RULES of ADJECTIVES

Use Adjectives

There are some adjectives that denote absolute positions and of which comparative and superlative degrees remain the same.

Some of these words are complete, perfect, excellent, chief, ulterior, ideal, major, superior, junior, posterior, etc.

Examples

  • Incorrect – Let’s discuss the most major problem first.
  • Correct – Let’s discuss the major problem first.
  • Incorrect – Success is the chiefest motive of my life.
  • Correct – Success is the chief motive of my life.

There are some adjectives which use ‘to’ instead of ‘than‘ while making comparisons. These adjectives end in “-ior”: superior, inferior, ulterior, exterior, posterior, junior, etc.

Examples

  • Incorrect – He is junior than you.
  • Correct –  He is junior to you.  

If two adjectives are separated by ‘and ‘, then they must be in same degree.

Example: Shilpa is the most progressive and the wisest member of the union.

Possessive adjectives are different from possessive pronouns.

Example: This is my (possessive adjective) notebook and this is yours (possessive pronoun).

Its and their are possessive adjectives.

Examples

  1. Its appearance is beautiful.
  2. Their dog is barking.

It’s, they’re and there are not possessive adjectives. It’s is a contraction of it is or it has; they’re is a contraction of they are; there is an adverb of place.

Examples

  1. It’s not your camera → It is not your camera.
  2. They’re my enemies → They are my enemies.

Kindly go there. (adverb)

When two qualities of the same person or thing are compared, the comparative in “-er” form is not used. Instead ‘more’ is used for this purpose.

  • Incorrect – She is braver than intelligent.
  • Correct – She is more brave than intelligent.  

✦ Articles (a, an, the) are words that combine with a noun. Articles are actually adjectives because they describe the nouns that they precede.

Example

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • The Himalayas cover the northern part of India.

✦ Sometimes, a word that is normally used as a noun can function as an adjective, depending on its usage.

Example

The history teacher asked us to work on a project.

(History is a noun, but in the sentence, it modifies teacher.)

✦ Similarly, some words that are normally adjectives can function as nouns.

Example – Ritika is associated with an organisation that works for the poor. (Poor is usually used as an adjective, but here it functions as a noun with the article ‘the’ preceding it)

Therefore, note that the terms “adjective” and “noun” are not only about a word’s form but also about its function.

Order of Adjectives

We often use multiple adjectives to describe/ modify the same noun or pronoun. Each of these adjectives works independently to modify the same word.

To avoid inappropriate sounding sentences when we use more than one adjective, they are required to be put in a specific order according to the type of description they provide.

  1. Determiner – An article (a, an, the), a number or amount,
    • possessive adjective (my, his, her, its, your, our, their),
    • Demonstrative (this, that, these, those).
  2. Opinion – good, bad, strange, lovely
  3. Size – big, small, tiny, huge
  4. Shape – curved, straight, round, square
  5. Quality – wet, dry, clean, sad, happy
  6. Age – old, young, new, ancient
  7. Color – red, yellowish, transparent, blue
  8. Pattern – checked, striped, plaid, flowered
  9. Origin – American, British, eastern, western
  10. Material – wooden, plastic, steel, cloth
  11. Type – human, chemical, domestic, electronic, money (problems), etc.
  12. Purpose – sleeping, shopping, work, gardening

Consider the following examples

  • A new cloth bag. (Article + age + material)
  • A Canadian IT company. (Article + origin + type)
  • Three small square brown plates. (Number + size + shape + colour)

Now, that you have read the Adjectives as Part of Speech and also gained some other parts of speech, continue to read more about the following important articles on Nouns & others.

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