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Introduction to Adjectives

Adjective or adjective phrase as a part of speech not only modifies noun/noun phrase but with right choice, adjectives can be a very powerful tool for expressing an idea forcefully, creatively and vividly which fits into context and enhances it. Adjectives describe appearance, emotion, feelings, character, relation, people, personality, things, events, situations, quality, quantity, size, style, age, colour, origin, ethnicity, religion besides functioning to restrict (rather than describe) a noun.

Simply learning vocabulary by memorising meaning doesn’t help in improving writing skills unless learnt with related grammar and sentence examples for correct usage. This is the aim and objective of the modules on ADJECTIVE.

‘Noun Modifier’ is a broader term which comprises of adjective, adjective phrase and also nouns which modify nouns or noun phrase.

Let’s examine types and usage of adjectives with following sentence examples. Underlined Words are adjectives/modifiers and the italicised words are noun/pronouns which are modified.


Articles, Determiners & Quantifiers: All banks are close for next four days of the week and for the remaining days banks will operate for only half day.

Attributive type: The corner shop sells organicvegetables.

Predicative type: The vaccine is safe.

Adjective Order: There lies one huge heavy hardwood old-fashioned and L-shaped five-seater sofa in the corner of that large hall.

Expanded phrase type with complement: It is safe to take vaccine.

-ed Participial type: She is on a diet of boiled vegetables, fruits and salad

-ing Participial type: Irritating noise of carpentry work doesn’t allow me to take a nap.

Multi-word type: Her son is a six-foot tall, broad-shouldered, blue eyed, curly-haired, and fair navy officer.

Post-modifier type: Paint on articles of iron coated with red-oxide primer lasts much longer.

Post-positive type: Give me something sharp and strong to cut open the lid.

Noun-Adjective interchange usage: There is profit in diversified horticulture. Diversified horticulture is profitable.

Gradable type: Her elder daughter is more beautiful but the younger one is very friendly.

Noun + Noun Phrase modifier: The surgeon performed the operation by LASER, a facility available only in that hospital.

Noun-modified Noun: Table tennis is an indoorgame.

Sentence starting with Adjective: So forceful was the tsunami that ocean water flooded almost a kilometre beyond the coastline. Tired and exhausted, she dozed off halfway through the movie, in the comfort of air-conditioned room.


Other topics which are covered under Adjective are:


Participial Adjectives

Intensifiers as Adjectives

Adjective Inversion and Fronting

Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Adjectives with suffix –ible & -able

Usage of ‘so’, ‘such’, enough’, ‘too’

Adjectives and Corresponding Nouns

Adjectives of emotion, trait, behaviour, and feelings


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