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        What Is an Adjective? Definition, Usage & Examples

        • calenderMar 27, 2024
        • calender 9 min read

        Have you ever struggled to find the right words to describe something? This is where adjectives can help! In this article, we’ve explained everything- from the adjective meaning to their types and usage. 

        Browse through all the examples of adjectives given to understand them better! We’ve also clarified the meaning of adjective forms. With this, we’ve demonstrated their usage through examples. So without further delay, let’s jump into the details! 

        Enhance your text with flawless grammar!

        We’ll quickly define adjectives before moving on to the forms. 

        What is an adjective? 

        An adjective is a word that gives more information about a noun or pronoun in a sentence. Adjectives can be used to highlight the qualities of a person, thing, animal, or place.  

        Let’s see some examples to understand this adjective definition: 

        I bought a big box of chocolates.  

        He said that she looked beautiful. 

        They gave him an amazing surprise. 

        The above examples accurately demonstrate what are adjectives. Interestingly, the word “adjective” has a unique history, that dates back to the Middle Ages. 

        This image shows the history of the word “adjective”.

        After understanding the basics of adjectives, let’s understand adjective forms in detail. 

        Adjective forms 

        There are 3 types of adjective forms: absolute, comparative, and superlative. The following table explains these 3 forms: 

        To understand these adjective forms better, let’s see examples of adjective forms in sentences.

        Examples of adjective forms 

        I got a big box of chocolates. (Absolute adjective) 

        The box I got was bigger than your box of chocolates. (Comparative adjective) 

        I got the biggest box of chocolates. (Superlative adjective) 

        Ben is a smart person. (Absolute adjective) 

        Mark is smarter than Ben. (Comparative adjective) 

        Out of Ben, Mark, and John, John is the smartest. (Superlative adjective) 

        Now let’s understand the different types of adjectives in detail! 

        Types of adjectives 

        1. Possessive adjectives 

        Adjectives showing ownership and possession, indicating that something belongs to someone are possessive adjectives. His, her, my, yours, ours, theirs are some examples of possessive adjectives. Let us see how these adjectives can be used in sentences. 

        I took his pen. 

        This is my watch. 

        That bungalow is ours

        2. Demonstrative adjectives 

        Demonstrative adjectives point out specific nouns within a sentence. This, that, these, and those are some examples of demonstrative adjectives. Following are some sentences which show their usage. 

        This is my book. 

        These apples are fresh. 

        That is my drawing. 

        3. Interrogative adjectives 

        Adjectives that are used to ask a question are known as interrogative adjectives. What, which, whose, where, and how, are some examples of interrogative adjectives. The sentences given below accurately demonstrate their usage. 

        What is the time? 

        Where is the Atlantic Ocean? 

        How is your health? 

        4. Numerical Adjectives 

        Numerical adjectives are those that depict a specific number of nouns. First, second, third, fourth, fortieth, and fiftieth are some examples of numerical adjectives. Here are some sentences that illustrate their usage: 

        He came fourth in the race. 

        It was her fortieth birthday. 

        She came first in class. 

        5. Participial adjectives 

        Adjectives that are similar to a verb’s participle form (ending with ‘ed’ or ‘ing’) are known as participial adjectives. Some examples with participial adjectives are. 

        The excited fans cheered their favorite team. 

        The sleeping baby looked peaceful in her crib. 

        The singing birds created a delightful melody. 

        6. Compound adjectives 

        Compound adjectives are those adjectives that are formed by combining two words. Usually, a hyphen is added between both words. Here are some examples of compound adjectives: 

        John is a detail-oriented employee. 

        I know a store that sells eco-friendly products. 

        It was a time-consuming process.

        7. Denominal adjectives 

        Adjectives that are formed by adding suffixes like “ish”, “ly” and “al”  to nouns are called denominal adjectives. Financial, cowardly, bookish, boyish, and musical are some examples of denominal adjectives. The following sentences explain how to use denominal adjectives: 

        Ben manufactured industrial products. 

        He was fired for his clownish behavior. 

        She loved their friendly gesture. 

        8. Nominal adjectives 

        Nominal adjectives are those adjectives that play the role of nouns in a sentence. Usually, the word “the” is written before the nominal adjectives. Read the sentences given below to understand nominal adjectives. 

        Amy founded an organization for the blind

        She took care of the elderly

        The rich can manipulate situations to achieve their goals. 

        9. Appositive adjectives 

        Appositive adjectives are those adjectives that are usually written after the noun it modifies and are separated by commas or dashes. The following examples demonstrate how to use appositive adjectives in sentences: 

        My sister, a hardworking and intelligent student, won the Maths Olympiad. 

        The sea, stormy and turbulent, was visible now. 

        The lighthouse, tall and bright, helped to warn many about danger. 

        10. Indefinite adjectives 

        Indefinite adjectives describe those nouns whose exact quantity/number isn’t mentioned. Some, any, many, few, and several are examples of indefinite adjectives. To understand how to utilize these adjectives, read the following sentences: 

        I ate some apples. 

        There are many job opportunities in India. 

        She knows a few influencers. 

        11. Cumulative adjectives 

        Cumulative adjectives are two or more adjectives that give information about the same noun. The examples given below explain the usage of cumulative adjectives: 

        She wore a bright yellow dress. 

        The old, rusty car finally got a new look. 

        I loved the cozy, warm room with the splendid balcony. 

        12. Predicate adjectives 

        The adjectives that provide more information about the sentence’s subject are known as predicate adjectives. Usually, they are connected to the sentence using verbs. For better clarity, read the following examples! 

        The coffee was cold

        I gave him a strong reply. 

        She realized that she felt terrible

        13. Descriptive adjectives 

        An adjective that describes the quality of a noun is a descriptive adjective. Beautiful, scenic, sweet, and dramatic are some examples of descriptive adjectives. The following sentences explain how to use descriptive adjectives: 

        She bought a blue purse. 

        They gave him a wonderful surprise. 

        We went to an amazing hotel. 

        14. Proper adjectives 

        Proper adjectives are those that are derived from proper nouns. Indian, Marxist, Shakespearean, and Freudian are some examples of proper adjectives. Here are some examples which clarify the usage of proper adjectives: 

        The American soldier was given a secret task. 

        He was a strong believer in Darwinian theories. 

        She loved the architecture of Victorian times. 

        Often, many have a confusion between adjective words and one of the most important parts of speech– adverbs. Let’s clear this confusion once and for all! 

        Adjectives vs. Adverbs: What’s the difference? 

        The difference between adjectives and adverbs is that while adjectives describe nouns, adverbs give more information about the verbs in the sentence. The following adjective vs. adverb examples make this more clear: 

        He ran quickly to win the race.  (Quickly describes the verb ran) 

        She participated in an amazing race. (Amazing describes the noun race) 

        They reacted immediately to the announcement. (Immediately describes the verb reacted) 

        These adverb and adjective examples clarify the difference between adjectives and adverbs. However, there is more about adjectives that you need to know. Let’s see adjectives that are commonly used. Whether you want adjectives to describe yourself or others, this list will help! 

        A comprehensive list of adjectives 

        You can use the above adjectives to describe a person, thing, animal, or place. After understanding the definition of adjectives and their types, you can construct sentences using them. While structuring sentences, it’s also important to proofread and check grammar for clear communication. 

        At PaperTrue, we provide expert editing and proofreading services for students, businesses, researchers, and authors. Whether you want to edit a research paper, essay, dissertation, journal article, or business paper, we can help! 

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        Priya has a talent for academic research and enjoys simplifying complex topics. When she's not helping students improve their writing, she can be seen reading poetry, playing the harmonium, or learning classical dance.

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