What are adjectives?
An adjective is a word that is used to describe a noun. It is used to express 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 adjectives in two different ways. We can use the adjective before a noun to modify it (like in the examples above).
The sunny sky.
We can also use adjectives with linking verbs. (e.g. is, seems, feels, looks etc.) and place them after our noun.
The sky is sunny.
I feel happy.
He looks sad.
It seems quiet.
We can use more than one adjective to describe a noun. We call these coordinate adjectives.
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 adjectives are in order from hottest (scorching) to coldest (freezing).
These adjectives are in order from fastest (full-speed) to slowest (slow).
These adjectives are in order form biggest (gigantic) to smallest (tiny).
Now test your adjectives knowledge with this quiz!