Adjectives An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective usually precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies. In the following examples, the highlighted words are adjectives:
Examples A battered music box sat on the mahogany sideboard. The back room was filled with large, yellow rain boots. The truck-shaped balloon floated over the treetops. Many stores have already begun to play Christmas music.
Adjectives Adjectives always answer the questions: WHAT KIND? WHICH ONE? HOW MANY? HOW MUCH? The process by which an adjective modifies a word is called modification.
Parts of Speech Used as Adjectives Articles Nouns Pronouns my,your,his,her,its,our,their this,that,these,those which,what,whose
Degrees of Comparison Adjectives can express degrees of modification: Gladys is a rich woman, but Josie is richer than Gladys, and Sandie is the richest woman in town. The degrees of comparison are known as the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. We use the comparative for comparing two things and the superlative for comparing three or more things.
Positive Comparative Superlative Irregular Comparative and Superlative Forms good better bestrich richer richest bad worse worst little less leastlovely lovelier loveliest much many more mostbeautiful more beautiful most beautiful some far farther farthest Be careful, also, not to use more along with a comparative adjective formed with -er nor to use most along with a superlative adjective formed with -est (e.g., do not write that something is more heavier or most heaviest). The as — as construction is used to create a comparison expressing equality: He is as foolish as he is large. She is as bright as her mother.
Order of AdjectivesThe Order of Adjectives in a SeriesThere is a pattern to arranging adjectives in a series.The categories in the following table can bedescribed as follows:1. Determiners — articles and other limiters.2. Observation — post determiners and limiter adjectives (e.g., a real hero, a perfect idiot) and adjectives subject to subjective measure (e.g., beautiful, interesting)3. Size and Shape — adjectives subject to objective measure (e.g., wealthy, large, round)
Order of Adjectives4. Age — adjectives denoting age (e.g., young, old, new, ancient)5. Color — adjectives denoting color (e.g., red, black, pale)6. Origin — denominal adjectives denoting source of noun (e.g., French, American, Canadian)7. Material — denominal adjectives denoting what something is made of (e.g., woolen, metallic, wooden)8. Qualifier — final limiter, often regarded as part of the noun (e.g., rocking chair, hunting cabin, passenger car, book cover)