What are Adjectives?

This week we have been learning about adjectives. Although you may feel like this is something quite easy and very basic, stick around, you might learn a thing or two.


Definition: An adjective is something that modify’s or describes a word. Generally, this makes your writing more specific and adds an extra layer of understanding. Normally, they are positioned before a noun or pronoun.


Examples: “That is a red apple”, “Jane has very short hair”.

The word “red” and “short” are adjectives. They are describing the following nouns.


Types of Adjectives

There are many different types of adjectives.


  1. Articles:

There is only three types of articles. They are ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’. They are all adjectives.

‘a’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles because they are used to discuss something unspecific;


  • I would like yoghurt.
  • Let’s go on an adventure.


Neither of these specify a particular yoghurt or adventure. Therefore, without further clarification, any yoghurt or banana will do.

The word ‘the’ is a definite article. It is the only definite article. It is used to specify a particular thing;


  • Can I have a yoghurt? I want the strawberry one.
  • Let’s go on an adventure. The Game of Throne’s tour would be fun!


       2. Possessive Adjectives:

Possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession. They can also be used for possessive pronouns.


  • My
  • Your
  • It’s
  • His
  • Hers
  • Their
  • Our


3. Demonstrative Adjectives.

The words ‘these’, ‘this’, and ‘those’ are demonstrative adjectives. They are similar to ‘the’ as they are demonstrating  specific people, animals, or things.


  •  I love this movie.
  • Can I have those sweets?
  • Who owns these books?


4. Co-ordinate Adjectives

Co ordinate adjectives (also called paired adjectives)  are used when using two or more adjectives in a sentence. They are separated by either a comma or the word ‘and’.


  • The wet and cold floor is not ideal to sit on.
  • The wet, cold floor is not ideal to sit on.
  • The cold, wet floor is not ideal to sit on.


Co-ordinate words are interchangeable. If you are unsure whether a word is co-ordinate or not, try inserting the word ‘and’, if the sentence flows correctly it is co ordinate.


  • He is driving the fast red car
  • He is driving the fast and red car
  • He is driving the fast, red car.


In the above example, fast and red are not interchangeable.  This is because ‘red’ modifies the car.


  5. Numbers Adjectives.

Numbers are nearly always adjectives when they are used in a sentence. This is because they reveal the information of how many regarding the noun.


They can be cardinal (one, two, three) or ordinal (first, second, third).


  • Ten thousand euro.
  • Five of the literary theory essays are very hard
  • Some sugars are unhealthy.
  • I was the first student to arrive to class.




6.Interrogative Adjectives

‘which, ‘what’, and ‘whose’ are interrogative adjectives. They are used to modify a term, typically a noun.  They are used  for things which we do not know.


  • Which coat is Sarah’s?
  • What film will we watch tonight?
  • Whose seat is this?


As long as they are asking to specify a noun they are adjectives. Below is and example of the word ‘what’ and ‘which’ in which they are NOT adjectives.


  • What are you doing this weekend?
  • Which is Jane’s mother?



 7.Indefinite Adjectives

Indefinite adjectives are formed from indefinite pronouns. Like the indefinite articles ‘a’ and ‘an’, indefinite adjectives are used to discuss something non-specific.


  • There are several cups in the cupboard.
  • There are a few apples left.
  • I ate all the chocolate bars.
  • I own each copy.



       8.Attributed Adjectives.

Attributive Adjectives are used to describe traits or qualities of a noun. It comes before a noun.


  • The blue sea.
  • The yellow daffodil.


      9.Predicative Adjectives

Predicative Adjectives are used to describe the subject of the sentence. They go after the verb in the second position. They are essential information of a sentence, and therefore, cannot be left out.


The milk smells rotten.

That actor is very handsome.



Do you feel like you have learned some new information on adjectives?


These are elements of the English language that I feel people, whose first language is English, take for granted. Whereas learners of English would be more likely to be capable of differentiating and defining.  TESOL is an interesting module because I feel it is forcing me to relearn things that perhaps I should already know, as well as revealing new information too.


I hope you found this helpful with your learning or revising of adjectives.



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