adjectives-free-english-grammar-guide

Adjectives

Adjectives are words that are used to tell us what attribute (quality, quantity or characteristic) a noun (someone or something) has. They can be used to describe feelings, appearance or preferences.

Example: good, bad, many, few, long, silly.

An adjective can come before a noun or after a noun.

Example:

I like your new shoes. (adjective + noun)

Your shoes are new. ( noun + adjective)

They are good friends. (adjective + noun)

Commonly used adjectives

Some adjectives are used more than others. Here are a few commonly used adjectives:

  • good, bad, new, old, first,  last, long, short, big, small, great, little, big, high, different, large, next, early, young, important, few, same, able.

Two or more adjectives

While some adjectives give a general opinion and can be used to describe almost any noun, other adjectives give a specific opinion and we use them to describe only particular nouns.

General opinion adjectives

  • good
  • great
  • amazing
  • bad
  • lovely
  • strange
  • awful
  • important
  • wonderful
  • nasty
  • nice
  • beautiful
  • brilliant
  • excellent

She’s a good/great/wonderful/amazing/brilliant/bad/dreadful singer.



Specific opinion adjectives

🍔 Adjectives used to describe food:

  • tasty
  • delicious

Adjectives can be used to describe the weather:

  • sunny
  • rainy

🏡Adjectives used to describe furniture or houses:

  • comfortable
  • uncomfortable

🐈Adjectives used to describe people or animals:

  • clever
  • intelligent
  • friendly
  • Talented



When two adjectives are used, we usually:
  • put a general adjective in front of a specific adjective,

A good comfortable sofa.

A nice sunny day.

  • put an opinion adjective in front of a descriptive adjective.

A nice red dress. 

A silly old man.

Sometimes three or more adjectives are placed in front of a noun. It is fairly unusual.

A lovely handsome young boy.

When three or more adjectives are used, we should use them in this order:

General opinion > Specific opinion > Size > Shape > Age > Colour > Nationality >Material

Adjectives in front of nouns

While some adjectives can be used both before and after nouns, the following adjectives can be used only before nouns:

  • north
  • south
  • east
  • West
  • northern
  • southern
  • eastern
  • Western
  • countless
  • occasional
  • lone
  • mere
  • indoor
  • outdoor

Comparative and superlative adjectives

Comparative adjectives are used in sentences where two nouns are compared. They describe a noun by comparing it to another noun.
  • 1️⃣They typically end in ‘er’ and are often followed by the word ‘than’.

A tiger is bigger than a dog.

A rocket is faster than an aeroplane.

Peter is older than his sister.

  • 2️⃣If the noun used to compare the first noun to is clear from the context, it can be omitted.

One year ago, Peter and John were the same height. Now, Peter is taller.

I’m feeling more excited.

We need a bigger TV.

  • 3️⃣To say that something is changing or has changed, you can use two comparative adjectives and join them with the conjunction and.

His body became stronger and stronger.

They were becoming more and more excited.

Instead of slowing down, she was running faster and faster.

  • 4️⃣To show that one thing depends on another, we often use ‘the’ with two comparative adjectives.

The bigger the better.

The more you exercise, the stronger you become.

The further they went, the colder it got.

Superlative adjectives are used to describe nouns by comparing them to two or more nouns to the highest or lowest degree.
  • 1️⃣We place the just before a superlative adjective.

This is the fastest car.

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

It’s the best film I have ever seen.

Jane is the youngest child in the class.



How to form comparative and superlative adjectives

  • 1️⃣We usually add –er and –est to one-syllable words to make comparatives and superlatives.
  • 2️⃣If an adjective ends in –e, we add –r or –st.
  • 3️⃣If an adjective ends in a vowel and a consonant, we double the consonant.
  • 4️⃣If an adjective ends in a consonant and –y, we change –y to –i and add –er or –est.
  • 5️⃣We use more and most to make comparatives and superlatives for most two-syllable adjectives and all adjectives with three or more syllables.
  • 6️⃣However, with these common two-syllable adjectives, you can either add –er/–r and –est/–st or use more and most.

The adjectives good, bad and far have irregular comparatives and superlatives.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
Tall
Small
Large
Slow
Fast
Old
Cheap
Long
Short
Safe
High
Taller
Smaller
Larger
Slower
Faster
Older
Cheaper
Longer
Shorter
Safer
Higher
The tallest
The smallest
The largest
The slowest
The fastest
The oldest
The cheapest
The longest
The shortest
The safest
The highest
We usually add –er and –est to one-syllable words to make comparatives and superlatives.
Big
Hot
Wet
Sad
Thin
Bigger
Hotter
Wetter
Sadder
Thinner
The biggest
The hottest
The wettest
The saddest
The thinnest
If an adjective ends in a vowel and a consonant, we double the consonant.
Pretty
Easy
Early
Healthy
Friendly
Busy
Sunny
Dirty
Dry
Hungry
Prettier
Easier
Earlier
Healthier
Friendlier
Busier
Sunnier
Dirtier
Drier
Hungrier
The prettiest
The easiest
The earliest
The healthiest
The friendliest
The busiest
The sunniest
The dirtiest
The driest
The hungriest
If an adjective ends in a consonant and –y, we change –y to –i and add –er or –est.
Comfortable
Boring
Interesting
Expensive
Dangerous
Popular
Common
Generous
Difficult
More comfortable
More boring
More interesting
More expensive
More dangerous
More popular
More common
More generous
More difficult
The most comfortable
The most boring
The most interesting
The most expensive
The most dangerous
The most popular
The most common
The most generous
The most difficult
We use more and most to make comparatives and superlatives for most two-syllable adjectives and all adjectives with three or more syllables.

Personality adjectives

What is he like?

Active: he likes to play sports or do physical things.
Bright: he is intelligent.
Cunning: he uses his intelligence secretly/mysteriously to get what he wants.
Diligent: he is hardworking.
Extroverted: he is very outgoing. He likes to be the centre of attention.
Funny: he makes people laugh.
Generous: he likes to ‘give’ to help others.
Honest: he tells the truth.
Imaginative: he has a good imagination.
Jealous: (negative) he wants what other people have. He doesn’t like others to succeed
Kind: nice, gentle and helpful
Lazy: (negative) he doesn’t like to work or exercise. He’s happy doing nothing.
Moody: (negative) he often becomes angry and unfriendly because he is unhappy.
Naughty: (negative): usually for children) his behaviour is bad.
Optimistic: he is a positive person and positive about the future.
Pessimistic: he is a negative person. He thinks things will end badly. The opposite of optimistic.
Quiet: He doesn’t say much. He prefers to listen.
Rude: (negative) he is not polite and he offends people.
Sensible: he has good common sense and judgment.
Thoughtful: he carefully thinks about other people and how to help them.
Upbeat: he is positive and in a good mood.
Violent: (negative) he will hurt you. He is aggressive…so be careful!
Wonderful: he is great!
Xenophobic: he dislikes people from foreign countries. He is racist.
Youthful: he is young at heart.
Zany: he is a little crazy but in a fun way.



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