Adjectives | Definition, Rules, Different Types with Remarkable Examples

The following lesson provides the definition, rules with different types of adjectives. You will also find the useful list of adjectives and some examples and ESL infographic.

Adjectives

Definition & Rules

An adjective modifies the noun or pronoun. An adjective does this by using a word or phrase to describe the noun. An adjective’s job is to tell us more about the noun.

  • An adjective is usually found in front of the noun or pronoun. For example, A green ball.
  • An adjective can come after the noun too, for example, The sky was clear.
  • An example of an adjective modifying a pronoun is: He was handsome. Two or more adjectives can also be used: He was strong and handsome. Other examples of adjectives are: large, angry, pink, orange, happy, scary, strong, sick.

Types of Adjectives

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive Adjectives are words used to describe the noun or pronoun. Descriptive adjectives can also be attributive adjectives or predicate adjectives.

Attributive Adjectives

Attributive Adjectives are words placed directly next to a noun, most likely before, and describe the quality of the noun they are modifying. You can use more than one adjective to modify the same noun.

Example:

  • The perfume has a nice smell. Nice describe the smell.
  • The cheers made the stadium noisy. Noisy describes the stadium.

Predicate Adjectives

These adjectives are found after a linking verb to form part of the predicate.

Example:

  • The grapes are sweet. (the noun: grapes, the linking verb: are, the adjective: sweet)
  • Storms appear fast. (the noun: storms, the linking verb: appear, the adjective: fast)

Limiting Adjectives

The adjectives limit the noun being described. The nine types of limiting adjectives are:

  • Definite & Indefinite Articles
  • Possessive Adjectives
  • Demonstrative Adjectives
  • Indefinite Adjectives
  • Interrogative Adjectives
  • Cardinal Adjectives
  • Ordinal Adjectives
  • Proper Adjectives
  • Nouns Used as Adjectives

1. Definite & Indefinite Articles

Definite Article: The

The is used before a noun to specify a specific noun.

  • Example: The child (this specific child is the focus of the sentence)

Indefinite Article: A & An

When A & An are used with a noun, they mean there is no specific noun to focus on.

  • Example: A horse (any horse)

2. Possessive Adjectives: Show ownership. Examples: my, your, his, her, its, our.

Example:

  • I forgot my textbook.
  • What is your address?

3. Demonstrative Adjectives: Includes the following words: “this,” “these,” “that,” “those,” and “what”

Example:

  • My friend preferred this book.
  •  That cat is small.

4. Interrogative Adjectives: Include the following words: “which” and “what”

Example:

  • Which book should I read?
  •  What happened to your hand?

5. Indefinite Adjectives: Used to modify the noun or pronoun.

Example:

  • Few people understand the dangers of forest fires.
  • Many people set off fireworks without realizing the dangers they cause.
  • Any girl can join Girl Scouts.

6. Cardinal Adjectives: Number the noun it modifies.

Example:

  • Two pigs.
  • Three bears.

7. Ordinal Adjectives: These are used to indicate the position of a noun in a series.

Example:

  • The first dance.
  • The fifth brother.

8. Proper Adjectives: Like proper nouns, there are proper adjectives. They are indicated by being capitalized.

Example:

  • Russian ballet.
  • Italian food.

9. Nouns Used as Adjectives: Sometimes nouns are used to define and describe other nouns. In these cases, the noun is being used as an adjective.

Example:

  • The art exhibition.
  • A science teacher.

List of Adjectives

  • Annoying
  • Angry
  • Bad
  • Blue
  • Calm
  • Charming
  • Difficult
  • Dull
  • Evil
  • Expensive
  • Foolish
  • Fun
  • Good
  • Green
  • High
  • Hot
  • Innocent
  • Itchy
  • Jolly
  • Jealous
  • Kind
  • Lovely
  • Long
  • Motionless
  • Muddy
  • Nice
  • Naughty
  • Odd
  • Old
  • Poor
  • Plain
  • Quaint
  • Real
  • Rich
  • Shy
  • Silly
  • Tired
  • Terrible
  • Ugly
  • Upset
  • Vast
  • Victorious
  • Wild
  • Witty
  • Zany
  • Zealous

More Examples of Adjectives

  1. The beavers lived in a beautiful lake.
  2.  My friend is wild and zany.
  3. This room is nicer.
  4. It was a terrible day.
  5. My shoes were muddy.

Adjectives | Infographic

Adjectives | Definition, Rules, Different Types with Remarkable Examples

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