.

Sometimes, demonstrative adjectives can be confused with demonstrative pronouns. Even though they are similar, their functions differ. While demonstrative adjectives appear before the nouns they point out, demonstrative pronouns stand in the place of what they point out.

• This is the question I answered. (demonstrative pronoun)
• I saw that man. (demonstrative adjective)
• That is the man I saw (demonstrative pronoun)
• I wore that dress. (demonstrative adjective)
• Those are the gifts he got. (demonstrative pronoun)
• He got those gifts (demonstrative adjective)

Relative Adjectives

Relative adjectives introduce relative clauses and are placed very close to the noun they qualify.
For example:
• Which route are you going?
• I gave him what money I could spare.

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Interrogative Adjective

Interrogative adjective as the name implies asks a question. Because these interrogatives are adjectives, they must precede the noun they modify.
For example:
• Which suit shall I wear?
• What food did he eat?

Distributive Adjective

This is an adjective used to refer to each and every person or thing separately. The distributive adjective refers to each person or thing. For example Each, Either, Neither, Any, None and both.
For example:
 Each student passed the examination.
 Every man should love his wife.
 Neither party has registered for the election.


An adjective used to talk about ownership or possession is known as a possessive adjective. For example My, your, our, his, her, its, their.
For example:
 My father is a doctor.
 Your brother is a student.
 Our father is a doctor.
 His cat is black.
 Their house is beautiful.

Please do not confuse possessive adjectives, such as “my”, “our”, “their”, with possessive pronouns. Possessive adjectives modify nouns, while possessive pronouns replace nouns.
For example:
 My ball is red (“my” is a possessive adjective which modifies the noun “ball”)
 Mine is red (“mine” is a possessive pronoun which replaces the noun phrase “my ball”


This is an adjective used to emphasize a noun. Example: own, very.
For example:
 I saw it with my own eyes.
 That was the very book I was reading.


The word ‘what’ is known as an exclamatory adjective.
For example :
 What a beauty!
 What an insult!
 What a tragedy!


Proper adjective involves using the name of a people to describe another noun. It also an adjective derived from a proper noun.
 Chinese restaurants are expensive.
 Nigerian food is delicious.
 Italian shoes are durable.


Adjective of quality answers the question of what kind.
For example:
 He is a brave person. (What kind of person? Brave)


These are the adjectives which are used to state how many things or in what order they come. For example many, much, a few, several, enough, all, cardinal and ordinal numbers.

For example:
 I have many books in my bag.
 He did not drink much water.


Adjectives of number include all the numerals both cardinal and ordinals.
For example:
 I visited your house four times. (ordinal numbers are first, second and third.
 The third boy is my son. (four is a cardinal adjective while third is an ordinal.
Also included in this category are some words that can do the job of pronouns.
For example:
 Some biscuits are here(adjective)
 Some are here(pronoun)
 Both students were idle(adjective)
 Both were idle (pronoun)

NOTE: every adjective has three degrees of comparison:
 Positive degree
 Comparative degree and
 Superlative degree.


The positive indicates the word. The word or an adjective used to talk about the quality of a person, place or thing is known as a positive degree. ( I call it the adjective itself) examples are: good, fat, heavy, clever, brave, beautiful, handsome, healthy, wealthy, poor and rich.
For example:
 He is an intelligent boy.
 She is a tall girl.


This is used as a comparative form of an adjective. The comparative form of an adjective compares one person or thing with another.
We use the comparative form of the adjective to say that this house is bigger than that one.


This is used as a superlative form of an adjective. The superlative form of an adjective compares one person or thing with several others. We also use the superlative adjective to say that is the biggest house in town.
Most times, the comparative and superlative adjectives can be a problem.

When this is the case, we use an inflexion “er” to show the comparative and “est” to show the superlative. Most times again, this is not possible. In such cases; we use “more” for the comparative and most for the superlative.

Small                                                                   Smaller                                  Smallest
Big                                                                        Bigger                                    Biggest
Pretty                                                                   Prettier                                    Prettiest
Fabulous                                                        More fabulous                          Most fabulous
Shy                                                                       Shyer                                       Shyest
Responsible                                                 Less responsible                     Least responsible
Peppery                                                           More peppery                          Most peppery

However, the use of double positives is allowed for emphasis
For example:
 I am much happy now, of course.
 I am much better now, of course.
 I am more better now, of course.

Please note that when an adjective ends in “y” we use inflexions rather than “more” and “most”. E.g Chiamaka is happier than Ngozi, instead of Chiamaka is happier than Ngozi.
Please note also that when we want to make a comparison between two things which are equal in some way, we use “as”, e.g this house is as big as that one.
Further take notice that you should not use “more”, “most”, “less” or “least” before adjectives that already end with “er” or “est”

Certain adjectives require different words to form the comparative and superlative form.
For example:
ADJECTIVE                                        COMPARATIVE                         SUPERLATIVE
Good                                                        Better                                             Best
Old                                                           Older/elder                                Oldest/eldest
Bad                                                             Worse                                          Worst
Little                                                            Less                                              Least
Up                                                              Upper                                         Uppermost
Much                                                          More                                               Most
Near                                                          Nearer                                       Nearest, Next
Many                                                          More                                               Most
Far                                                            Farther                                           Farthest
In                                                                Inner                                            Innermost
Out                                                             Outer                                            Outermost

Some adjectives cannot be compared because of their fixed meaning. For example, it is wrong to say square, squarer and squarest. Adjectives that can not be compared are:
I. Shape-round, square, oblong, triangular.
II. Material- golden, vegetable. Leathery.
III. Time- hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly/annually.
IV. Natural objects- solar, lunar.
V. Highest degrees– perfects, eternal, absolute, unique, excellent etc

Round                                                             Round                                        Round
Wrong                                                            Wrong                                         Wrong
Circular                                                          Circular                                       Circular
Full                                                                   Full                                              Full
Empty                                                             Empty                                          Empty
Right                                                               Right                                             Right
Monthly                                                         Monthly                                          Monthly


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