Overview of Adjectives

What is an Adjective?

Adjective is a word used to qualify nouns and pronouns, i.e. it adds something to their meaning.

E.g. He is a brave boy. (boy – noun; brave - adjective)

It may describe or point out a noun, or tell the number or quantity.

Aanya is a beautiful girl. (beautiful – describes the noun ‘girl’)
You need to submit your form at that counter. (that – points out the noun ‘counter’)
He gave me three medals. (three – tells the number of nouns, i.e. ‘medals’)
We got little time to prepare ourselves. (little – tells about the amount of noun, i.e. ‘time’)

Adjective can qualify a pronoun too.

He is intelligent. (Who is intelligent? - he)
She is brave. (Who is brave? - she)

How to identify an adjective?

We can identify an adjective using various methods:

By definition

Adjective is such a qualifying word that tells the quality of a noun/pronoun.

E.g. poor boy, long thread etc.

By formation

If anyone of these suffixes is at the end of a word, then that word is most probably an adjective:

-able, -ish, -ic, - noun + ly, -ent, -al, -ful, -ous, -ive, -like/some

E.g. It is injurious to you. (injurious - adjective)

By placement

As an adjective modifies a noun/pronoun, it is generally placed:

  • just before that noun/pronoun.

    Pattern: Adjective + Noun/Pronoun

    E.g. many girls, all boys, pawn shop etc.

  • after a linking verb, if it is functioning as a subjective complement.

    Pattern: Noun/Pronoun + linking verb + Adjective (Subjective Complement)

    E.g. He is cruel. (cruel - adjective)

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