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What is an Adjective?

adjective (noun): a part-of-speech that modifies or describes a noun or a pronoun

An adjective is one of the eight parts of speech.

An adjective is a word that tells us more about a noun. It “describes” or “modifies” a noun (The big dog was hungry). In these examples, the adjective is in bold and the noun that it modifies is in italics.

An adjective often comes BEFORE a noun:

  • green car
  • dark sky
  • an interesting story

And sometimes an adjective comes AFTER a verb:

  • My car is green.
  • The sky became dark.
  • His story seemed interesting.

But adjectives can also modify pronouns (She is beautiful). Look at these examples:

  • They were empty.
  • I thought it seemed strange.
  • Those are not expensive.

Note that we can often use two or more adjectives together (a beautiful youngFrench lady / it is black and white).

Adjective Form

Some adjectives have particular endings, for example:

  • -able/-ible: washable, credible
  • -ish/-like: childish, childlike
  • -ful/-less: careful, careless
  • -ous: dangerous, harmonious
  • -y: dirty, pretty

However, many adjectives have no obvious form.

Comparative, Superlative

Most adjectives can be comparative or superlative, for example:

  • big, bigger, biggest
  • good, better, best
  • beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful

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