Adjective Definition – What are Adjectives?
Adjectives are describing words, such as blue, angry, cold, dry and hard. Technically, an adjective is described as modifying or quantifying a noun or pronoun, but an easier way to look at the definition of adjectives is that an adjective tells us more and gives us extra information about something. For example, if someone said: “It’s a warm day”, the adjective warm is giving us extra information about the noun day. What are adjectives? Adjectives are words that make sentences more interesting and add spice to writing.
- Jason gave me a piercing look before he shut the open
- The Titanic was a great movie, but it was long and sad!
- Lauren has excellent managerial skills and is a superb listener.
Adjectives Position – Where to Position an Adjective?
Normally, adjectives are positioned before the noun that they describe: the yellow ribbon, the heavy box. These adjectives are said to be attributive, meaning they qualify the nouns. However, if a linking verb such as be or seem is used, the adjective becomes predicative and can be placed after the noun: the ribbon is yellow, the box seems heavy.
Attributive adjectives are used like this:
Poor, sick Robert won’t be coming to work today, he has a bad cold.
It takes longer to get there on the two-lane bumpy road than on the new fast highway.
Predicative adjectives are used like this:
- Robert seems sick.
- The road is bumpy.In some cases, adjectives can be said to be postpositive, coming after the noun: There are plenty of rooms available. Postpositive adjectives are not used as often as attributive or predicative adjectives:The blue boat sailed on the rough seas (attributive)The teddy-bear is soft and fluffy (predicative)
The firemen found the buildings ablaze, with the damage catastrophic (postpositive)
Sometimes these different adjective positions can be combined in a sentence:
The soft (attributive) teddy-bear is also fluffy (predicative)
The tired (attributive) firemen found the buildings ablaze (postpositive). The damage was catastrophic (predicative).
Adjective Degrees – What are Adjective Degrees?
Adjectives can be used to describe different degrees of comparison about something. For example, we can say that something is large, but we could also say it is larger (than something else) and the largest (of all) when comparing it to other things. These terms seem complicated, but they are just a way of using adjectives to compare one thing to another. Thus, we can breakdown adjectives into the following degree groups:
Positive Adjectives: small, old, fast.
Comparative Adjectives: smaller, older, faster.
Superlative Adjectives: smallest, oldest, fastest.
I am small. The old men. The fast runner.
Examples of comparative adjectives:
I am smaller than you. The older men knew more than the younger men. The faster runner won the race.
Examples of superlative adjectives:
Bilbo was the smallest of all hobbits. She is the oldest woman in America. Usain Bolt is the fastest man on the planet.
As you can see, a positive adjective can become a comparative one by adding “er” and a superlative adjective by adding “est”. However, a small group of adjectives do not follow this rule. Those that don’t are called irregular comparative and superlative adjectives. For example, the adjective good in its comparative form is better, not good(er), and is best in its superlative form, not good(est). Other examples include: far, farther, farthest and bad, worse, worst.
Examples of irregular comparative and superlative adjectives:
- Good, Better, Best
- Bad, Worse, Worst
- Far, Further, Furthest
Shakespeare is good, but Mark Twain is much better. However, Hemingway is best of all.
In addition, some adjectives will not change at all when used as comparative or superlative. Usually, these will take the addition of the words ‘more’ and ‘most’ to make the comparison.
- I am an interesting person (positive)
- He is more interesting than you (Comparative)
- Sylvia Plath is the most interesting of all poets (Superlative)
- More beautiful
- Most beautiful
- More intelligent
- Most intelligent
- More practical
- Most practical
Amy was beautiful, but Jo was more intelligent. Beth was certainly more practical than Jo and Amy However, Meg was the most practical, beautiful and intelligent of all the March sisters.
Here is a list of 1000+ Adjectives
- aback abaft abandoned abashed aberrant abhorrent abiding abject ablaze able abnormal aboard aboriginal abortive abounding abrasive abrupt absent absorbed absorbing abstracted absurd abundant abusive acceptable accessible accidental accurate acid acidic acoustic acrid actually ad hoc adamant adaptable addicted adhesive adjoining adorable adventurous afraid aggressive agonizing agreeable ahead ajar alcoholic alert alike alive alleged alluring aloof amazing ambiguous ambitious amuck amused amusing ancient angry animated annoyed annoying anxious apathetic aquatic aromatic arrogant ashamed aspiring assorted astonishing attractive auspicious automatic available average awake aware awesome awful axiomatic
- bad barbarous bashful bawdy beautiful befitting belligerent beneficial bent berserk best better bewildered big billowy bite-sized bitter bizarre black black-and-white bloody blue blue-eyed blushing boiling boorish bored boring bouncy boundless brainy brash brave brawny breakable breezy brief bright broad broken brown bumpy burly bustling busy
- cagey calculating callous calm capable capricious careful careless caring cautious ceaseless certain changeable charming cheap cheerful chemical chief childlike chilly chivalrous chubby chunky clammy classy clean clear clever cloistered cloudy closed clumsy cluttered coherent cold colorful colossal combative comfortable common complete complex concerned condemned confused conscious cooing cool cooperative coordinated courageous cowardly crabby craven crazy creepy crooked crowded cruel cuddly cultured cumbersome curious curly curved curvy cut cute cynical
- daffy daily damaged damaging damp dangerous dapper dark dashing dazzling dead deadpan deafening dear debonair decisive decorous deep deeply defeated defective defiant delicate delicious delightful demonic delirious dependent depressed deranged descriptive deserted detailed determined devilish didactic different difficult diligent direful dirty disagreeable disastrous discreet disgusted disgusting disillusioned dispensable distinct disturbed divergent dizzy domineering doubtful drab draconian dramatic dreary drunk dry dull dusty dynamic dysfunctional
- eager early earsplitting earthy easy eatable economic educated efficacious efficient eight elastic elated elderly electric elegant elfin elite embarrassed eminent empty enchanted enchanting encouraging endurable energetic enormous entertaining enthusiastic envious equable equal erect erratic ethereal evanescent evasive even excellent excited exciting exclusive exotic expensive extra-large extra-small exuberant exultant
- fabulous faded faint fair faithful fallacious false familiar famous fanatical fancy fantastic far far-flung fascinated fast fat faulty fearful fearless feeble feigned female fertile festive few fierce filthy fine finicky first five fixed flagrant flaky flashy flat flawless flimsy flippant flowery fluffy fluttering foamy foolish foregoing forgetful fortunate four frail fragile frantic free freezing frequent fresh fretful friendly frightened frightening full fumbling functional funny furry furtive future futuristic fuzzy
- gabby gainful gamy gaping garrulous gaudy general gentle giant giddy gifted gigantic glamorous gleaming glib glistening glorious glossy godly good goofy gorgeous graceful grandiose grateful gratis gray greasy great greedy green grey grieving groovy grotesque grouchy grubby gruesome grumpy guarded guiltless gullible gusty guttural
- habitual half hallowed halting handsome handsomely handy hanging hapless happy hard hard-to-find harmonious harsh hateful heady healthy heartbreaking heavenly heavy hellish helpful helpless hesitant hideous high highfalutin high-pitched hilarious hissing historical holistic hollow homeless homely honorable horrible hospitable hot huge hulking humdrum humorous hungry hurried hurt hushed husky hypnotic hysterical
- icky icy idiotic ignorant ill illegal ill-fated ill-informed illustrious imaginary immense imminent impartial imperfect impolite important imported impossible incandescent incompetent inconclusive industrious incredible inexpensive infamous innate innocent inquisitive insidious instinctive intelligent interesting internal invincible irate irritating itchy
- jaded jagged jazzy jealous jittery jobless jolly joyous judicious juicy jumbled jumpy juvenile
- kaput keen kind kindhearted kindly knotty knowing knowledgeable known
- labored lackadaisical lacking lame lamentable languid large last late laughable lavish lazy lean learned left legal lethal level lewd light like likeable limping literate little lively living lonely long longing long-term loose lopsided loud loutish lovely loving low lowly lucky ludicrous lumpy lush luxuriant lying lyrical
- macabre macho maddening madly magenta magical magnificent majestic makeshift male malicious mammoth maniacal many marked massive married marvelous material materialistic mature mean measly meaty medical meek mellow melodic melted merciful mere messy mighty military milky mindless miniature minor miscreant misty mixed moaning modern moldy momentous motionless mountainous muddled mundane murky mushy mute mysterious
- naive nappy narrow nasty natural naughty nauseating near neat nebulous necessary needless needy neighborly nervous new next nice nifty nimble nine nippy noiseless noisy nonchalant nondescript nonstop normal nostalgic nosy noxious null numberless numerous nutritious nutty
- oafish obedient obeisant obese obnoxious obscene obsequious observant obsolete obtainable oceanic odd offbeat old old-fashioned omniscient one onerous open opposite optimal orange ordinary organic ossified outgoing outrageous outstanding oval overconfident overjoyed overrated overt overwrought
- painful painstaking pale paltry panicky panoramic parallel parched parsimonious past pastoral pathetic peaceful penitent perfect periodic permissible perpetual petite phobic physical picayune pink piquant placid plain plant plastic plausible pleasant plucky pointless poised polite political poor possessive possible powerful precious premium present pretty previous pricey prickly private probable productive profuse protective proud psychedelic psychotic public puffy pumped puny purple purring pushy puzzled puzzling
- quack quaint quarrelsome questionable quick quickest quiet quirky quixotic quizzical
- rabid racial ragged rainy rambunctious rampant rapid rare raspy ratty ready real rebel receptive recondite red redundant reflective regular relieved remarkable reminiscent repulsive resolute resonant responsible rhetorical rich right righteous rightful rigid ripe ritzy roasted robust romantic roomy rotten rough round royal ruddy rude rural rustic ruthless
- sable sad safe salty same sassy satisfying savory scandalous scarce scared scary scattered scientific scintillating scrawny screeching second second-hand secret secretive sedate seemly selective selfish separate serious shaggy shaky shallow sharp shiny shivering shocking short shrill shut shy sick silent silky silly simple simplistic sincere six skillful skinny sleepy slim slimy slippery sloppy slow small smart smelly smiling smoggy smooth sneaky snobbish snotty soft soggy solid somber sophisticated sordid sore sour sparkling special spectacular spicy spiffy spiky spiritual spiteful splendid spooky spotless spotted spotty spurious squalid square squealing squeamish staking stale standing statuesque steadfast steady steep stereotyped sticky stiff stimulating stingy stormy straight strange striped strong stupendous stupid sturdy subdued subsequent substantial successful succinct sudden sulky super superb superficial supreme swanky sweet sweltering swift symptomatic synonymous
- taboo tacit tacky talented tall tame tan tangible tangy tart tasteful tasteless tasty tawdry tearful tedious teeny teeny-tiny telling temporary ten tender tense tenuous terrible terrific tested testy thankful therapeutic thick thin thinkable third thirsty thoughtful thoughtless threatening three thundering tidy tight tightfisted tiny tired tiresome toothsome torpid tough towering tranquil trashy tremendous tricky trite troubled truculent true truthful two typical
- ubiquitous ugliest ugly ultra unable unaccountable unadvised unarmed unbecoming unbiased uncovered understood undesirable unequal unequaled uneven unhealthy uninterested unique unkempt unknown unnatural unruly unsightly unsuitable untidy unused unusual unwieldy unwritten upbeat uppity upset uptight used useful useless utopian utter uttermost
- vacuous vagabond vague valuable various vast vengeful venomous verdant versed victorious vigorous violent violet vivacious voiceless volatile voracious vulgar
- wacky waggish waiting wakeful wandering wanting warlike warm wary wasteful watery weak wealthy weary well-groomed well-made well-off well-to-do wet whimsical whispering white whole wholesale wicked wide wide-eyed wiggly wild willing windy wiry wise wistful witty woebegone womanly wonderful wooden woozy workable worried worthless wrathful wretched wrong wry
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