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ADJECTIVE

FUNCTIONS OF ADJECTIVES

  1. Adjectives describe the aspects of nouns. When an adjective is describing a noun, we say its “modifying” it. Adjectives can:

Describe feelings or qualities,

EXAMPLES

  • He is a lonely man.
  • They are honest.
  1. Give nationality or origin,

EXAMPLES

  • I heard a Kannada song.
  • This clock is Indian.
  • Our home is Indian.
  1. Tell more about a thing’s characteristics,

EXAMPLES

  • That is a flashy car.
  • The knife is sharp.
  1. Tell us about age,

EXAMPLES

  • He’s a young man.
  • My coat is old.
  1. Tell us about size and measurement,

EXAMPLES

  • Jame is a tall man.
  • This film is long.
  1. Tell us about colour,

EXAMPLES

  • Ram wore a redshirt.
  • The sunset was crimson.
  1. Tell us what something is created of,

EXAMPLES

  • The table is wooden.
  • She wore a cotton dress.
  1. Tell us about shape,

EXAMPLES

  • I sat at a round table.
  • The envelope is square.
  1. Express a judgment or a worth.

EXAMPLES

  • That was an amazing film.
  • Grammar is complicated.
  1. Adjectives in English are invariable. They do not change their form counting on the gender or number of the noun.

EXAMPLES

  • This is a very awful situation.
  • Those are some hot potatoes.
  1. To emphasize or strengthen the meaning of an adjective, use the adverbs very or reallybefore the adjective you would like to strengthen.

EXAMPLES

  • This is a very awful situation.
  • Those are some really hot potatoes.
  1. Adjectives in English usually appear before the noun that they modify.

EXAMPLES

  • The beautiful girl ignored me.
  • The fast red car drove away.
  1. Adjectives may also appear after being and sensing verbs like to beto seemto look & to taste.

EXAMPLES

  • Assam is a gorgeous place.
  • I don’t think she seems nice in any respect.
  • You look tired.
  • This meat tastes funny.

SOME EXCEPTIONS

  1. Adjectives appear after the noun in some fixed expressions.

EXAMPLES

  • Rani Karnavati is visiting Garhwal today.
  • The President-elect made a speech last night.
  • He received a court-martial the subsequent week.
  1. The adjectives involvedpresent & concerned can appear either before or after the noun that they modify, but with a distinct meaning depending on the location.

EXAMPLES

Adjective placed after the nounMeaningAdjective placed before the nounMeaning
I want to see the people involved.I want to see the people who have something to do with this matter.It was an involved discussion.The discussion was detailed & complex.
Here is a list of the people present at the meeting.Here is a list of the people who were at the meeting.The present situation is not sustainable.The current situation is not sustainable.
I need to see the man concerned by this accusation.I need to see the man who has been accused.concerned father came to see me today.A worried father came to see me today.

ORDERING MULTIPLE ADJECTIVES

When many adjectives are used together, the order depends on the function of the adjective. The same old order is:

Quantity, Value/opinion, Size, Temperature, Age, Shape, Colour, Origin, Material

What the adjective expressesExamples
Quantityfour, ten, a few, several
Value/Opiniondelicious, charming, beautiful
Sizetall, tiny, huge
Temperaturehot, cold
Ageold, young, new, 14-year-old
Shapesquare, round
Colourred, purple, green
OriginIndian, American, Chinese
Materialglass, silver, wooden

EXAMPLES

  • They have a stunning old red post-box.
  • The playroom has six small round plastic tables.
  • I bought some charming silver ornaments at D-mart.
  • She is selling her flashy 3-year-old Indian car.
  • It was a beautifully cold day.

THE COMPARATIVE AND THE SUPERLATIVE

COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVES

Comparative adjectives are used to compare differences between the two objects they modify (larger, smaller, faster, higher). They’re utilized in sentences where two nouns are compared, during this pattern:

Noun (subject) + verb + comparative adjective + than + noun (object).

The second item of comparison may be omitted if it’s clear from the context (final example below).

EXAMPLES

  • My home is larger than hers.
  • This box is smaller than the one I lost.
  • Your dog runs faster than Amit’s dog.
  • The rock flew higher than the roof.
  • Arjun and Amit are both my friends, but I favour Amit better. (“than Arjun” is understood)

SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES

Superlative adjectives are accustomed to describe an object which is at the upper or lower limit of quality (the tallest, the smallest, the fastest, the highest). They’re utilized in sentences where a subject matter is compared to a gaggle of objects.

Noun (subject) + verb + the + superlative adjective + noun (object).

The group that’s being compared may be omitted if it’s clear from the context (final example below).

EXAMPLES

  • My house is the largest one in our neighbourhood.
  • This is the smallest golden box I’ve ever seen.
  • Your dog ran the fastest of any dog within the race.
  • We all threw our rocks at the identical time. My rock flew the highest. (“of all the rocks” is understood)

FORMING REGULAR COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES

Forming comparatives and superlatives is easy. The form depends on the number of syllables within the original adjective.

ONE SYLLABLE ADJECTIVES

Add -er for the comparative and -est for the superlative. If the adjective contains a consonant + single vowel + consonant spelling, the ultimate consonant must be doubled before adding the ending.

AdjectiveComparativeSuperlative
talltallertallest
fatfatterfattest
bigbiggerbiggest
sadsaddersaddest
TWO SYLLABLES

Adjectives with two syllables can form the comparative either by adding -er or by preceding the adjective with more. These adjectives form the superlative either by adding -est or by preceding the adjective with most. In many cases, both forms are used, although one userwill be more common than the other. If you’re unsure whether a two-syllable adjective can take a comparative or superlative ending, play it safe and use more and most instead. For adjectives ending in y, change the y to an I before adding the ending.

AdjectiveComparativeSuperlative
happyhappierhappiest
simplesimplersimplest
busybusierbusiest
tiltedmore tiltedmost tilted
tangledmore tangledmost tangled
THREE OR MORE SYLLABLES

Adjectives with three or more syllables form the comparative by putting morebefore of the adjective, and also the superlative by putting mostbefore.

AdjectiveComparativeSuperlative
importantmore importantmost important
expensivemore expensivemost expensive

IRREGULAR COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES

These quite common adjectives have completely irregular comparative and superlative forms.

AdjectiveComparativeSuperlative
goodbetterbest
badworseworst
littlelessleast
muchmoremost
farfurther / fartherfurthest / farthest

EXAMPLES

  • Today is the worst day I’ve had in a very long time.
  • You play tennis better than I do.
  • This is the least expensive sweater present in the store.
  • This sweater is less expensive than that one.
  • I ran pretty far yesterday, but I ran even farther today.

COMPARING ATTRIBUTES

When comparing the attributes of two things, we use a standard set of constructions.

WHEN ATTRIBUTES ARE EQUAL

Comparing equal attributes is simple. To compare the attributes of two things that are equal, we use the pattern:

as + adjective describing the attribute + as

EXAMPLES

  • Sourabh is as tall as his brother.
  • I am as hungry as you’re.
  • Ramesh is as nice as Jane.
WHEN ATTRIBUTES ARE NOT EQUAL

When the two attributes don’t seem to be equal, there are three constructions with equivalent meanings.

Either use the pattern:

not as + adjective describing the attribute + as

Or use the pattern:

less + adjective describing the attribute + than This construction is more frequent with some adjectives than with others.

Or use the pattern:

comparative adjective + than This construction may require changing the order of the phrase or using the opposing adjective.

EXAMPLES

  • Satpura Range is not as high as Mount Everest.
  • Satpura Range is less high than Mount Everest.
  • Satpura Range is lower than Mount Everest.
  • Mount Everest is higher thanKanchenjunga.
  • Delhi is not as sunny asTamil Nadu.
  • Mumbai is less sunny than Tamil Nadu.
  • Tamil Nadu is sunnier thanDelhi.
  • Coorg is cloudier thanChennai.

ADJECTIVES COMPARING EQUAL QUANTITIES

To compare two equal things, we use the pattern:

as + adjective indicating quantity + (noun) + as

The quantity of adjectives you utilize depends if the noun within the comparison is countable or uncountable.

COUNTABLE NOUNS

Use as many and as few with countable nouns. Note that the noun could also be omitted when it’s understood from the context, as within the last example below.

EXAMPLES

  • They have as many children as we do.
  • We have as many customers as they do.
  • Rohit has a few books likeSamarth.
  • There are a few houses in his village as in mine.
  • You know as many people as I do.
  • I have visited the States as many times as he has.
  • I have three brothers. That’s as many as you’ve got. (“brothers” is understood)
UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Use as much or as little with uncountable nouns. Note that the noun may be omitted when it’s understood from the context, as within the last example below.

EXAMPLES

  • Mohan eats as much food asRohit.
  • Rohit has as little patience as Sanjay.
  • You’ve heard as much news as I have.
  • He’s had as much success as his brother has.
  • They’ve got as little water as we’ve.
  • I’m not hungry. I’ve had as much as I want. (“food” is understood)

ADJECTIVES COMPARING UNEQUAL QUANTITIES

To compare two unequal things, we use the pattern:

adjective indicating quantity + (noun) + then

The quantity of adjectives you use depends if the noun within the comparison is countable or uncountable.

COUNTABLE NOUNS

Use more and fewer with countable nouns. Note that the noun may be omitted when it is understood from the context, as in the last example below.

EXAMPLES

  • They have more children than we do.
  • We have more customers than they do.
  • Rohit has fewer books thanSamarth.
  • There are fewer houses in his village than in mine.
  • You know more people than I do.
  • I have visited the States more times than he has.
  • I have three brothers. That’s quite more than you’ve got. (“brothers” is understood)
UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Use more or less with uncountable nouns. Note that the noun may be omitted when it’s understood from the context, as within the last example below.

EXAMPLES

  • Mohan eats more food thanRohit.
  • Rohit has less patience than Sanjay.
  • You’ve heard more news than I have.
  • He’s had more success than his brother has.
  • They’ve got less water than we have.
  • I’m not hungry at all. I’ve had more than I want. (“food” is understood)

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