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A descriptive adjective describes a noun and also precedes the nouns it modifies.
The old man caught a bad cold
Demonstrative adjectives point at the words they describe or they are adjectives that “point out” nouns
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 introduce relative clauses and are placed very close to the noun they qualify.
• Which route are you going?
• I gave him what money I could spare.
Interrogative adjective, as the name implies, asks a question. Because these interrogatives are adjectives, they must precede the noun they modify.
• Which suit shall I wear?
• What food did he eat?
This is an adjective used to refer to every person or thing separately. The distributive adjective refers to each person or thing. For example, Each, Either, Neither, Any, None and both.
Each student passed the examination.
Every man should love his wife.
Neither party has registered for the election.
Also See: 31 Phrasal verbs
An adjective used to talk about ownership or possession is known as a possessive adjective. For example My, your, our, his, her, its, their.
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.
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.
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!
A proper adjective involves using a person’s name to describe another noun. It is also an adjective derived from a proper noun.
Chinese restaurants are expensive.
Nigerian food is delicious.
Italian shoes are durable.
ADJECTIVE OF QUALITY
The adjective quality answers the question of what kind.
He is a brave person. (What kind of person? Brave)
ADJECTIVE OF QUANTITY
These adjectives state how many things or in what order they come. For example, many, many, a few, several, enough, all, cardinal and ordinal numbers.
I have many books in my bag.
He did not drink much water.
ADJECTIVE OF NUMBER
Adjectives of number include all the numerals both cardinal and ordinals.
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.
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:
Comparative degree and
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.
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.
COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE FORMS
ADJECTIVE / POSITIVE DEGREE COMPARATIVE 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
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, Chiamaka is happier than Ngozi.
Please note also that when we want to compare two equal things, 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 comparative and superlative forms.
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
ADJECTIVE/POSITIVE DEGREE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE
Round Round Round
Wrong Wrong Wrong
Circular Circular Circular
Full Full Full
Empty Empty Empty
Right Right Right
Monthly Monthly Monthly