Parts of Speech: Adjective Definition and Examples

Parts of speech: The adjective

What is adjective?
An adjective is a word used to qualify or to add something to the meaning of a noun.
Ex_ A beautiful girl, this woman, my pen, some bread, four boys

what is an adjective?

An adjective is one of the total nine  parts of speech.

adjectives examples

An adjective is a word that tells us more about a noun. It “describes” or “modifies” a noun (The big bull was angry ). In these examples, the adjective is in bold and the noun that it modifies is in italics.

adjective meaning and examples

An adjective often comes BEFORE a noun:

  • red car
  • blue sky
  • an interesting story

And May be sometimes an adjective comes AFTER a verb:

  • My car is red.
  • The sky became blue.
  • His story seemed interesting.

Some adjectives have particular endings, for example:

  • -able/-ible: washable, credible
  • -ish/-like: childish, childlike
  • -ful/-less: careful, careless
  • -y: pretty, dirty

But adjectives can also modify to pronouns (She is beautiful). Look at these examples:

  • They were empty.
  • I thought it seemed strange.

Note that we can often use two or more adjectives together (a beautiful young French lady / it is black and white).

Uses of adjectives:
There are basically two uses of adjective.

  1. Attributive
  2. Predicative
    When the adjective comes immidiatly before noun than it’s called the attributive use.
    Ex_ Raman was a brave boy.
    Here the adjective brave comes immidiatly before the noun boy.
    When the adjective is used along with the verb and forms part of the predicate it’s called the predicative use.
    Ex_ Raman is brave.
    Here the adjective brave is used along with the verb is.
    Kinds of adjectives:
    Adjectives are of following kinds.
  3. Adjectives of Quality:
    To describe an object by telling us of what quality, what sort, or in what state.
  • Adjectives of Quality answer the question: “of what kind?”
    Ex_ Afzal is a lazy boy.
    It was a golden opportunity.
    He is a good man.
  1. Adjectives of Quantity:
    These types of adjectives qualify noun by showing the quantity of the thing named. They tell us how much of thing is intended.
  • Adjectives of Quantity answer the question: “how much?”
    Ex_ He ate some rice.
    He has enough bread.
    He walked all the way back.
  1. Adjectives of number:
    Adjectives of number denote the number of persons or things named.
    They show how many or in what order persons or things are taken.
  • Adjectives of number answer the question: ” How many?”
    Ex: A week has seven days.
    Few boys like to work hard.
    Here are some pictures for you.
  1. Demonstrative adjectives:
    Demonstrative adjectives point out which persons or things are meant.
  • These adjectives answer the question : “which?”
    Ex: This man is braver than Bali.
    That boy is lazy.
    Such man are dangerous.
  1. Distributive adjectives:
    These adjectives denote the persons or things named in the sentence are taken singly, separately or in separate lots.
    Ex_ Each man had three sons.
    Either pen will do.
    He took me neither side.
  • All these words are in singular number.
  1. Interrogative adjectives:
    Interrogative adjectives are used with nouns to ask questions.
    Ex_ Which road leads to the station?
    Whose pen is this?
  2. “Own” and “very ” are known as emphasizing adjectives.
    Ex_ I saw it with my own eyes.
    This is the very man who killed the snake.
  3. ” What” is some times used as exclamatory adjective.
    Ex_ what luck!
    What a piece of work is man!
    Adjectives used as nouns:
    Adjectives are sometimes used as nouns.
  • Certain adjectives, preceded by “the”, can be used as noun in the plural sense.
    Ex_ The rich often hate the poor.
    Here the rich and the poor are the rich and poor people.
  • Some adjectives proceded by the, denote some abstract Quality.
    Ex_ He admires the good. (Goodness)
    The future (_futurity) is uncertain.
    Comparison of adjectives:
    There are three degrees of comparison of adjectives.
  1. Positive degree
  2. Comparative degree
  3. Superlative degree
    Ex_ Ashok is a strong boy.
    Ashok is stronger than Ram.
    Ashok is the strongest boy in the class.

Positive comparative superlative
Strong stronger strongest
Brave braver bravest
Much more most

Some miscellaneous mistakes:

Incorrect: He is more wiser than Anil
Correct: He is wiser than Anil

Incorrect: He is most strongest man in the village.
Correct: He is strongest man in the village.

Incorrect: Raju gets less salary.
Correct: Raju gets a smaller salary.

Incorrect: Health is more preferable than wealth.
Correct: Health is preferable to wealth.

What is an Adjective? Quiz

You can do this grammar quiz here And you tests what you learned on this page.

1. In the language of grammar, adjectives ________ nouns.

A. modify
B. activate

2. “These flowers are beautiful!” Which is an adjective?

A.  these
B.  beautiful

3. An adjective is a word that tells us more about 

A. a verb
B.  a noun

4. “His new apartment’s nice, but it’s a bit small.” How many adjectives are there?

A. two
B. three

5. An adjective usually comes BEFORE a noun or AFTER 

A. a verb
B. a noun

6. In which sentence does a verb come between a noun and the adjective that modifies it?

A.  The movie was boring.
B.  It was a boring movie.

7. Adjectives modify nouns, and they can also modify 

A. verbs
B.  pronouns

8. “She’s very smart, so the exam was easy for her.” Which modifies a pronoun?

A.  smart
B. easy

9. “This quiz is harder than the others.” The adjective “harder” is

B. superlative
A. comparative

10. Which endings are often found on adjectives? 

A. -able, -ful, -ous
B. -ness, -ment, -ity


  1. modify
  2. beautiful
  3. a noun
  4. three
  5. a verb
  6. The movie was boring.
  7. pronouns
  8. smart
  9. comparative
  10. -able, -ful, -ous

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