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.
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”.
- quantity (3, eight, 80)
- opinion (good, awesome, bad)
- size (big, small, huge)
- temperature (hot, cold, freezing)
- age (old, new, ancient)
- shape (round, square, cube)
- colour (black, silver, green)
- origin (Japanese, English, French)
- material (wooden, metal, plastic)
- 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.
These are in order from hottest (scorching) to coldest (freezing).
These are in order from fastest (full-speed) to slowest (slow).
These are in order form biggest (gigantic) to smallest (tiny).
Now test your knowledge with this quiz!
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