English Adjectives: A Complete Grammar Guide

Learn useful grammar rules in relation to English adjectives with examples.

What Is an Adjective?

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun such as person, place, thing or idea.

This part of speech is common that people use it almost automatically, both in speech and in writing.

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English Adjectives can be identified by their endings. Common adjective endings are as follows:

  • -able/-ible: credible, achievable, gullible, capable, illegible, sensible, remarkable, horrible
  • -al: annual, functional, individual, logical, essential
  • -ful: awful, cheerful, doubtful, faithful, forceful
  • -ic: terrific, cubic, manic, rustic
  • -ive: intensive, adaptive, attractive, dismissive, inventive, persuasive
  • -less: doubtless, endless, fearless, helpless, homeless, breathless, careless, groundless, restless
  • -ous: adventurous, famous, generous, courageous, dangerous, tremendous, fabulous

Though, a large number of adjectives are different…

  • hot
  • dark
  • smart
  • cool
  • common
  • complete
  • large
  • deep
  • thin
  • far
  • atractive
  • great
  • doutful
  • cold
  • crowded
  • careless
  • noisy        
  • quiet
  • real
  • pink
  • silent
  • simple
  • strange
  • generous
  • wide
  • young

Types of English Adjectives

In general, two main types of adjectives are:

  • Descriptive adjectives describe quality of the noun.
  • While, Limiting adjectives limit the noun being described.

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Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used to show ownership or possession.

Subject pronouns + verb

Possessive adjectives + (adjectives) + noun

Here is a list of subject pronouns and their possessive adjectives:

  • I – my
  • You – your
  • He – his
  • She – her
  • It – its
  • We – our
  • They – their

Possessive Adjectives

Demonstrative Adjectives

In English grammar, this, that, these, and those are demonstrative adjectives.

For example:

  • This school is infinitely better than the last one I went to.
  • I think that book is mine.
  • These plants are particularly useful for brightening up shady areas.
  • Let me give you a hand with those bags.

Demonstrative Adjectives

Order of Adjectives

Learn rules and examples for order of adjectives.

In general, the adjective order in English is:

  • Determiner
  • Observation (Opinion)
  • Size and Shape
  • Age
  • Color
  • Origin
  • Material
  • Qualifier (Purpose)

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Comparison of Adjectives

Three forms of comparison of adjectives in English

Positive: it is an ordinary form of adjectives

Comparative: shows when two persons or objects being compared

Superlative: indicates that the quality or quantity is at its highest or is most intense

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Comparatives

Comparatives are used to compare and clarify the difference between two nouns. In other words, comparatives are used when two persons or objects being compared.

Learn Comparative Adjectives in English.

Comparatives

Superlatives

When an adjective compares three or more things, the superlative form of the adjective is used. Superlatives indicate that the quality or quantity is at its highest or is most intense.

Learn Superlative Adjectives in English.

Superlatives

Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives are adjectives that are made up of two or more words usually with hyphens (-) between them.

Generally, compound adjectives can be formed as follows:

  • Adjective + Past participle
  • Adverb + Past Participle
  • Noun + Past Participle
  • Noun + Present Participle
  • Adjective + Present Participle
  • Adverb + Present Participle
  • Noun + Adjective
  • Adjective + Noun
  • Noun + Noun
  • Adjective + Adjective

Compound Adjectives

Adjectives Ending in -ED and -ING

Some adjectives have the characteristic of ending in -ed and -ing.

Learn the difference between Adjectives Ending in -ED and -ING with useful rules and examples.

List of Adjectives Ending in -ED and -ING

  • Amazing – Amazed
  • Amusing – Amused
  • Annoying – Annoyed
  • Boring – Bored
  • Challenging – Challenged
  • Charming – Charmed
  • Confusing – Confused
  • Convincing – Convinced
  • Depressing – Depressed
  • Disappointing – Disappointed
  • Disgusting – Disgusted
  • Disturbing – Disturbed
  • Embarrassing – Embarrassed
  • Entertaining – Entertained
  • Exciting – Excited
  • Exhausting – Exhausted
  • Depressing – Depressed
  • Disappointing – Disappointed
  • Fascinating – Fascinated
  • Frightening – Frightened
  • Frustrating – Frustrated
  • Inspiring – Inspired
  • Interesting – Interested
  • Pleasing – Pleased
  • Relaxing – Relaxed
  • Relieving – Relieved
  • Satisfying – Satisfied
  • Shocking – Shocked
  • Surprising – Surprised
  • Terrifying – Terrified
  • Threatening – Threatened
  • Thrilling – Thrilled
  • Tiring – Tired
  • Touching – Touched
  • Worrying – Worried

Adjectives Ending in -ED and -ING

Adjective Suffixes

Learn Common Adjective Suffixes in English.

Common Adjective Suffixes in English

  • -al, -ial, -ical
  • -able, -ible
  • -an, -ian
  • -ary
  • -full
  • -ic
  • -ive
  • -ish
  • -less
  • -like
  • -y
  • -ous, -ose
  • -ant, -ent
  • -ile

Adjective Suffixes

 

 

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