What is an Adjective?

He was a handsome prince.

Ryan had five books of chemistry.

I don’t like that ice-cream.

There is little time for her dance classes.


The first sentence describes the prince or what kind of he is i.e. handsome.

The second sentence states the number of books Ryan has of chemistry i.e. five.

The third sentence points out which ice-cream is meant i.e. that.

The fourth sentence shows how much time is left for her dance class i.e. little.

The words handsome, five, that and little are used to describe the noun or point out the noun names or to tell the number or the quantity is called an adjective.

Basically, an adjective adds meaning to the noun in terms of quantity or quality.

An Adjective means added to. An Adjective describes noun by giving information about an object’s or any particular thing’s size, shape, age, color, origin or material. A single statement may contain one or more adjectives.

Adjectives are used to enhance the quality of the sentences, making your writing and your speech more effective and interesting.

Types of Adjectives:

Adjectives are divided into the following classes:

  • Articles

The words ‘a’ or ‘an’ and ‘the’ are called as articles; they come before nouns.

‘A’ or ‘an’ is called as indefinite article, as it usually leaves indefinite the person or thing spoken of;

For instance:

An Engineer; that refers to any engineer.

A boy; that refers to any boy.

‘The’ is termed as definite article, as it usually points out some particular person or thing;

For instance:

He saw the movie; that is, some particular movie.

Riya visited the Taj Mahal; meaning that particular place.

All the three articles ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ are called as adjectives because they are used to describe non-specific things or people around.


  • Descriptive Adjectives

Adjectives of quality or descriptive articles portray the kind or quality of a person or thing;

For instance:

Rajasthan is a hot city.

He is a dishonest man.

The cruel old fox tried to betray.

This is a box full of mint chocolates.

Adjectives which are formed from Proper Nouns (for ex: French toast, Garlic Bread, Green Tea etc.) are sometimes called Proper adjectives. They are clubbed together with the Adjectives of Quality.

Descriptive Adjectives answer the question: Of what kind?

  • Adjectives of Quantity or Adjectives of Number

Adjectives of Quantity states how much of a thing is meant;

For instance:

I ate some noodles.

He showed less patience.

He did not eat any rice.

Take good care of your health.

You have no sense.

We have had enough food.

She has lost all her wealth.

Adjectives of Quantity answer the question: How much?

Adjectives of Number states how many persons or things are meant, or in what order a person or thing stands;

For instance:

Few dogs like to have a bath.

January is the first month of the year.

Earth is one of the nine planets of the universe.

Here are some sweet chocolates.

All men must die.

One must face several failures in order to succeed.

I have taught you many things.

Adjectives of Number answer the question: How many?

  • Demonstrative Adjectives

These adjectives are meant to point out which person or thing is meant;

For instance:

I love such things.

That boy is wealthy.

Don’t be in such a hurry.

These mangoes are ripe.

This girl is clever than Riya.

Those rascals must be punished.

Demonstrative Adjectives answer the question: Which?

  • Possessive Adjectives

These adjectives are used to indicate as the name suggests possession;

For instance:

I loved his work.

He is my favorite actor.

Mind your own business.

When all else left my cause.

She was beaten at her own game.

I heard it with my own ears.

Possessive Adjectives answer the question: Who’s in charge?

  • Interrogative Adjectives

Interrogative Adjectives are used to ask questions as; what, which, and whose, when they are used with nouns.

For instance:

Whose book is this?

Which poet wrote that poem?

Where is her house?

Whom did you ask before leaving?

Why did you cry?

What is her maiden name?

Interrogative Adjectives ask the questions: Why, what how etc.

Degrees of Adjectives:

Adjectives change their form in order to explain the meaning of the word by comparing it. There are mainly three degrees of adjectives which can be:

  1. Positive Degree

This is the simplest form of an adjective. It is used to represent the sheer existence of some quality of what we speak about. This degree of comparison is used when you have nothing to compare to.

For instance:

Hira has a short height.

It was an awesome trip.

He is good by heart

They are a happy couple.

His dog is loyal to him. 

  1. Comparative Degree

This degree is a higher than of positive. It is used when two things (set of things) or persons are compared with each other.

For instance:

This boy is stronger than him.

She was happier whenever he was around.

Hiya is shorter than Hira.

His cat was more loyal to him than his dog.

He was better than him by heart.

Chocolates are dearer than ice-creams. 

  1. Superlative Degree

This degree shows the highest degree of comparison of quality. Superlative degree is used when two or more things (or set of things) or persons are compared.

For instance:

He was best amongst all for his pure heart.

Noodles are dearest to me than chocolates and ice-creams.

His mouse was the most loyal pet.

Priya is shortest amongst Hiya and Hira.

She was the happiest when she had him and her family around.

This boy is strongest of all.

Correct Order to place multiple adjectives:

Whenever you’re using multiple adjectives in a single sentence, then there may arise a problem with its usage. So, the correct order of how multiple adjectives should be placed are:

  • Determiners: these include articles, an amount or a number, a possessive adjective or a demonstrative adjective.
  • Opinion: Descriptive Adjectives
  • Size: tiny, huge
  • Shape
  • Age: new, old, antique, 100-year-old
  • Color
  • Origin: English, Spanish, French
  • Material: Wooden, Plastic, Gold, Silver
  • Qualifier: a verb or noun acting as adjective

For instance:

His expensive, small, rectangular, vintage, white, English, wooden mahogany table was broken while shifting.

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