What is an adjective? • An adjective is a part of speech that describes a noun. • Usually answers one or more of the following questions: – Which one? this, that, these, those – What kind? big, old, yellow, crumpled – How many? some, few, many, two – How much? enough, bountiful, less, more • Adjectives may be formed from nouns/verbs: – point [n]pointed [adj]; hope [n] hopeful [adj] – to run [v]running [adj]; to believe [v] believable [adj]
Adjectives in descriptiveparagraphs • Adjectives are important in descriptive paragraphs. – They are like spices – They add flavor to your writing. • Compare: 1. The bride walked down the aisle to meet her groom. 2. The tall, graceful bride in her white dress walked down the long aisle to meet her proud groom. Which sentence is more descriptive?
Using adjectives in the correctplace • In English, an adjective never follows the noun it describes. • Before nouns: Angry customers have complained about poor service in the new restaurant. • Adjectives that can be used only before nouns. atomic north/south northern/southern east/west eastern/western indoor/outdoor supplementary maximum woolen nationwide occasional An occasional rain kept the streets wet and slick. The rain today was only occasional.
Using adjectives in the correctplace • After linking verbs (be/become/seem/sound/appear): The teacher is intelligent and kind. The soup tastes good. Mr Cioffi feels ill. The decorations at the dance looked horrid! • Adjectives that can be used only after linking verbs. afraid glad safe alive ill sorry (meaning apologetic) alone likely sure apart ready unable aware The boy was alone. The alone boy waited in the hall.
Using adjectives in a series • When more than one adjective is used to describe a noun, they are separated by commas (,). The sweet, cool apple tasted good on the hot day. The soft, sweet, loving kitten purred. • Usually no more than three adjectives preceding a noun.
Order of adjectives in a series 1. Opinion: silly, beautiful, horrible, difficult 2. Size: large, tiny, enormous, little 3. Age: ancient, new, young, old 4. Shape: square, round, flat, rectangular 5. Colour: blue, pink, reddish, grey 6. Origin: French, lunar, American, eastern, Greek 7. Material: wooden, metal, cotton, paper 8. Purpose: sleeping (as in “sleeping bag”), roasting (as in “roasting tin”)
Adjective phrases • A phrase (usually starting with a preposition) that modifies a noun/pronoun. The plot of the story is simple. Is the man in this picture your brother? • An adjective phrase acts like an adjective. It is of no use. (=It is useless.) • Adjective phrases usually follow the noun they describe.
Prepositions of location • To be precise in description, writers often need to indicate where something or someone is. The new bank is on Wilson Road near the park. On the left, there is an old sofa. On the right, there are two wooden chairs. • Common prepositions of location: above, before, across, behind, after, below, against, beneath, from, in, on top, opposite, over, outside, inside, around, near, under, next to, close to, between, on, at. • Good descriptive writers, use many adjectives and prepositional phrases to help readers visualize the thing that is being described.