What are Adjectives? Learn All About These Descriptive Words Here

What are Adjectives
Adjectives are words that describe nouns. Read on to know more about them...
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Adjectives are significant factors in imparting more meaning and beauty to a sentence. Being one of the eight parts of speech, adjectives are widely used in English literature, as an integral component of sentences. Stated simply, adjectives define some feature of a noun. Adjectives explain or indicate one or more attributes of a person, place, or a thing. They can either describe a noun or qualify/modify it.
Types of Adjectives
Depending on usage, there are many types of adjectives, which have been discussed here with the help of examples.
Descriptive Adjectives
As the name suggests, these signify an attribute of a person, place, or thing. These types of adjectives are widely classified based on numerous parameters, like color, size, sound, taste, touch, shape, time, personality and age. For example, color - blue, green, red; size - big, large, thin; taste - juicy, sour, sweet; personality - happy, sad, angry; age-related - old, young, fresh, new., etc.
Predicate Adjectives
It is a bit tricky to understand predicative adjectives, but they are just descriptive adverbs used in a slightly different manner. Predicative adjectives modify the subject in a sentence, and a linking verb is used to do so. For example, "the flowers are red". In this example, 'the flowers' is the subject and 'red' is the predicative adjective connected by the linking verb 'are'. If 'red' had preceded 'flowers', it would have been termed a descriptive adjective, instead of predicative.
Predicative adjectives allow us to make a sentence without describing the described noun in any other way. For example, if a sentence had begun with the phrase 'the red flowers', with 'red' as a descriptive adjective, the condition of the flowers being red would have been simply assumed, and the sentence would have needed (at least) a verb. Instead, the sentence 'the flowers are red' conveys the very meaning we want to convey, and allows us to complete a grammatically correct sentence.
Possessive Adjectives
Possessive adjectives indicate, as the name suggests, possession. Some examples of possessive adjectives include 'my', 'her', or 'his'. For instance, in the sentence, 'Don't dare take away my books from the room', the word 'my' is a possessive adjective referring to the speaker of the sentence.
Demonstrative Adjectives
To understand demonstrative adjectives, let's consider few examples.
This building needs to be repaired.
I'm selling that book.
Please give me those clothes.
Indefinite Adjectives
Just like demonstrative adjectives are meant to describe specific things, indefinite adjectives are formed from indefinite pronouns and they don't denote any exact figure. For example, 'Several people died in the Mumbai bomb blast recently'. In this sentence, the word, 'several', placed before the noun 'people' doesn't indicate the exact number of people killed in the blasts, but describes the amount of the deaths. Hence, 'several' is a indefinite adjective in this example.
Adjectives of Comparison
The comparative and superlative forms of an adjective, when used in a sentence, denote adjectives of comparison. For example, Merry is older than Mary. These are simply the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective in question, which in this case is 'old', a descriptive adjective.
Learning grammar is fun and easier, if you start reading books and understanding how words are actually used in sentences.
Opposite adjectives with sweet and sour
Old woman and young girl
Opposite adjective sad happy
Bespectacled Old Bookworm sat on a pile of books