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English Grammar


Parts of Speech: Adjectives

Adjective: a word that describes or modifies nouns and pronouns.

  1. Types of adjectives

    • Demonstrative adjectives: the words this, that, these, and those, which specify nouns. Demonstrative adjectives are similar to demonstrative pronouns, but indicate particular nouns rather than replace them.

      This chair is more comfortable than that chair.

    • Indefinite adjectives: adjectives that refer to unspecified quantities. Similar to indefinite pronouns, but used in relation to particular nouns.

      Most people would rather have a few close friends than many shallow acquaintances.

    • Interrogative adjectives: adjectives that initiate questions by requesting specification.

      Which car do you want to take?

      What movie did you see?

    • Possessive adjectives: adjectives that indicate ownership or possession.

      His t-shirt was stained with blood.

      —Julianne was frustrated; no one was sympathetic to her idea.

  2. Degrees of adjectives: in comparing nouns, adjectives change by degree depending on the number of objects being compared.

    • Positive degree: an adjective modifying a single object.


    • Comparative degree: an adjective implying a comparison between two objects.


    • Superlative degree: an adjective implying a comparison among three or more objects.


  3. Participle: an adjective formed from a verb.

    • Present participle: describes action in the present; made by adding –ing to a verb and using it as an adjective.

      —The running man was slower than the galloping horse.

    • Past participle: describes action in the past; takes an irregular form.

      Grown men should know better than to throw temper tantrums.