Yes ancient is an adjective Yes a lot of is an adjective No John's is not an adjective No room filled with is not an adjective. Today we get to explore the wondrous world of adjectives. We’ll look at over 30 adjective examples in sentences, and discover how they are used in different ways in the English language. Basic Definition of Adjectives. An adjective is a word that modifies a noun. Another way to put it is that an adjective is a word that describes a noun. The form of an adjective can change based on what it is describing. A positive adjective is the ordinary form of a word (e.g. 'bright'), while a comparative adjective conveys a sense of greater intensity of the adjective (e.g. 'brighter'), and a superlative adjective reflects the greatest intensity of the adjective (e.g. Learning the Welsh Adjectives displayed below is vital to the language. Welsh Adjectives are words that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence. Grammar Tips: While in English an adjective doesn’t change when the noun changes, in Welsh an adjective sometimes agrees in gender and number with the noun. Superlative adjectives indicate that something has the highest degree of the quality in question. One-syllable adjectives become superlatives by adding the suffix -est (or just -st for adjectives that already end in e).Two-syllable adjectives ending in -y replace -y with -iest.Multi-syllable adjectives add the word most.When you use an article with a superlative adjective, it will almost.
- Is Lots Of An Adjective Examples
- Is They An Adjective
- Is Lots Of An Adjective
- Is Give A Adjective
- Is Lots Of An Adjective Adverb
Imagine your favourite dinner. How about something traditionally English, like roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and roast potatoes? Very pleasant. But that dinner can be made even more delicious. Add some rosemary to the potatoes, some horseradish sauce to the beef, along with mustard and cover the lot with a good, rich gravy.
We wouldn’t want a dinner of just those additions. Rosemary, horseradish, mustard and gravy would make a strange meal indeed. But added to those main ingredients, they bring the meal to life.
But we are looking to study English online, not cookery. Even so, adjectives are the horseradish sauce of language. They bring it life, modifying the meaning of a noun just as the spicy creamy stuff modifies the taste of the beef.
Fortunately, there are few rules to the use of adjectives
- They can be used in multiple forms (The tough, long and ultimately boring paper was one I needed to pass), they can appear before or after the noun or pronoun they are describing.
There goes a talented person.
- When appearing after the noun or pronoun, they will be preceded by a verb, often (but not always) an auxiliary verb such as ‘are’ or ‘is’.
Cakes are delicious.
The delicious cakes…
Most Common Adjectives in English
The table below shows some popular adjectives. The adjective list is in the categories for which they modify their nouns and pronouns.
- Descriptive Adjectives can sometimes be specific to a subject, such as ’hot-tempered’ relates to personality. Sometimes, they are generally applicable. For example, anything can be ‘large’.
- Possessive Adjectives are specific to where they appear in relation to the noun. The first group above appear before the noun: It is their pen.
- The second group appear after the noun and are preceded by an auxiliary verb: The pen is theirs.
- Interrogative Adjectives are only adjectives if they can be used to modify the noun. So, we can say ‘whose pen’, but not ‘who pen’; hence, who is not an adjective.
- Distributive Adjectives are ALWAYS followed by their noun or pronoun.
Order of Adjectives
Descriptive Adjectives; General Opinion Adjectives; Specific Opinion Adjectives
There is a convention in English that multiple adjectives are presented in the following order:
General Opinion; Specific Opinion; Descriptive
Therefore, we get the following order of adjectives:
He is a wonderful, intelligent, old man.
- Wonderful is the general opinion adjective, since almost anything can be wonderful.
- Intelligent is the specific opinion adjective, since this is a word applied mostly to living beings.
- Old is the descriptive adjective, in that it offers no opinion, but describes the person (and can be used as a descriptor for any noun.)
However, by swapping the order of adjectives, emphasis and effect can be created. This is best used sparingly. In the example below, there is greater emphasis placed on the fact the man is wonderful, because it is the final adjective used.
He is an old, intelligent, wonderful man.
Comparatives and Superlatives
What is a Comparative?
A comparative is an adjective which compares the noun it describes with another. Comparatives often end in ‘er’.
What is a Superlative?
The superlative is the most extreme something can be. Superlatives often end in ‘est’.
The table below shows some adjectives with their comparatives and superlatives, to help us understand the pattern. There are some common irregular versions (where the pattern is not followed) at the end.
|Grateful||More grateful||Most grateful|
Intensifiers and Mitigators
Sometimes, words hold little meaning by themselves, but when applied to an adjective help to make that descriptive word clearer.
Consider the example below:
He did well.
Here we can see that the person performed to a good standard, but the range of that standard is undefined. By adding the intensifier ‘really’, the meaning becomes much clearer.
He did really well.
The opposite words to intensifiers are mitigators. These work in a similar way but reduce the impact of the adjective. So, using the same example, we can see that:
He did well.
He did fairly well.
Which brings an element of weakness to the person’s performance.
Here is a list of the most common intensifiers and mitigators. Note, these words are not adjectives in themselves, they are adverbs. However, when applied to the adjective they make it into a more specific descriptive term.
|Enough||Quite (note, this can also be an intensifier, depending on how it is used.)|
A note on ‘quite’. This can be confusing as it works as both an intensifier and a mitigator. The examples below illustrate this.
I was quite horrified by his performance.
In this sense, the word means ‘very’.
I was quite happy with your score of 5 out of 10.
Here the word implies that, in fact, the happiness of the subject was limited.
There is a danger of using mitigators and, far more significantly, intensifiers, and the same applies to comparative adjectives. The danger is that they can lead to hyperbole. That is when statements go over the top.
That was the greatest goal the game has ever seen!
She is the finest Prime Minister the country has ever known!
Hyperbole does have a place, and is especially effective when used ironically, but like all good things, when over used it loses its impact and can even become clichéd.
Adjectives are brilliant for bringing writing to life; they give our audience detail of the picture we are creating, whether speaking or writing in English. But beware! We started by linking adjectives to condiments. And just as we do not want too much salt on our food, for fear that we destroy the taste we want to enjoy, so over-using adjectives ruins the speed, pace and interest of our writing or speech. Like all good things in life, adjectives are best used in moderation.
Article related: Fashion Vocabulary: Talk about fashion in English
The Quick AnswerWhat is an adjective phrase?
An adjective phrase is a group of words headed by an adjective that modifies a noun.
- She had extremely menacing eyes. (In this example, the adjective phrase is highlighted and the head adjective is in bold. This adjective phrase modifies the noun 'eyes.')
Adjective PhraseAn adjective phrase is a group of words headed by an adjective that describes a noun or a pronoun.
Easy Examples of Adjective PhrasesIn each example below, the adjective phrase is shaded and the head adjective is bold.
- She had extremely blue eyes. (This adjective phrase describes the noun eyes. The adjective 'blue' heads the adjective phrase.)
- She wore very expensive shoes. (This adjective phrase describes (or 'modifies' as grammarians say) the noun 'shoes.' The adjective 'expensive' heads the adjective phrase.)
- Sarah was hostile towards me. (This adjective phrase modifies the noun 'Sarah.' The adjective 'hostile' heads the adjective phrase. Like a normal adjective, an adjective phrase can be used before the noun it's modifying (as in the first two examples) or afterwards (as here).)
Real-Life Examples of Adjective PhrasesHere are some real-life examples of adjective phrases (with the head adjectives in bold):
- An overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth. (German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) (This adjective phrase modifies the noun 'heart.')
- I'm a fairly intelligent person, but I don't think my grades reflected that. (American footballer Barry Sanders) (This adjective phrase modifies the noun 'person.')
- People are so sick of these Twitter tirades. They want to be proud of their leaders. (US politician Tom Perez) (The first adjective phrase modifies the noun 'people.' The second modifies the pronoun 'they.' Obviously, adjectives can modify pronouns too.)
- There is always someone better than you and more talented than you. Always. (Restaurateur David Chang) (The adjective phrases modify the pronoun 'someone.')
More about Adjective PhrasesIn an adjective phrase, the head adjective can be at the start, the middle or the end of the phrase.
- I am sad about the result. (start)
- I am awfully sad about the result. (middle)
- I am very sad. (end)
If you ever find yourself discussing adjective phrases, it won't be too long before you encounter the terms 'attributive adjective' and predicative adjective.
Attributive Adjective. An attributive adjective typically sits before the noun it is modifying.
- The beautifully carved frames are priceless. (The adjective phrase is before the noun it modifies ('frames'). This is an attributive adjective phrase.)
- The frames are beautifully carved and priceless. (The adjective phrase is after the noun it modifies ('The frames'). This is a predicative adjective phrase.)
- The frames beautifully carved by monks are priceless. (The adjective phrase is after the noun it modifies ('The frames'), but this time it's an attributive adjective.)
Is Lots Of An Adjective Examples
- The dog covered in mud looks pleased with himself. (In this example, the first adjective phrase – even though it's positioned after its noun ('The dog') – is attributive because it appears inside the noun phrase 'The dog covered in mud.' The second is predicative because it appears outside the noun phrase of the noun it modifies. Note how it is linked to its noun with a linking verb ('looks').)
More about Multiword AdjectivesBe aware that there are other types of multiword adjectives:
Adjective Clause. Like all clauses, an adjective clause includes a subject and a verb.
- The bread you bought yesterday has gone mouldy. (The clause 'you bought yesterday' is a multiword adjective describing 'The bread.' It has a subject ('you') and a verb ('bought'). It is an adjective clause.)
- My uncle dated the girl with the tattoos. (The phrase 'with the tattoos' is a multiword adjective describing 'The girl,' but it's not headed by an adjective. Headed by the preposition 'with,' this is a prepositional phrase. It is best classified as an 'adjectival phrase' as opposed to an 'adjective phrase.')
A Video SummaryHere is a video summarizing this lesson on adverbial phrases.
Why Should I Care about Adjective Phrases?Native English speakers are great at using adjective phrases. Adjective phrases cause few mistakes. However, here is one notable issue.
(Issue 1) Don't use a hyphen with an adverb ending '-ly.'By far the most commonly discussed topic related to adjective phrases is whether to use a hyphen to join an adverb to the head adjective. For example, some writers are unsure whether they should write 'professionally qualified editor' or 'professionally-qualified editor? Here's the quick answer: don't use a hyphen.
When an adverb ending '-ly' (and lots do) is modifying an adjective, don't use a hyphen to join it to the adjective. The hyphen is unjustified (in the interest of writing efficiency). However, if your adverb is one like 'well,' 'fast,' 'best,' or 'better' (i.e., one that could feasibly be mistaken as an adjective), then use a hyphen to eliminate any ambiguity.
- She has beautifully-formed feet. (The hyphen is unjustified when the adverb ends '-ly.')
- She has well-formed feet. (The hyphen is justified to make it clear you mean the adverb 'well,' i.e., healthily, and not the adjective 'well,' i.e., healthy.)
- Alliteration creates better flowing sentences. (There is ambiguity here. Are the sentences better or do the sentences flow better?)
- Alliteration creates better-flowing sentences. (With the hyphen, it is now clear that the intended meaning is sentences that flow better.)
- Janet has started eating more nutritious food. (There is ambiguity here. Is Janet eating more food or the same amount of food?)
- Janet has started eating more-nutritious food. (With the hyphen, it is now clear that the intended meaning is the same amount of food that is more nutritious.)
- Join the adverb 'well' to any adjective it's modifying with a hyphen.
- He's a well-meaning chap.
Interactive ExerciseHere are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.
Is They An Adjective
Is Lots Of An Adjective
- Do you disagree with something on this page?
- Did you spot a typo?