Menu Menu

Why adjectives really matter: grammar rules that rock

What are adjectives? The definition of adjectives cannot be formulated more detailed than the words describing certain qualities, quantities or states the nouns have: adjectives list is huge and includes such examples as silly, bored, beautiful, sunny etc. Many students are taught that adjectives are the words that modify nouns unlike verbs or adverbs and they can be easily found in the sentence right before the noun. Here are some adjectives examples:

Maggie wears a beautiful dress.
Ann sleeps in a cozy bed.
My brother has two dogs.

Also, adjectives can become a complement to linking words such as to be, feel, taste, smell, seem. They are called predicate:

The girl is happy.
She is faster than her brother.

The list of adjectives in English is really huge: there are adjectives that start with a (awesome, apathetic, appreciative), adjectives that start with e (efficient, elegant, eccentric) and adjectives that start with t (tolerant, tired, terrific). There are also many Spanish adjectives such as grande (big), feo (ugly) and lindo (pretty).

How to use adjectives

Here is some brief guide that consists of the most popular adjective uses:

  1. Adjectives to describe a person (often used positive adjectives): a gorgeous lady, a nice guy;
  2. Demonstrative adjectives: this town, that gentleman;
  3. Possessive adjectives: my flowers, your toy;

One of the important aspects to be learned is degrees of comparison: absolute, comparative (two and more things) and superlative (the highest degree indication).

  • Comparative adjectives are created by adding the suffix -er (for one syllable words) or word more: a cooler man, a more confident person;
  • Superlative adjectives are formed by adding the suffix -est or word most: the coolest man, the most confident person.

Don’t forget to use the article the for the superlative degree!

Adjectives and adverbs

As we already mentioned, adjectives modify nouns and adverbs modify verbs. However, there are such exceptions as linking words and the example you read before: a girl is happy. This often leads to making errors trying to put an adverb instead of a predicate adjective.

Wrong: I feel badly about it (adverb).
Correct: I feel bad about it (adjective).

Here feel is a verb and should be accompanied by an adverb but do not forget that it is also a linking word: an adverb shows how you do something, the adjective describes what you feel about it. Do you feel the difference?

There are many rules for the use of adjectives in English: we can go deeper and describe the whole list, but what for? If you are learning English and you got stuck on adjectives, this brief guide will be your best help to understand the most popular and widely used grammar rules. Any suggestions? Let us know what we miss!

Share this article on social media!