Adjectives are used to describe nouns. They give more details or information about the nouns they are associated with.
A: Tell me about your boyfriend
B: Well, he is tall, dark, and handsome.
A: Sounds like mine.
Adjectives can be used to answer the questions What kind (of) or Which one?
A: Hi. I’m calling about the car you’re selling.
B: It’s a great car. (It’s) in excellent condition.
A: What kind of seats does it have?
B: They’re very comfortable seats, (soft, plush, just like a sofa.)
A: Uh. I think I’ll sleep on it.
A: Hand me a book.
B: Which one do you want?
A: The red book. The red one.
Adjectives come before the nouns they modify (not after).
Three happy hippies lived in the Heartquake Hotel.
WRONG: Three hippies happy lived in the Heartquake Hotel.
Adjectives can also be used with linking verbs to describe the subject of a sentence.
When used in this manner, the adjective(s) come after the linking verb.
My mother is tall and slender.
WRONG: My mother tall and slender. (No linking verb.)
Seem, become, appear, and verbs of perception can also be used as linking verbs. Note how they are used with adjectives in the following. Can you identify the linking verbs and the adjectives?
The journey seemed long. (It appeared strenuous and boring.)
You smell nice today. What kind of cologne are you wearing?
A: What do you want to do this weekend? Bowling? Shopping? A movie?
B: Bowling sounds good.
Adjectives are the same for all nouns. They do not change for plurals.
Example: Three tired tigers tried to tie a triangular tie.
Not: Not three tireds tigers.
When several adjectives modify the same noun, there is a particular order they must follow in English. Certain adjectives come before others. (Not all have to be used in the same sentence.)See the chart below.
|Quantifier||Article Possessive Demonstrative||Number Sequence||Quality Size||Shape||Color||Origin||Material|
|Some of All of Both||the, a, an, this, that, my, his||three second next||wonderful clean large||round square flat||red yellow black||Thai Italian French||metal ceramic wood|
Some of the hungry gentlemen
The last great civilization
Ten big round metal rings
The beautiful Japanese ceramic vase
Either of the small green apples
My three lovely daughters
An interesting wooden statue
The third red plastic container
Tom looked greedy. (He appeared to be a greedy person.)
The adjective “greedy” is used to describe Tom.
Tom looked greedily at the pie on the table.
(He saw it and wanted it for himself.)
The adverb “greedily” is used to describe Tom’s action.
See also: Changing Adjectives to Adverbs