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English > Adjectives > Kinds of Adjectives
Adjectives

Kinds of Adjectives

Adjectives are a very important part of our speech. They add color and a lyrical quality to sentences. An adjective is a description we give to a noun. Let us learn about the kinds of adjectives.

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Introduction to Adjectives
Formation of Adjectives
Adjectives as Nouns
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“My Grandparents have a beautiful and ancient home in Assam.” Do you see that sentence above? If we remove an element called “Adjective” from it, we will be left with something like:

“My Grandparents have a home in Assam.” You see what that did to the sentence? It removed the quality of the house from the sentence. The words beautiful and ancient were describing what kind of home the grandparents have. Without such words, sentences sound rather lifeless. That’s what the Adjective does. Before we get into the kinds of Adjectives, let’s take a step back to understand what Adjectives are.

kinds of adjectives

What is an Adjective?

An Adjective adds a description to the noun (adjective means added to). An adjective can describe a person, animal, place, thing or tell the number or quantity of the noun. An adjective can be a single word (like exciting, amusing) or a compound(hard-working, self-centered) that actually modifies the noun.

In the sentence: “My Grandparents have a beautiful and ancient home in Assam”; the adjectives beautiful and ancient are describing the noun, home.

Are Adjectives only of quality and quantity or are there more kinds too? Did you know that in the sentence, “My Grandparents have a beautiful and ancient home in Assam”, My is an adjective too!? Now that we understand what Adjectives are, let’s get into the kinds of Adjectives that adds meaning to the massive world of nouns and pronouns:

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Kinds of Adjectives: Adding Life to Our Sentences

Descriptive Adjectives

One of the commonly used and known kinds of Adjectives, Descriptive Adjectives show the quality or kind of the noun. Think of Descriptive Adjectives as words that answer the question- Of which kind? For example,

  • The big fat cat rolled over in the mud. (What kind of cat? -The big fat kind.)
  • Nashik is a small city.
  • Indian tea is exported all over the world. (When a proper noun is used as a descriptive adjective. More examples are Italian wines, English mannerism.)

Some more examples of descriptive Adjectives are: Precious, adorable, ugly, silly, greedy, kind, jubilant, sly, practical, questionable, quirky, mellow, mediocre.

Quantitative Adjectives/ Adjective of Number

This kind of Adjective is used to show how much of the noun is meant. These adjectives simple answer the question- How much? For example,

    • Mila did some exercise.
    • Our dog Bruno has no sense of privacy.
    • The whole mountain was covered with snow.
    • Our school did not have enough supplies.
    • Mumbai has sufficient infrastructure.
    • Planet Mars has two moons.
    • More than half of our planet is covered with water.
    • Many countries in the world are indeed tax-free.

More quantitative adjectives example are: Each, every, either, neither, some, no, enough any, all, many, few, certain, several, one, two, three(any cardinal number), first, second, third(any ordinal number). If you notice, these quantitative adjectives can be further divided into-

  • Definitive: These show an exact number like one, two, three, first, second and such.
  • Indefinitive: These, although show the quantity, are rather not exact. For example, all, no, few, some and such. Notice that even though we get the idea of the quantity from this adjective, it’s not definite, not exact.
  • Distributive: Now these adjectives show a specific number out of a group. For example, each, every, every, either, neither and such.

Possessive Adjectives

Although commonly used, these are the lesser known adjectives. Possessive Adjectives show possession or ownership over the noun. In this case, a pronoun is describing or modifying the noun. That makes the pronoun an adjective. Let’s see a few examples to see what we mean:

  • My cat is a fur ball.
  • His timing in comedy is legendary.
  • Our babysitter plays the cello.

These possessive adjectives can’t be used without a noun. You can say, “That’s my cycle.” But you can’t say, “That’s my.” The possessive adjective my shows the ownership of the noun cycle. So, a Possessive Adjective answers the question of Whose? Some more examples of Possessive Adjectives: my, our, their, his, her, your, mine, ours, theirs, yours, hers, his.

Demonstrative Adjectives

As the name suggests, demonstrative adjectives demonstrate the noun. They simply answer the question: Which?  Let’s see some examples because what explains better:

  • This duck wants to sing.
  • Such rains bring the time of harvest.
  • That comic book has stolen many hearts of sci-fans all over the world.

More examples of Demonstrative Adjectives: This, that (for singular nouns), these, those (for plural nouns), such.

Learn When and Where to use Adverbs.

Interrogative Adjectives

Here’s a quick exercise: “Whose book is this?” What do you think is the adjective in that sentence? The answer lies in the concept of Interrogative Adjectives. Let’s explain: The words that ask a question about the noun are called Interrogative Adjectives. These questions could be asking a general or comparative question. For example,

  • Which city is the finance capital of India?
  • Whose painting is this?
  • What breed is your dog?

In the above examples, notice how the words which, whose and what ask something about the noun. Please note that which is asked in a position of choice or selection, while what is used in a more general manner.

It is also notable that not all the times these words are modifying or giving meaning to a noun/pronoun. For example, in the sentence “What are you doing?”, What is neither giving meaning nor modifying the pronoun, you. In this case, What is actually an interrogative pronoun but don’t bother about understanding that now. We got it covered for you in the chapter of Pronouns.

Another usage of words like what is also done for exclamation. Like, “What a ship!” In this, What is used as an exclamation, meaning it is used to convey an emotion of excitement for the noun. That emotion in itself is giving meaning to the noun. For example, in the aforementioned sentence, “What a ship!”, the word what shows amusement.

If we had to put it in another way, we could have used “ The ship is amazing.” The same emotion is being depicted in the exclamation, “What a ship!”. Now that we have understood the Kinds of Adjectives that give life to our sentences, next up we will go on to understand the formation of Adjectives.

Learn more about 5 Different Kind of Prepositions here.

Solved Question for You

Q: Choose the correct adjective formed from the noun: Stick

  1. Stiff
  2. Sticky
  3. Sticking
  4. Stuck

Ans: STICK – ‘Stick’ is a noun which means ‘a thin piece of wood or other material’. For example, ‘She had a wooden stick at her home.’ ‘Stick’ is also a verb, which means ‘push into/paste’ For example, ‘He stuck the needle into his fingers’.

  • Option A – ‘Stiff’ is an adjective which means ‘firm and hard’. However, ‘stiff’ is not a noun form of ‘stick’. Hence, A is incorrect.
  • Option C – ‘Sticking’ is the participle form of the verb ‘stick.’ As we need the adjective form of ‘stick’ we can’t used ‘sticking’ here. Hence, option C is incorrect.
  • Option D – ‘Stuck’ is the past form of the verb ‘stick’. We need an adjective and not a verb. Hence, option D is incorrect.
  • Option B – ‘Sticky’ is the adjective form of ‘stick’. For example, ‘The floor is still sticky.’ Hence, option B is the correct answer.
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susil
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susil

Great information. I love it.

asmaa
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asmaa

I don t understand how mine, ours, theirs, yours, hers, his.can be possessive adjectives?

Abida Janjua
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Abida Janjua

They are possessive pronouns since they don’t need nouns to qualify, they rather replace them.

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