An Adjective is a word that adds to the meaning of a noun.
A good boy,
A big Fish,
A burning train,
A broken chair,
Kinds of Adjectives
- Descriptive Adjectives.
- Adjectives of Quantity, Degree, Number or Order.
- Possessive Adjectives.
- Demonstrative Adjectives.
- Distributive Adjectives.
- Interrogative Adjectives.
- Emphasizing Adjectives
1 Descriptive adjectives. They show the quality of a thing or person.
A large house,
A dishonest man.
These adjectives describe the shape, size, colour, taste. quality etc. of nouns.
(a) Descriptive adjectives formed from proper nouns are often called proper adjective.
(b) Nouns used as adjectives.
A college boy,
A radio station,
(c ) Present participles used as adjective.
A burning train,
A dancing girl,
A waiting room.
(d) Past participles used as Adjectives.
A broken bone,
The lost child,
An educated girl.
(e) Adverbs used as adjectives.
(f) Compound phrases as Adjectives.
2. Adjectives of Quantity, Degree, Number, or Order.
(i) Quantity and Degree: some, more, several, a few, a little, many, much, a lot of, all.
Several cups of coffee,
A few trees,
A little patience,
A lot of noise.
(ii) Cardinal Numbers: one, two, fifty.
A hundred students,
(iii) Ordinals: first, second, fiftieth, tenth etc.
Five hundredth customer.
3. Possessive Adjectives: my, your, his, her, its, their, our.
Our class teacher.
4. Demonstrative Adjectives: this, that, these, those, such.
Such a girl.
5. Distributive Adjectives: each, every, either, neither.
Either side of the road,
6. Interrogative Adjectives: what, which, whose, how much, how many.
What picture are you seeing today?
Which pen is yours?
How much money can you give me?
How many players are there in the field?
Whose house are you staying at?
7. Emphasizing adjectives: same, very, own.
It is the same song that we heard last night.
He is the very man the police have been looking for.
You must use your own towel.
8. Articles: a, an, the
Ali is a young man.
A cow is an animal.
The President is the head of the state.
ADJECTIVES: THEIR PLACE IN A SENTENCE.
(a) When used attributively, an adjective comes before a noun.
I want a sharp pencil.
Ali has strong shoulders.
A big river flows through the town.
(b) In some cases attributive adjectives are used after the nouns or pronouns they qualify.
Have you met the officer concerned?
I don’t believe in things unseen.
This is the earliest train available.
(c ) Adjectives as predicate (following the verb).
I feel hot.
He is lazy.
The elephant went mad.
The dog is faithful to its master.
(d) Adjectives used to complete the meaning of objects.
The magistrate found her guilty.
Your remarks made her angry.
His success made him proud.
(e) Some adjectives are not used attributively, but always predicatively.
1. She is very ill.
We cannot say
But there are exceptions: ill-luck, ill-will, ill-health, ill-humour, ill-temper, are all correct.
2. The boy is afraid.
We cannot say—
3. The baby is asleep on the bed.
4. The Youngman is alive.
Order in the use of Descriptive Adjectives.
The order of adjectives generally, is: adjectives of number-quality- size- shape- color- adjectives derived from proper names- nouns used as adjectives.
Adjectives that stand for more permanent qualities tend to come nearest the noun.
(a) Look at this sentence:
I met a poor old man.
[ Old age is more permanent than poverty. So the adjective old has been placed nearer the noun, man]
(b) Adjectives of number come before that of size.
She ate two big apples.
(c ) Ordinals i.e. first, second. come before the cardinal i.e. one, two, three etc.
The first two chapters.
Similarly we say,
The last three girls in the line.
(d) Adjectives of size come before adjectives of shape.
A big fat cat.
(e) Look at the following sentence showing the order of several different adjectives :
I have many small blue American postage stamps.
ADJECTIVES: THEIR FORMATION
(a) Words used as adjectives directly:
(b) Adjectives derived from adjectives:
(c ) Adjectives derived from nouns with suffixes:
(d) Adjectives from verbs with the suffixes.
(e) Adjectives from proper nouns:
DEGREES OF COMPARISONS.
There are three Degrees of Comparison.
- Positive Degree
- Comparative Degree
- Superlative Degree
1. Positive Degree:
Positive Degree is used to describe one person or thing.
Rahim was very strong.
Alice is a nice girl.
A big tree has fallen on the road.
This degree has been used here to describe the persons or things as they are. There is no comparison with any one or anything else.
But we can also use this degree to compare persons or things of the same quality.
The Alps are not as high as the Himalayas.
Rahima is as pretty as Mary.
Bangladesh is not as large as Mayanmar.
2. Comparative Degree:
Comparative Degree denotes a higher degree of quality than the positive. It is used to compare two or two sets of persons or things. Comparatives are followed by than.
Rahima is prettier than Mary.
The elephant is heavier than a camel.
Saqib is better player than Mosfiq.
Superlative degree denotes the highest degree of quality. It is used when more than two persons or things are compared. The superlative Degree is preceded by the definite article the.
Everest is the highest mountain peak in the world.
Ali is the most popular boy in the class.
This is the most beautiful story I have ever read.
Degrees of Comparison: Formation.
(a) Single-syllable adjectives and a few adjectives of two syllables form their comparative and superlative by adding –er and -est to the positive.
Positive---- Comparative---- Superlative
New Newer Newest
Great Greater Greatest
Humble Humbler Humblest
(b) In some one-syllable adjectives the last consonant is doubled and -er and -est added to form comparative and superlative degree.
Positive---- Comparative---- Superlative
Thin Thinner Thinnest
Hot Hotter Hottest
Sad Sadder Saddest
Fat Fatter Fattest
(c ) Adjectives which end in –y and in which –y follows a consonant , form their comparative and superlative degrees by changing –y into –i and adding –er and –est to the positive form.
Positive---- Comparative---- Superlative
Dry Drier Driest
Hungry Hungrier Hungriest
Hearty Heartier Heartiest.
(d) Some adjectives of two syllables and adjectives of more than two syllables take more and most with the positive degree to form comparative and superlative degrees.
Positive---- Comparative---- Superlative
Doubtful More doubtful Most doubtful
Foolish More foolish Most foolish
Splendid More splendid Most splendid
(e) Irregular Comparison:
Positive---- Comparative---- Superlative
Good Better Best
Bad Worse Worst
Little Less Least
(f) Some adjectives have only the positive and the superlative degree
Positive---- ---- Superlative
(g) Some adjectives have only the comparative and the superlative degrees.
Inner Inmost/ Innermost
Upper Upmost/ Uppermost
(h) Some adjectives do not normally form comparative and superlative degrees.
Examples: round, perfect, equal, dead, square, parallel, unique. eternal.
(i) Some adjectives ending in-or do not have a positive form. As comparative adjectives they are followed by to instead of than.
George is senior to me in rank.
My cycle is superior to yours.
Ali is junior to you in age.
(j) Use of most: Most sometimes does not refer to comparison.
We had a most enjoyable picnic.
Here most means extremely ,
e.g., a most enjoyable picnic =an extremely enjoyable picnic.
Note: We don’t use the definite article the in such sentences.
HOW TO USE DEGREES OF COMPARISON
(a) Positive degree of comparison between two persons or objects is expressed by using
as……..as in the affirmative and not so…..as in the negative.
Ali is as tall as his father.
Karim is as polite as his sister.
The bear is not so fast as tiger.
Driving a truck is not as easy as driving a car.
(b) Comparative Degree is expressed by using
comparative degree + than in the affirmative
[Example: better than
and not +comparative degree + than in the negative.
[Example: not better than
not taller than]
He is taller than you are.
He is more intelligent than I am.
He is not taller than you are.
He is not more intelligent than I am .
Other structures of comparison:
1. You are a clever boy but Ali is cleverer.
You are a clever boy but Ali is cleverer (than you.)
In such constructions, the words than you are usually omitted.
2. Implied comparison:
How is your brother now? He is better today.
Here, better = better than he was before.
3. Parallel increase is expressed by
the + comparative….. the +comparative.
The bigger the house the costlier it will be.
The stronger a country is the safer it will be.
4. We express gradual increase by repeating comparatives and joining them by and.
Life is becoming more and more difficult.
The patient is becoming weaker and weaker.
5. In the comparative degree more can be used to compare two qualities of the same person or thing. In such constructions we use more + adjective to signify comparative degree.
She is more pretty than intelligent.
The cloth is more expensive than durable.
6. Use of comparatives to ask questions involving choice.
Who is more intelligent, Ali or Rahim?
Which tastes better, tea or coffee?
Superlative degree of Comparison.
(a) Comparison of three or more persons or things is expressed by using superlatives with
or, the….. in.
Solomon was the wisest king in the world.
Ali is the fastest runner of all.
(b) In some cases the comparison is not stated but understood.
He is my best friend.
He is our most beloved leader.
Superlative degree: Look at the se sentences.
Africa is the hottest of all continents. [Superlative]
Africa is hotter than all other continents in the world. [ Comparative]
No other continent in the world is as hot as Africa. [Positive]
These three sentences mean essentially the same thing but use different degrees of comparison. Thus sentences using the superlative degree can be changed into sentences using either the comparative degree or the positive degree.
Comparative degree: Look at these sentences.
Alice is more beautiful than Mary. [Comparative]
Mary is not as beautiful as Alice. [Positive]
These two sentences using comparative and positive degrees of comparison essentially mean the same thing.
But it is not possible to change such sentences into those using superlatives. The reason is that a superlative requires at least three persons or things for comparison.
Positive degree: Look at these sentences.
Ali is as strong as Rahim. [positive]
Rahim is not stronger than Ali. [Comparative]
As in the case of comparative degree, we cannot transform this sentence into a sentence using a superlative. Again, the reason is that only two persons are compared here.
ADJECTIVES: THEIR USE
Adjectives of Quantity
a) Some, any: Some and any mean a certain quantity. We use them both before countable nouns and uncountable nouns.
i) She needs some money.
We haven’t any sugar.
ii) I want some apples.
He hasn’t any flowers.
b) Much, many, a lot of: Much is used with uncountable nouns and many with countable nouns. Both are generally used in negative and interrogative sentences. In affirmative sentences, we use a lot (of) instead of much or many.
There isn’t much water in the well.
There aren’t many books in this library.
Is there much ink in the bottle?
Has he made many mistakes?
We generally don’t say,
There is much water in the well.
Instead we say,
There is a lot of water in the well.
c) More is the comparative degree of both much and many and therefore can be used with countable and uncountable nouns both.
I need more help than you have given me.
I will give you five more flowers.
d) Most as a superlative.
Peace is the most important thing today.
Of Bangladesh, Nepal and Srilanka, which country has the most people in it?
e) A few, few: Few and a few are used with plural nouns only.
A few means a small number and is affirmative.
Few means hardly any or fewer than expected; it is negative.
A few oranges are still available.
Few members came to the meeting.
f) A little, little: Both these are used before uncountable nouns only.
We have little sugar left now.(little means not much)
She gave me a little cake. (a little means some but not much)
Each, every, either, neither: Each and Every are used as adjectives with singular countable nouns.
I have read each book on the shelf.
I have read every book on the shelf.
Each calls attention to individual person s or things as a whole. Each is used for two or more persons or things while every is not normally used for very small number.
Two girls entered. Each girl was carrying a torch.
The members discussed every issue in the meeting.
Use of some other Adjectives:
a) Older, elder, oldest, eldest-
Older is used to compare the age of persons or things. Elder denotes seniority in age with in a family.
Ali is older than his friend, Rahim.
He is elder to his brother by two years.
He is the oldest boy in the class.
The eldest brother runs the shop now.
b) Farther, Further: Both are comparatives of far. Farther is used to denote distance. Further means more additional.
His house is at the farther end of the street.
We need further information before taking any action.
c) Later, latest: Later is the comparative degree and latest is the superlative degree of late. Later means after or beyond the fixed, usual or right time. Later is contrasted with earlier.
This is a later edition of the book. The earlier one was published five years ago.
Latest means most recent in time.
This is the latest edition of the book.
latter, last : Latter and last are also the comparative and superlative degrees respectively of late. Latter contrasts with former. It refers to the second of two things or persons.
We saw a film yesterday. The first half was dull but the latter half was very exciting.
Last is contrasted with first. It refers to things, persons etc. coming after all others in time or order.
The hero dies in the last scene of this film.
Contrast it with the latest.
This is the latest news from the battle field.
He dies on the last day of the battle.
d)Nearest, next: Nearest is used to indicate distance.
The nearest bus stand is two kilometers from here.
Next refers to the position and is used for persons and things coming immediately after in order or space.
We will stop at the next town.
e) Less: less contrasts with more. It means a smaller quantity of any thing. It is used with uncountable nouns only.
There is less water in the glass than in the jug.
f) A,One: Both are used with singular countable nouns. Both mean one but one cannot always be used in place of a or an.
There is a book on the table.
There is one book on the table.
Here, a book =any book and no particular book.
But one book implies only one book and not two or thee.
g) No: No is used as an adjective with plural countable nouns and with uncountable nouns.
There are no flowers in the garden.
We have no time to lose.
h) All, Both: We use all with countable and uncountable nouns. It comes before possessives and other determiners like the, this, that , these, those.
All the mangoes are tasty.
Give all that food o beggars.
Are all these children yours?
Both is used only with countable nouns. It comes before possessives and other determiners like the, these, those.
Both of those pens are mine.
Both his brothers are good players.
i) Only: As an adjective only is preceded by an article an or the.
Mary is an only child.
We were the only people to meet him at the station.
j) Own: As an adjective own is used to emphasize possessive adjectives.
The robbery took place before my own eyes.
His own father refused to talk with him.
Supply some or any as required.
1. There isn’t …..milk in the jug.
2. Please give me ……more ice-cream.
3. He came to her with ….. fine flowers.
4. We had ….. coffee but there wasn’t ….. sugar in it.
5. Are there ….. pictures in your book?
Turn the following sentences into (a) negative (b) interrogative
- There are some mangoes in the basket.
- He has made some mistakes.
- He has bought some ink.
- There is some light in the mountains.
- He has some sugar left.
- He has some money.
- He can get some loan.
Use the degree of comparison indicated.
- This table is (big) that table.(positive)
- My dog is (fast)your dog. (comparative)
- Mohammed Ali is (great) boxer of today. (superlative)
- Your school is not (far)mine.(positive)
- This novel is (interesting)that.(comparative)
- We had (bad) famine of all times this year.(superlative)
Fill in the blanks with right word from the brackets.
- John is two years senior ….. Peter.(to/than)
- George couldn’t be ….. his partner in business.(older, elder, than, to)
- She is …. her brother by two years. ( older, elder, to, than)
- George is the …. . child of his parents. (oldest, oldest)
- Which is the ……. Building in this town. (oldest, eldest)
Use few, a few, little or a little in these sentences.
- Could you lend me …..books?
- …..people would care to listen to your advice.
- She has many enemies but …. Friends.
- They have offered …..items for sale at reduced prices.
- I am a busy man and have …… time to spare.
- Give me …. Milk, please.
- He is a self-made man. He received …. Help from anybody.
- …. Drops of this medicine will cure him completely.
Fill in the blanks with much, many, more, most, a lot of.
- There isn’t …..ink in the pen.
- Which student has made the ….. mistakes?
- …..people had come to see the match.
- We need …..money for the function.
- There are not ….. chairs in the hall.
- Empty vessels make …… noise.
- …..parts of Africa are covered with forests.
- There is …..sand on the beach.
- Not …..candidates applied for the job.
- The teacher gave them ….question.
- She bought …… dresses fro her daughter.
- Don’t eat any ….rice, it will harm you.
- …..people in Europe are Christians.
Use either, neither, farther, further, later, latter, latest, last, nearest, next in these sentences.
- The children stood on ……. Side of their parents.
- ….. book gives us correct information.
- No …. news has come from the war front.
- He lives on the …. side of the river.
- The bus started after the ….passenger got in.
- Shaw’s ….. plays are more interesting than the earlier ones.
- We enjoyed the whole film, but we liked the …. half more.
- Give me the name of the…..book on English grammar.
- If you fail this year, you can take the examination only … year.
- The …. Station from my village is five kilometers.
- Go and send the …… candidate in.
Change no into not …. any in the following sentences.
- We have no information about his arrival.
- There is no meat in the house.
- Was there no typist in the office?
Fill in the blanks in the sentences by using the correct adjective forms of the word in brackets.
- Studying is not ….important than playing.(much)
- Women are ….teachers than men.(good)
- A cow is a ….animal.(harm)
- They sang some …..songs.(patriot)
- This is a …. machine.(defect)
- Only a …. person will go alone into a dark forest.(fool)
- Old people receive ….pensions.(month)
- We must help …. person.(need)
- It is a …. night.(storm)
- Stealing is a ….. act. (sin)
- This fish is not ………(eat)
- Hydrogen bomb is …..(destroy)
- Monkeys are …..(mischief)
- Ethiopia is an …. country.(Africa)
- I have many ……friends. (Russia)
- This is the only ……… press in the town.(print)
- Do you have a …… licence ? (drive)
- Throw away these …. Eggs. (rot)
- Who will eat these ….potatoes ? (burn)
- We have two …… teachers. (History)
- I have no …. friend. (girl)
- The ….. tank is leaking. (water)