Kinds of Adjectives

Adjectives are describing words. They tell us about the colour, size, shape, nature, quality or condition of a noun. Examples are: blue, green, round, square, good, old, tall, brave, beautiful, tired, happy, exhausted etc.

Sections in this article

Adjective of quantity
Numeral adjectives
possessive adjective
Demonstrative adjectives

An adjective usually describes a noun and denotes a temporary or permanent quality associated with that noun.

For example, an intelligent boy is a boy who is distinguished from other boys by being permanently intelligent. A square table is a table that is distinguished from other tables by being square in shape. A brave soldier is a soldier who is distinguished from other soldiers by being brave.

Adjectives can answer the question 'What kind?' (round tables; big city), 'How much?' (some rice, little effort) 'Which one?' (red shirt, second wife), and 'How many?' (two boys, ten books).

Kinds of adjectives

There are different kinds of adjectives.

Adjectives of quantity

An adjective of quantity answers the question how much. Examples are: some, little, much, enough, sufficient, insufficient, all, whole, great, any etc.

Examples are:

Adjectives of number or numeral adjectives

They answer the question how many? Numeral adjectives are of three kinds:

1. Definite numeral adjectives (e.g. one, two, three, first, second, third etc.)
2. Indefinite numeral adjectives (e.g. some, any, no, several, few, all etc.)
3.Distributive numeral adjectives (e.g. each, every, either, neither)

Possessive Adjectives

A possessive adjective modifies a noun by telling whom it belongs to. It answers the question Whose?

Examples are: his, her, its, my, our, their, and your.

Demonstrative Adjectives

The demonstrative adjectives that, these, this, those, and what answer the question "Which?"

A demonstrative adjective may look like a demonstrative pronoun, but it is used differently in the sentence.

Distributive adjectives

There are four distributive adjectives in English: each, every, either and neither. Distributive adjectives are used with singular nouns. The following verb is usually singular, but can be plural in a very formal style.

Interrogative Adjectives

The interrogative adjectives are used with nouns to ask questions. Examples are what, which and whose.

An interrogative adjective may look like an interrogative pronoun, but it is used differently in the sentence: it is an adjective, used to modify a noun or pronoun.

Indefinite Adjectives

An indefinite adjective gives indefinite, or general, information. Often, it answers the question "How much?" Some common indefinite adjectives are all, any, every, few, many, and some.

An indefinite adjective may look like an indefinite pronoun, but it is used differently in the sentence: it is an adjective, used to modify a noun or pronoun.

Sections in this article


Adjectives placed before nouns

Adjectives placed after verbs

Adjectives without Nouns

Adjectives: order before nouns

Kinds of Adjectives

Adjectives with and

Complements of adjectives

See also

Adjective clauses

Relative clauses

Relative pronouns

Identifying relative clauses

Omission of relative pronouns

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