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An adjective is a word that describes or tells more about a noun. It describes the quality, quantity, number possession, etc., of a noun.

  • Rahul is an intelligent
  • Rima is really good at sketching portraits.
  • The new mall has amazing stores for children.
  • This tiger is ferocious and unfriendly.
  • The tall building has twenty floors.

Kinds of adjective

There are six types of adjectives

  1. Adjective of quality
  2. Adjective of quantity
  3. Adjective of number
  4. Demonstrative adjective
  5. Interrogative adjective
  6. Possessive adjective

Adjective of quality

The adjective of quality answers the question "what is the kind of noun?" It describes the color, size, shape, condition, purpose, texture, length, width, height, age, origin, etc., of a noun.


  • Charles dickens is a well-known
  • The teacher asked a difficult
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri was a popular
  • My friend told me a very suspenseful
  • The huge elephant slept soundly.
  • Karim is a kind-hearted
  • Our leader is a soft-spoken

Adjective of quantity

Adjective of quantity answers the question, "how much?" It tells about the amount of a thing or a number of things or persons. Adjective of quantity is usually used with uncountable nouns.


  • How much salt should I put in the vegetable?
  • Rohan has very little
  • Please pass me some
  • He has enough money to buy a house.
  • I need to add a little sugar to the tea.
  • There are many mangoes in the basket.
  • There is much bread for all.
  • Could I have some oil?
  • Don't eat too many potato chips.

Adjective of number

Adjective of number answer the question "how many"? Further, it is sub-divided into three parts:

i) Definite numeral adjective: It tells about the exact number that may be cardinal or ordinal. Cardinal number means one, two, three, four, etc., and ordinal number means first, second, third, etc., or position of the things.


  • The hand has five (Cardinal)
  • Tuesday is the second day of the week. (Ordinal)

ii) Indefinite numeral adjective: It does not tell about a specific number.


  • A few girls were present at the school on Friday.
  • Several birds were caught by the hunter.

iii) Distributive numeral adjective: It tells about each or every person or thing.


  • Every child is one of his or her kind.
  • Each girl should participate in the cooking competition.

Demonstrative adjective

Demonstrative adjective points to the noun. The words this, that, these, those are demonstrative adjectives. For singular and nearby nouns, this is used, and for the plural and nearby nouns, 'these' is used. For singular and at a distant noun, that is used, and for a plural and at a distant noun, 'those' is used.


  • Rohan gave that book to me.
  • That house has a big garden.
  • This book is very difficult.
  • This movie is quite interesting.
  • These trees have so many mangoes.
  • We found these shells at the beach.
  • Those boys are not interested in swimming.
  • Those people want to join the MNC Company.

Possessive adjective

A Possessive adjective tells who owns the noun. It is a word that shows that something or some person belongs to somebody or something. My, your, his, her, its, our, their, yours are possessive words. When they are placed before nouns, they function as an adjective and are called possessive adjectives.


  • The lion and the lioness took their cubs to their den.
  • I will agree to your plan if you accompany us.
  • She was completely drenched, so she changed her
  • Last night, our pet cat got angry and scratched my
  • I took my friends to the farm, and we had our food on the lawn.
  • The children took their toys and went to their room to play.

Interrogative adjective

Interrogative adjectives are words that ask questions about the noun. They are the words like what, where, which, whom, whose, etc.


  • Which paintings do you like the most out of these?
  • What beverage would you like to have?
  • Whose car is parked in my garage?
  • Whose book is lying on the table?
  • What time is the bus likely to arrive?
  • Which film would you like to watch?

Formation of adjective

Some adjectives are just words and occur independently. They do not take any letter for their formation like; rich man, yellow flower, big tree, pretty dress, etc., whereas most adjectives are formed by adding a suffix to a noun, adjective, or verb. Here is the list of adjectives formed by adding suffix given below:

Root word Suffix Adjective
greed -y greedy
air -y airy
love -ly lovely
friend -ly friendly
fool -ish foolish
child -ish childish
help -ful helpful
care -ful careful
taste -less tasteless
shame -less shameless
music -al musical
nature -al natural
fashion -able fashionable
enjoy -able enjoyable
courage -ous courageous
pomp -ous pompous
prime -ary primary
second -ary secondary
circle -ar circular
sense -ible sensible
age -d aged
roll -ed rolled
work -ed worked
gold -en golden
demand -ing demanding
care -ing caring
effect -ive effective
quarrel -some quarrelsome
child -like childlike
free -dom freedom
king -dom kingdom

Note: The participles also function as adjectives when placed before nouns.

Examples: walking stick, burnt cloth, sunken ship, caged bird, etc.

Some adjectives can also be formed by adding two or more words, and such adjectives are called the compound adjective.


  • Green-eyed monster
  • Man-made disaster

Nouns used as an adjective


  • Cupboard handle
  • Tennis bat
  • Story book
  • Obedient Cadet

Position of adjectives

The adjective can be placed before a noun, after a noun, and after a verb also.


This is a big elephant. ('Big' is placed before the noun)

This dog is big. ('Big' is placed after a noun)

I am getting bored. ('Bore' is placed after the verb)

Some verbs that are followed by adjective are: 'be', 'get', 'seem', 'appear', 'feel', 'sound', 'smell', etc.


  • The tree is
  • The music sounds
  • He is feeling
  • The novel appears to be
  • They are
  • John seems
  • The food smells
  • He gets

Order of adjective

When more than one adjective is used, that should be placed in the right order before the noun. The right order should be following:

  1. A or an (article)
  2. Quality or opinion as; nice, bad, good, etc.
  3. Size as: big, small, long, short, etc.
  4. Age as; younger, elder, etc.
  5. Shape as; pointed, flat, circular, etc.
  6. Color as; red, blue, yellow, orange, etc.
  7. Nationality or origin as; Indian, American, British, etc.
  8. Material as; steel, glass, metal, etc.
  9. Noun

Note: according to the above mention order, a sentence should start with an article, and in-between, place the adjectives ending with nouns.


  • A wise old man.
  • A handsome young Indian actor.
  • A big square wooden table.
  • A beautiful red color carpet.
  • An intelligent elder brother.

Note: if there is a string of adjectives of different kinds, there is no need to put a comma between them like in the above-given examples.

Comparison of adjectives

The adjective has three forms to show the comparison. These are called degrees of comparison. The three degrees of comparison are:

  1. Positive degree
  2. Comparative degree
  3. Superlative degree

Positive degree

When the adjective is in simple form or states the quality of a person, place, or a thing, it is called the positive degree. In this kind of sentence, no comparison is made.

Example: Anjali is an intelligent girl.

Comparative degree

When the adjective is used to compare two people or things, that is called a comparative degree. Comparative degree shows a higher degree of quality than the positive degree. For comparing, the word 'than' is always used.

Example: Rashi is more intelligent than Anjali.

Superlative degree

When the adjective is used to compare more than two nouns (people, thing, etc.), it is called a superlative degree. Superlative degree shows the highest degree of quality. To show this degree, the article 'the' is always used.

Example: Tulsi is the most intelligent girl in the class.

Rules for the formation of the degree of adjectives

1. Most of the adjective of one or two syllables in a positive degree is changed into comparative by adding '-er' and changed into superlative by adding '-est'. A list of such comparisons of adjectives is given below:

Positive Comparative Superlative
high higher highest
quite quieter quietest
near nearer nearest
dear dearer dearest
sweet sweeter sweetest
clever cleverer cleverest
kind kinder kindest
great greater greatest
bold bolder boldest
tall taller tallest
small smaller smallest
young younger youngest

2. When the adjective of positive degree ends in 'e', 'r' is added to make that comparative, and 'st' is added to make that superlative.

Positive Comparative Superlative
large larger largest
late later latest
wise wiser wisest
fine finer finest
close closer closest
rude ruder rudest
wide wider widest
simple simpler simplest

3. When the positive degree ends in 'y' with a consonant before it, 'y' is changed to 'ier' to make comparative, and 'y' is also changed to 'iest' to make superlative.

Positive Comparative Superlative
happy happier happiest
lovely lovelier loveliest
pretty prettier prettiest
lazy lazier laziest
wealthy wealthier wealthiest
busy busier busiest
heavy heavier heaviest
noisy noisier noisiest
happy happier happiest

4. When the adjective of positive degree is of one syllable and ends in a single consonant, the consonant is doubled before adding 'er' in the comparative degree, and also the consonant is doubled before adding 'est' in a superlative degree.

Positive Comparative Superlative
big bigger biggest
sad sadder saddest
hot hotter hottest
wet wetter wettest
thin thinner thinnest
Fat Fatter Fattest
Red Redder Reddest

5. When the adjective of positive degree is more than two syllables, more is placed before an adjective in the comparative degree, and most are placed before in superlative degree.

Positive Comparative Superlative
careful More careful Most careful
difficult More difficult Most difficult
beautiful More beautiful Most beautiful
intelligent More intelligent Most intelligent
comfortable More comfortable Most comfortable
harmful More harmful Most harmful
courageous More courageous Most courageous

6. Some adjectives do not follow any rule and are called irregular adjectives. The words in all three forms of the degree of comparison are different.

Positive Comparative Superlative
good better best
bad worse worst
Many/much more most
little less list
up upper uppermost
Far Farther Farthest
Out Outer, utter Utmost, uttermost
In Inner Inmost, innermost
Late Later, latter Latest, last
fore former Foremost, first

Note: Usage of double superlatives is incorrect.

Rahul is the most fattest boy in the city. (This sentence is incorrect)

Rahul is the fattest boy in the city. (This sentence is correct)

Correct uses of the adjective

1. Some, Any

These are a certain number or amount used with uncountable nouns.

'Some' is used with affirmative sentences, in interrogative sentences if 'yes' is expected as answer, and in offers and requests.


  • Rohan bought some (affirmative)
  • Did some of you hear the bell? (interrogative)
  • Would you like some tea? (offer or request)

Any is used in negative sentences, in interrogative sentences if the answer is 'no', and with hardly, barely, and scarcely.


  • He hasn't got any (Negative sentence)
  • Did they get any response? (Interrogative)
  • His parents have hardly any knowledge of his activities.

When 'some' is used with a singular countable noun, it means 'unspecified or unknown'.

Some idiot keeps calling me on my cell phone.

On the other hand, 'any' can mean 'practically every' or 'no particular one'.

Any student can get to the top with hard work.

2. Little and Few

These denote quantity and are used before uncountable nouns. Little and few have a negative meaning. It denotes scarcity or lack.


  • There is little hope for the patient's recovery.
  • There are few takers for the new car.

3. A little and A few

A little denote 'a small amount,' and A few denote 'a small number'. These have a more positive meaning.


  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
  • A few students were absent from the classroom.

4. The little and the few

This means a small amount but all of the available.


  • The little money that he had was spent on his weekend.
  • The few spectators who came to see the drama were spellbound.

Note: 'less' and 'least' are the comparative and superlative forms of 'little'.

5. Much, Many

These denote the idea of 'a lot of'. Much is used with an uncountable noun and takes a singular verb. 'Many' is used with plural nouns and takes a plural verb.


  • Much needs to be done immediately.
  • Many jobs need to be done immediately.
  • Many a job needs to be done immediately.

Note: the comparative and the superlative forms of 'much' and 'many' are 'more' and 'most'.

6. Each, Every

Meaning of both each and every is same. Each is used for two or more things and directs attention to the individuals forming any group, whereas 'Every' is used for more than two. And it is directed to the total group. Each is used only when the number in the group is limited and definite and every when the number is definite.


  • Ten girls were seated on each
  • Every seat was taken.
  • Each of these cars is new.
  • He came to see us every
  • It rained every morning during my summer vacation.

7. Elder, older, eldest, oldest

'Elder' and 'Eldest' are used only by persons. Elder is never followed by 'than'. As adjectives, 'elder' and 'eldest' are used for members of the same family.


  • My elder sister is a doctor.
  • Rimi is the eldest among the four sisters.

The comparative and superlative of old are 'older' and 'oldest', which are used for both living beings and non-living things.


  • Sohan is older than ram.
  • The apartment is the oldest building in that area.

Note: 'Elder' denotes order, whereas 'older' denotes age.

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