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Adjectives in Standard English

Adjectives in Standard English

In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which, is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified. They are one of the traditional eight parts of speech, although linguists today distinguish adjectives from words such as determiners.


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Christa Penning

Christa Penning

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A countable noun is one that can be expressed in plural form, usually with an "s." For example, "cat--cats," "season--seasons," "student--students."

An uncountable noun is one that usually cannot be expressed in a plural form. For example, "milk," "water," "air," "money," "food." Usually, you can't say, "He had many moneys."

Most of the time, this doesn't matter with adjectives. For example, you can say, "The cat was gray" or "The air was gray." However, the difference between a countable and uncountable noun does matter with certain adjectives.

Article: Welcome to the Purdue OWL
Source: Owl

It would be folly, of course, to run more than two or three (at the most) adjectives together. Furthermore, when adjectives belong to the same class, they become what we call coordinated adjectives, and you will want to put a comma between them: the inexpensive, comfortable shoes.

Article: Order of Adjectives in a ...
Source: www.english-for-students....

Limiting adjectives do as their name suggests, they limit the noun being described. There are nine types of limiting adjectives.The Nine Types of Limiting Adjectives:

Definite & Indefinite Articles
Possessive Adjectives
Demonstrative Adjectives
Indefinite Adjectives
Interrogative Adjectives
Cardinal Adjectives
Ordinal Adjectives
Proper Adjectives
Nouns used as Adjectives

Article: 1.4a - Adjectives
Source: University of Calgary

Adjectives which appear directly beside the noun, most commonly before, are called attributive, because they attribute a quality to the noun they modify. More than one adjective can modify the same noun. Adjectives which appear after a linking verb are called predicative, because they form part of the predicate. They modify the subject of the sentence or clause (a clause is a portion of a sentence which contains a subject and a predicate).

Article: 1.4a - Adjectives
Source: Home | University of Calg...

An adjective can be modified by an adverb, or by a phrase or clause functioning as an adverb.

Article: What Is An Adjective?
Source: University of Ottawa

It is sometimes said that the adjective is the enemy of the noun. This is because, very often, if we use the precise noun we don't need an adjective. For example, instead of saying "a large, impressive house" (2 adjectives + 1 noun) we could simply say "a mansion" (1 noun).

Article: Adjectives

Single-syllable adjectives use -er and -est endings to designate comparative and superlative forms. Adjectives of two or more syllables use more and most for comparative and superlative forms. Two-syllable adjectives ending in -y may also use the -er / -est endings to designate comparative and superlative.

Source: Towson University -

Unlike Adverbs, which often seem capable of popping up almost anywhere in a sentence, adjectives nearly always appear immediately before the noun or noun phrase that they modify. Sometimes they appear in a string of adjectives, and when they do, they appear in a set order according to category. When indefinite pronouns — such as something, someone, anybody — are modified by an adjective, the adjective comes after the pronoun:

Article: Adjectives
Source: Capital Community College...

If a group of words containing a subject and verb acts as an adjective, it is called an Adjective Clause. If an adjective clause is stripped of its subject and verb, the resulting modifier becomes an Adjective Phrase

Article: Adjectives
Source: Capital Community College...

When they describe nouns or pronouns, adjectives typically answer the following questions: What kind? Which one? How many?

Source: Towson University -