What are adjectives?

An adjective is a word that is used to describe a noun. It is used to give more information about something.

The fast car.

This tells us about the speed of the car.

The happy man.

This tells us about how the man is feeling.

How to use an adjective

We can use an adjective in two different ways. We can put it before a noun to modify it (just like in the examples above).

The sunny sky.

We can also use linking verbs. (e.g. is, seems, feels, looks etc.) and place them after our noun instead.

The sky is sunny.
I feel happy.
He looks sad.
It seems quiet.

Coordinate adjectives

We can use more than one adjective to describe a noun. In this situation we call these coordinate adjectives. As you can see in the example, these are very useful for describing multiple properties in one sentence without having to chain multiple simple sentences together.

I bought a big house. The house was new.

I bought a big, new house.

Order of adjectives

When we use these coordinate adjectives it’s important to know that there is a particular order that we have to put them in. If we don’t do this then the listener will know what you mean but it will sound “wrong”.

  1. quantity (3, eight, 80)
  2. opinion (good, awesome, bad)
  3. size (big, small, huge)
  4. temperature (hot, cold, freezing)
  5. age (old, new, ancient)
  6. shape (round, square, cube)
  7. colour (black, silver, green)
  8. origin (Japanese, English, French)
  9. material (wooden, metal, plastic)
  10. use (cooking, writing, playing)

I bought square, three, big, tables.

I bought three, big, square tables.

Types of adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe certain qualities and a nice way to approach them is to categorize them into different groups. Below we have a few of these groups with examples in each.


  • smooth
  • fast
  • aggressive
  • chill
  • beautiful
  • peaceful
  • slow
  • energetic
  • euphoric
  • sad


  • glamorous
  • ugly
  • quaint
  • old-fashioned
  • homely
  • elegant
  • drab
  • dull
  • grotesque
  • colorful


These are in order from hottest (scorching) to coldest (freezing).

  • scorching
  • boiling
  • hot
  • warm
  • lukewarm
  • mild
  • cool
  • chilly
  • cold
  • freezing


These are in order from fastest (full-speed) to slowest (slow).

  • full-speed
  • swift
  • fast
  • speedy
  • brisk
  • moderate
  • leisurely
  • unhurried
  • lazy
  • slow


These are in order form biggest (gigantic) to smallest (tiny).

  • gigantic
  • huge
  • massive
  • large
  • big
  • small
  • petite
  • miniature
  • teeny
  • tiny

Adjectives quiz

Now test your knowledge with this quiz!

What is an adjective?
Which is an adjective?
What is a synonym for "hot"?
What is a synonym for "fast"?
What is a synonym for "big"?
Which is the correct sentence?
What is the correct order?
What is the correct order?
What is the correct order?
What is it called when we have more than one adjective next to each other?
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