Adjectives


An adjective is a word used to describe people, things, events etc. It denotes a temporary or permanent quality associated with a noun.

Examples are: honest, beautiful, old, small, big, happy etc.

A typical adjective has the following properties:

1. It can be placed before a noun.

I saw a beautiful (adjective) girl (noun).
We have a little house in the city. (Here the adjective little goes before the noun house.)
She is a beautiful girl. (Here the adjective beautiful goes before the noun girl.)
It was a pleasant surprise.
She is a nice girl.
She is a tall woman.

2. It can be placed after a verb like be, seem, look, become and feel.

He is clever.
She looks happy.
She is tall.
He is kind.
The boy couldn’t prove that he was honest.
She was anxious to leave.

3. It can be compared either with –er, -est or with more, most.

Short -> shorter -> shortest

Smart -> smarter -> smartest

Kind -> kinder -> kindest

Pleasant -> more pleasant -> most pleasant

Careful -> more careful -> most careful

She is taller than her husband.
She is more beautiful than her sister.
He is smarter than you think.
It was easier than I expected.

4. It can take a degree modifier like very, too, rather and so.

You are so sweet.
She is rather tall.
She is very beautiful.
The tea was too hot.

Adjective phrase

A phrase constructed around an adjective as its head.

Examples are:

as clever as Jan (head adjective clever)
bigger than Tokyo (head adjective bigger)
a wealthy man (head adjective wealthy)

Adjective clause

A type of subordinate clause which does the work of an adjective.

This is the thief who stole the horse.

In the sentence given above, the noun thief is qualified by the clause who stole the horse. As the clause does the work of an adjective, it is called an adjective clause.

Adjective clauses are usually introduced by the relative pronouns who, which, that and whom.

There was a time when I could lift 250 lbs.
The restaurant which we visited last night was pretty good