English Grammar Blog
What Is an Adjective and How Are They Used?
The Definition of an Adjective
Adjectives are parts of speech. These words are used to modify words such as nouns through qualifying, limiting, or specifying these words. In the English language, they are also distinguished from other parts of speech by form, with suffixes like “-ous”, “-er”, “-est”, and “-able.” They are also set apart in terms of syntax or arrangement of words in a sentence, as adjectives precede a noun or a nominal phrase directly.
Simply, adjectives are words which are employed to describe a noun. There are many types of adjectives, including common, proper, demonstrative, and possessive adjectives. These are the kinds of adjectives this article will discuss.
Common adjectives are utilized for the description of a noun. These adjectives do not need to be capitalized, unless of course, they occur at the beginning of a statement.
Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns. These parts of speech are quite specific, and are also employed in description of a noun. Capitalization is required for all proper nouns.
The Australian accent was still distinguishable despite her many years out of the country. (“Australian” modifies the noun “accent.”)
The Freudian school of thought still pervades modern psychiatry. )”Freudian” modifies the noun “school.”
Demonstrative adjectives modify and reveal the nouns they accompany, and often point to the noun and emphasize it.
This computer seems outdated. (“This” modifies the noun “computer.”)
That option seems like a better alternative to what others recommend. (“That” modifies the noun “option.”)
These requirements are obviously feasible. (“These” modifies the noun “requirements.”)
Those flights are often delayed. (“Those” modifies the noun “flights.”)
Demonstrative adjectives are easily identified, as there are only four of them, and each is almost always followed by a noun. However, these adjectives are not the same as demonstrative pronouns, which are the same words not succeeded by a noun.
Possessive adjectives modify a noun to state ownership or accountability. There are many possessive adjectives, including words such as my, his, her, its, our, their, and your. Possessive adjectives can also be based on proper nouns.
My soap bar fell right into the drain.
His watch was a few minutes early.
Her function was a nondescript one.
They saw its beak.
Our time has come.
Their passion knows no bounds.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Adjectives are significant to the written and spoken language, as they add descriptions to subjects in a sentence. Adjectives may describe people, moods, colors, or events, among many things.
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