Adjective (n):


Language Learning

An adjective is a word that describes a noun. Normally it goes before a noun. It describes some quality of the noun.
Red is an adjective that describes the colour of something, for example a red hat.

Adjectives can be comparative or superlative. Comparatives compare one thing with another. New York is bigger than Oxford. Superlatives say that things are number one in their class. The class may be good or bad. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. That was the most disgusting meal I have ever had.

To form comparatives add to all one syllable words and to all two syllable words ending in ...y. The y changes to an i. For one syllable words ending vowel consonant you need also to double the consonant. Late Later. Near Nearer. Lucky Luckier. Big Bigger. For all other adjectives we add more. Beautiful More Beautiful. Recent More Recent.

Superlatives nearly always start with "the". To form superlatives use the and add ...est to all one syllable words and to all two syllable words ending in ...y. The y changes to an i. For one syllable words ending vowel consonant you need also to double the consonant. Late The Latest. Near The Nearest. Lucky The Luckiest. Big The Biggest. For all other adjectives we add "the most". Beautiful The Most Beautiful. Recent The Most Recent.

The order in which adjectives come before a noun is a complicated and there are many exceptions. The general order is as follows:
1. quantity or number: Many, enough, a bit, twenty.
2. quality: Good, bad, nice, ugly, lovely.
3. size: Tiny, big, large, long, heavy.
4. age: Nineteenth century, old, modern, old fashioned, prehistoric, futuristic, fresh.
5. shape: Angular, curved, square, uneven, irregular.
6. colour: Red, burgundy, black and white, colourless, transparent.
7. proper adjective: Spanish, English, European, Middle eastern, Lunar, heavenly.
8. purpose or qualifier: tennis, sports, culinary, teaching.

A dozen best quality large ripe round green English eating apples.

A is for Adjective. Adjectives describe nouns. A big house. A red coat. A ferocious dog. Notice adjectives can be comparative. To make comparatives add to one syllable words, or two syllable words that end in ...y. For example: Big, bigger. Tidy, tidier. And for all others add more. Beautiful, more beautiful. My dog is bigger than your dog. My home is more beautiful than your home. To make superlatives, the same. Add ...est to one syllable words and two syllable words ending in ...y. The biggest house here. My room is the tidiest around. And for all other words add the most. She is the most beautiful woman. Now adjectives can describe a variety of things. The age of something. It's nineteenth century. It's mediaeval. It's old fashioned. Adjectives can be subjective. It's beautiful. It's incredible. It's awful. They can describe colours, black, blue, red. Materials leather, silk. They can describe purposes. An evening dress, a travel bag, a shooting hat. Now students very often have problems with the order to put adjectives before a noun. The order is, first you put subjective. Beautiful. Terrible. Fantastic. Then you put age or colour. Nineteenth century, yellow, red, black. Then you put the material. Silk, leather. Then you put the purpose. Evening, shooting. And then you put the thing. Bag. Dress. So for example that would give you: An antique nineteenth century black silk evening shirt. The problem is these rules are too complicated to remember. The one thing I would remind you... or I would recommend you remember is first subjective. Beautiful, awful, etcetera. And then the more objective things. The colour, for example. So there you go. A is for adjective. Adjectives describe things, describe nouns. So, I hope that's clear. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in another video. Bye for now.
Click here to return to Vocabulary A-Z