Part of Speech (POS)
Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns. They answer questions like what kind, how many, and which one. Adjectives are describing words that modify nouns.
Example of modifying a noun:
● Tall woman
● tall = adjective
● woman = noun
● Smart boy
● smart = adjective
● boy = noun
Adjectives can be divided into several classes.
● Adjectives of quality
● Adjectives of quantity
● Adjectives of number
● Demonstrative adjectives
● Interrogative adjectives
1. Adjectives of quality refer to a kind or quality of a person or thing. They answer the question ‘of what kind’?
2. Adjectives of quantity answer the question ‘how much’? Examples are: some, any, much, little etc.
3. Adjectives of number answer the question ‘how many’? Examples are: many, one, two, first etc.
4. Demonstrative adjectives answer the question ‘which’? Examples are: this, that, these, those,etc.
5. Interrogative adjectives are used in interrogative sentences to modify nouns found in the question. Example: what, which.
6. Possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession.
Possessive adjectives also function as possessive pronouns.
7. Comparative adjectives are used to compare differences between the two objects they modify (larger, smaller, faster, higher). They are used in sentences where two nouns are compared, in this pattern: Noun (subject) + verb + comparative adjective + than + noun (object).
● My car is larger then hers
● My hair is longer than his
● Your dress is shorter than mine
8. Superlative adjectives are used to describe an object which is at the upper or lower limit of a quality (the tallest, the smallest, the fastest, the highest). They are used in sentences where a subject is compared to a group of objects.
Noun (subject) + verb + the + superlative adjective + noun (object).
Adjective | comparative | superlative
● tall | taller | tallest
● big | bigger | biggest
Add -er for the comparative and -est for the superlative.
9. Coordinate adjectives are adjectives that appear in sequence with one another to modify the same noun. For example, the adjectives in the phrases bright, sunny day and dark and stormy night are coordinate adjectives.
To test whether adjectives are coordinate, you can replace comma(s) with and. If the sentence makes sense with that change, and if you can rearrange the adjectives in any order without compromising sense, they pass the test.
● Bright, sunny day
● Gloomy, cloudy day
● Perilous, aberrant lifestyle
10. Non-coordinate adjectives should not be separated through comma as they are not equal. One adjective takes precedence over the other non-coordinate adjective.
● She wore a nice red
● I have two old
● I have two pair of tennis shoes
11. Articles: There are only three articles in the English language: a, an and the. Articles are actually adjectives because they describe the nouns that they precede.
● A — A singular, general item.
● An — A singular, general item. Use this before
words that start with a vowel.
● The — A singular or plural, specific item
Use ‘the’ to define something as specific:
This is (the) park.
(This is a previously specified park known to the audience).
Use ‘a’ or ‘an’ to define something as unspecific
This is a park.
(This is a previously unspecified park).
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