An adjective is a word that describes or tells more about a noun. It describes the quality, quantity, number possession, etc., of a noun.
Kinds of adjective
There are six types of adjectives
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.
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.
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.
ii) Indefinite numeral adjective: It does not tell about a specific number.
iii) Distributive numeral adjective: It tells about each or every person or thing.
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.
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.
Interrogative adjectives are words that ask questions about the noun. They are the words like what, where, which, whom, whose, etc.
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:
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.
Nouns used as an adjective
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.
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:
Note: according to the above mention order, a sentence should start with an article, and in-between, place the adjectives ending with nouns.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Any is used in negative sentences, in interrogative sentences if the answer is 'no', and with hardly, barely, and scarcely.
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.
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.
4. The little and the few
This means a small amount but all of the available.
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.
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.
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.
The comparative and superlative of old are 'older' and 'oldest', which are used for both living beings and non-living things.
Note: 'Elder' denotes order, whereas 'older' denotes age.