Types of Adjectives

Adjectives of Quality: These are also known as descriptive adjectives and show the quality or kind of a person or a thing. Words like clever, lazy, intelligent, large, heavy, round, etc. describe the kind or quality and therefore add to the meaning of the noun.

Note: Students are often confused to differentiate between nouns and adjectives. Remember when the word signifies the name of the quality it is noun and when it is used to give an idea about the noun it is an adjective. For example – cleverness is the name of a quality. Its adjective is clever. In sentence they can be used as – He is a clever boy. His cleverness will land him in trouble someday.

Illustration II (b)

Illustration II (b)

Common and Proper Adjectives: Common adjectives are derived from common noun class, for example – dark from darkness, wild from wilderness, bold from boldness, etc. Proper adjectives are derived from proper noun class, for example – French wines, Indian Cotton, Cuban cigars.

Adjectives of Quantity: Words used to describe the quantity of any given noun in a clause or sentence. For example – many, some, few, eight, sixth.
The quantity may be expressed in a clause in the following way:
How much? – examples are: some, any, little, sufficient.
How many? –examples are: Five, few, most, some [Note some can be used to describe how much as well as how many]

Numeral Adjectives: Numeral adjectives are adjectives of quantity that describe the number of the quantity mentioned. [How many?]
Numeral adjectives are of three kinds:

–    Definite Numeral Adjectives: Describe the exact numeral. For example – six bags, three passengers, fourth row, eighth standard. [Numbers like six, three are called Cardinals and positions like third, eighth are called Ordinals.

–    Indefinite Numeral Adjectives: These do not denote an exact number. For example – All, many, few, some.

–    Distributive Numeral Adjectives: These refer to each of the mentioned noun in the clause or sentence. For example – each student, every boy, either book, neither problem.

Demonstrative Adjectives: Demonstratives adjectives are used to point out a particular noun or nouns. They answer the question which in the clause or sentence. For example – This boy, that car, these articles, such episodes, former teacher, latter essay. They are also called as determiners.

Without nouns these function as demonstrative pronouns. For example – This is great. (This as demonstrative pronoun); This book is great. (This used as demonstrative adjective).

Note: Ordinals sometimes point out the noun rather than denote a quantity. Therefore, they can function as demonstrative adjectives. For example – In 20th Century, technology has changed our lives. In this sentence 20th does not mean any quantity but it points out the century we talk about.

Interrogative Adjectives: These are adjectives that modify noun or pronoun and indicate a question about them. For example – Which tree fell last night? What book did he refer to?

Possessive Adjectives: words that modify the nouns by showing their ownership or possession are the possessive adjectives. For example – My cap, His shirt, Our company. Possessive adjectives are also called as Pronominal Adjectives and therefore are placed before the nouns.


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