Subjects >>English >>Adjective

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Introduction
21 Jul 2020

An adjective modifies a noun or pronoun.

Adjectives may name all the qualities of a noun or pronoun i.e. Shape, size, colour, mood etc. (example – round, huge, black, sorrow, unique, rare, etc)

Modify means limit or restrict.

Place of an Adjective

Generally, an adjective is placed before a noun or pronoun:

  • Big boy
  • Red car
  • Which book

Predicate adjective – when an adjective follows a linking verb (‘be’ or seem)

  • This book is rare.
  • The students seem happy.

There are some adjectives that are only used before a noun and also there are some that are only used as predictive adjective.

Types of Adjectives

  • Proper Adjective
  • Adjective of Quantity
  • Adjective of Quality
  • Adjective of Number
  • Demonstrative Adjective
  • Distributive Adjective
  • Interrogative Adjective
  • Possessive Adjective
  • Emphatic Adjective

Proper Adjective

These are made from proper nouns.

Example:

  • India (proper noun) – Indians (proper adjectives)

Indian sports are reaching new heights.

Adjective of Quantity

  • Indefinite (uncountable)

It tells how much (estimated amount) of a noun or pronoun.

How much’ for uncountable nouns only. (Water, milk, knowledge, etc.)

A lot of, lots of, a quantity of, a great quantity of, plenty of, little, a little, the little.

Little, a little, the little + Noun (uncountable) + Verb (singular)

Little is equivalent to Few (its meaning is negative)

A little is equivalent to a few (it means some)

The little is equivalent to the few (it means whole)

Adjective of Numbers

  • Definite (Countable)

How many for countable?

Example – Stars, books, bottle, etc.

A lot of, lots of, a number of, the number of, plenty of, few, a few, the few.


Numbers:

  • Ordinal – First, second, third, etc.
  • Cardinal – One, two, three, etc.


Rules:

  • We always use ‘the’ before ordinal number.

Example:

I am the first-born child in my family.

Ram has got the first rank in boards exams.

The first coach in every Delhi metro is reserved for the fair gender.


  • If both ordinal and cardinal numbers are there in a sentence, we always use ordinal before cardinal.

Example:

Some people always leave the first two pages of their notebook blank.

The first three rows are reserved for ladies in most of the auditoriums.

Adjective of Quality

It tells about the quality of a noun or pronoun.

E.g. I have a red car. (red in this case tells the quality of a car)

How of a noun or pronounwill be its Quality.

Shape, size, colour, etc are the quality.

Demonstrative Adjective

This, that, these, those

  • This, That + Noun (singular) + Verb (singular)
  • These, Those + Noun (plural) + Verb (plural)

Example:

This book is mine.

These books are mine


Other demonstrative adjectives are –

Such, such a, certain, a certain, the same

Construction:

Such + Noun (plural) + Verb (Plural)

Such a + Noun (singular) + Verb (singular)

Certain + Noun (plural) + Verb (Plural)

A certain + Noun (singular) + Verb (Singular)

The same can take both forms:

The same + Noun (singular) + Verb (singular)

The same + Noun (plural) + Verb (Plural)

Possessive Adjective

My, our, your, his, her, its, one’s, their.

Example:

This is my book.

Our house is on the end of this street.

Their car is broken


NOTE: Its – Is an possessive adjective. Not It’s, which is ‘It is’.



Interrogative Adjective

Wh – family


Example:

Which car is your?

What colour will you wear for my birthday party?


Note: except who which is pure interrogative pronoun.


Emphatic Adjective

Very, Own


Example:

This is my own house.

Degree of an adjective

It tells about the extent of an adjective.

There are three degrees of an adjective:

Positive, Comparative and Superlative.


Generally, Positive degree is used to compare different qualities of a single person.

i.e. Ram is more wise than honest.


Comparative degree is used to compare 2 things

i.e. Ram is taller than Shyam.


Superlative degree is used to compare between more than 3

i.e. Usain Bolt is the fastest athlete in the world.

Degrees of some important adjectives

Positive

 

Comparative

Superlative

Good/well

Better

Best

Bad/Ill/Evil

Worse

Worst

Old

Older/Elder

Oldest/Eldest

Late

Later/Latter

Latest/Last

Little

Less/Lesser

Least

Fore

Former

Foremost/First

Near

Nearer

Nearest

Few

Fewer

Fewest

Far

Farther/Further

Farthest

Much/Many

More

Most

Positive Degree

  • As…as, So…as, more…than

As…as

Is used both in affirmative sentences and negative sentences

Example:

Ram is as wise as Shyam

Ram is not as tall as Shyam


So…as

Is used in negative sentences only

Example:

Ram is not so tall as Shyam


More…than

When two adjectives of a person are compared, we always use ‘more’ and ‘than’ with positive degree:

Ram is more wise than good.


Note: Errors are formed by doing wrong comparison.

E.g. No city in the world is as beautiful as Calcutta. (x)

The above sentence is wrong because Calcutta itself is a city and by no city means Calcutta is included in the group of cities of the world.

The correct sentence is:

No other city in the world is as beautiful as Calcutta.


Other type of error is formed by comparing two different things:

E.g. No other metal in India is as precious as Diamond. (x)

The above sentence is wrong as Diamond is not a metal. So, we have to drop other from the sentence to make it correct:

No metal in India is as precious as Diamond.

Comparative Degree

Use - Than

Example:

Sneha is better singer than Neha.

Rahul is better dancer than Mohan.


Form of wrong comparison:

  • When two different types are compared:

The climate of Delhi is more polluted than Himachal Pradesh. (x)

The above sentence is wrong as we, instead of comparing climate of two cities, compared climate of one with another city.

The correct sentence will be:

The climate of Delhi is more polluted than that of Himachal Pradesh.


Other Examples:

Wrong – Sita’s looks are better than Sara.

Correct – Sita’s looks are better than Sara’s.

Wrong – His house is bigger than your’s.

Correct – His house is bigger than yours.


Use of ‘The’ in Comparative degree

  • When used in grading manner

The higher you go the cooler it gets.

  • When one is chosen out of two, we use comparative degree preceded by ‘the’ and followed by ‘of’

Ram is the stronger of the two wrestlers.


Error is formed in this case by removing ‘the’

Example:

  • The higher you go cooler it gets. (x)

Correction: The higher you go the cooler it gets.

  • More you study the more confusion you have (x)

Correction: The more you study the more confusion you have.

Superlative Degree

Construction:

  • The + ‘-est’
  • The + most

Example:

Ram is the most intelligent student in our class.

Usain Bolt is the fastest athlete.



Points to remember

Note:  we always use ‘to’ at the place of ‘than’ after the following adjectives:

Senior, superior, Posterior, junior, inferior, anterior, preferable, prior, elder.


Note:  we do not use more and most after the following words:

Perfect, unique, brilliant, ideal, major, minor, exterior, awesome, fabulous, fantastic, universal, singular, whole, blind, dumb and deaf.

Any shape – circular, angular, etc


Note: When two adjectives qualify the same noun, both the adjectives should be expressed in the same degree:

Example:

Sneha is most beautiful and energetic student in our class (x)

Correct: Sneha is most beautiful and most energetic student in our class.


Note: Adjective will come after the noun when the noun is followed by preposition.

Example: The subject is a matter worthy of note.

He is the man suitable for any post.


Note: No comparison is implied when there is ‘time/times’ used for comparison. So positive degree will be used.

My car is three times cheaper than yours (x)

Correct: My car is three times as cheap as yours.


We never use ‘not’ with the following words:

Hardly, scarcely, seldom, until, unless, lest, barely, deny, refuse, prohibited, forbid, little, few, etc.  

Did You Know

  • Generally, an adjective is placed before a noun or pronoun.