FOUNDATIONS OFGRAMMARPodcast 6: What is an adjective?
What is an adjective?Adjectives are words which describe nouns and pronouns. There aremany different types of adjectives, but essentially, they all function todescribe, identify and quantify nouns and pronouns.
Some types of adjective•Descriptive – describe a noun old man, small dog, big house, etc.•Possessive (my, your, his, hers, its, ours, theirs)– denote possession of the noun/pronoun I left my car at home today.•Interrogative (what, which) – ask a question aboutthe noun/pronoun Which examples have you used?•Demonstrative (this, these, that, those, what) –point out the noun/pronoun He is going to buy that car.
What is an adjective?The position of the adjective in a sentence depends on the language beingstudied. In English, the adjective will normally precede the noun or pronoun towhich it refers. E.g.•I picked a bouquet of beautiful roses•She bought an expensive, long dress•She’s a very intelligent girl.In the first sentence the adjective beautiful precedes roses, the noun it describesIn the second sentence the adjectives expensive and long come before thenoun dress which they describe.The adjective intelligent precedes girl, the noun it modifies
What is an adjective?• Often the adjective comes after the noun• The house on the corner is new• His results were excellent In the first sentence the adjective new comes after the noun house which it describes. In the second sentence also the adjective excellent comes after the noun results.• In cases where an adjective follows a noun, there can be additional words between the noun and adjective: the adjective does not have to be located directly next to the noun. E.g. The lecture they attended yesterday was very interesting.
What is an adjective?Nouns can sometimes act as adjectives in order to describe othernouns. E.g. Italy produces excellent olive oilThe noun olive is acting as an adjective to describe the noun oil My parents are history teachersThe noun history is acting as an adjective to describe the noun teachers Silk dresses are very expensive.In such cases, when a noun is acting as an adjective, it is used in singular. Onlythe second noun takes the plural form
Adjective formsNOTE: English adjectives only ever have the one form, but in some otherlanguages (for example, French, Italian, Latin, Greek and Spanish), adjectivestake different forms depending on the gender and number of the noun orpronoun they modify.