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An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun
Adjectives tell what kind, which one, how many, or how much about a noun or pronoun

WHAT KIND     mountainous landscape 
WHICH ONE     last chance 
HOW MANY     three minutes 
HOW MUCH     enough equipment 

Predicate adjectives describe the subject of the sentence and appear in the predicate

  • The travelers felt weary and uncomfortable. [The adjectives weary and uncomfortable appear in the predicate. Both adjectives describe travelers.]


A, an, and the, called articles, are the most frequently used adjectives.
A and an refer to any member of a general group and are called indefinite articles.
The is the definite article because it refers to a specific person, place, thing, or idea.

  • An owl landed on the tree branch. [An refers to a member of a general group, owl. The refers to a specific thing, branch.]

Proper Adjectives

A proper adjective is an adjective that is formed from a proper noun.

  • Look at this satellite photograph of the United States. [United States is a proper noun.] 
  • She is going to become a United States citizen. [United States is a proper adjective telling what kind of citizen.]

Here are some types of adjectives and examples of each, in accordance with the curriculum:

1. Adjectives of Colour
- blue (e.g. blue sky)
- green (e.g. green grass)
- red (e.g. red apple)
- yellow (e.g. yellow sun)
- purple (e.g. purple flowers)

2. Adjectives of Size
- small (e.g. small car)
- big (e.g. big elephant)
- tall (e.g. tall tree)
- short (e.g. short book)
- tiny (e.g. tiny ladybird)

3. Adjectives of Shape
- round (e.g. round ball)
- square (e.g. square box)
- triangular (e.g. triangular pizza)
- cylindrical (e.g. cylindrical candle)
- rectangular (e.g. rectangular table)

4. Adjectives of Texture
- rough (e.g. rough rock)
- smooth (e.g. smooth silk)
- furry (e.g. furry cat)
- prickly (e.g. prickly cactus)
- soft (e.g. soft blanket)

5. Adjectives of Sound
- loud (e.g. loud music)
- quiet (e.g. quiet library)
- noisy (e.g. noisy street)
- silent (e.g. silent night)
- melodic (e.g. melodic song)


What are adjectives?
Adjectives are words that modify nouns and pronouns. Adjectives provide more details about nouns and pronouns by answering questions like "What kind?" "How many?" or "Which one?".

What do adjectives do?
Adjectives describe, identify, quantify, qualify, and modify nouns and pronouns.

What are some examples of adjectives?
Examples of adjectives:
  • Descriptive adjectives: tall, blue, sweet, scary
  • Quantitative adjectives: some, many, few, several
  • Possessive adjectives: my, your, his, her, its, our
  • Demonstrative adjectives: this, that, these, those
  • Interrogative adjectives: which, what, whose
  • Indefinite adjectives: any, no, every, some
Where do adjectives go in a sentence?
Most adjectives go before the noun they modify (attributive position). They can also go after verbs like "to be" (predicate position).

How do you compare adjectives?
Adjectives can be graded for comparison using the suffixes -er for the comparative and -est for the superlative. For example: cold, colder, coldest.

Can adjectives be modified by adverbs?
Yes, adverbs can modify adjectives to provide more details about them. For example: "The extremely tall man."

Adjectives Quiz


  1. The Associated Press Stylebook 2020, Associated Press, 2020.
  2. The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2017.
  3. Garner's Modern English Usage, 4th Edition, Bryan A. Garner, 2016.
  4. Webster's New World College Dictionary, 5th Edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.
  5. The Gregg Reference Manual, 11th Edition, William A. Sabin, 2011.
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