The Adjectives

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    The Adjectives: Definition, Types and Examples

    Read the following sentences:

    • Sita is a clever girl. (Girl of what kind1?)
    • I don’t like that boy, (Which boy ?)
    • He gave me five mangoes. (How many mangoes?)
    • There is little time for preparation. (How much time ?)
      • In sentence 1, ‘clever’ shows what kind of girl Sita is; or, in other words, ‘clever’ describes the girl Sita.
      • In sentence 2, ‘that’ points out which boy is meant.
      • In sentence 3, ‘five’ shows how many mangoes he gave me.
      • In sentence 4, ‘little’ shows how much time there is for preparation.

    What is an Adjective?

    A word used as a noun to describe or point out, the person, animal, place or thing which the noun names, or to tell the number or quantity, is called an Adjective. So we may define an Adjective as a word used with a noun to add something for its meaning.

    Look at the following sentences:

    • The lazy boy was punished.
    • The boy is lazy.
      • In sentence 1, the Adjective lazy is used along with the noun boy as an epithet or attribute. It is, therefore, said to be used Attributively.
      • In sentence 2, the Adjective lazy is used along with the verb is and forms part of the Predicate. It is, therefore, said to be used Predicatively.
    • Some Adjectives can be used only Predicatively; as
      • She is afraid of ghosts.
      • I am quite well.

    Kind of Adjectives:

    Adjectives may be divided into the following classes:

    • Adjectives of Quality (or Descriptive Adjective) show the kind or quality of a person or thing((Adjectives formed from Proper Nouns (e.g., French wines, Turkish tobacco, Indian tea, etc.) are sometimes called Proper Adjectives. They are generally classed with Adjectives of Quality).); as
      • Kolkata is a large city.
      • He is an honest man.
      • The foolish old crow tried to sing.
      • This is a Grammar of the English

    Note: Adjectives of Quality answer the question: Of what kind?

    • Adjectives of Quantity show how much of a thing is meant as
      • I ate some rice.
      • He showed much patience.
      • He has little intelligence.
      • We have had enough exercise.
      • He has lost all his wealth.
      • You have no sense.
      • He did not eat any rice.
      • Take great care of your health.
      • He claimed his half share of the booty.
      • There has not been sufficient rain this year.
      • The whole sum was expended.

    Note: Adjectives of Quantity answer the question: How much?

    • Adjectives of Number (or Numeral Adjectives) show how many persons or things are meant, or in what order a person or thing stands; as
      • The hand has five fingers.
      • Few cats like cold water.
      • There are no pictures in this book.
      • I have taught you many things.
      • All men must die.
      • Here are some ripe mangoes.
      • Most boys like cricket.
      • There are several mistakes in your exercise.
      • Sunday is the first day of the week
    • Adjectives of Number (or Numeral Adjectives) are of three kinds:-
      • Definite Numeral Adjectives, which denote an exact number; as,
        • One, two, three, etc. — These are called Cardinals.
        • First, second, third, etc. — These are called Ordinals.

    NoteA Cardinal denotes how many, and an Ordinal denotes the order of things in a

    series. It will be seen that Ordinals really do the work of Demonstrative Adjectives.

    • Indefinite Numeral Adjectives, which do not denote an exact number; as
      • All, no; many, few; some, any; certain, several, sundry.
    • Distributive Numeral Adjectives, which refer to each one of a number; as.,
      • Each boy must take his turn.
      • India expects every man to do his duty.
      • Every word of it is false.
      • Either pen will do.
      • On either side is a narrow lane.
      • Neither accusation is true.

    Note:The same Adjective may be classed as of Quantity or Number, according to use.

    • Adjectives of Quantity — Adjectives of Number
      • I ate some rice. — Some boys are clever.
      • He has lost all his wealth. — All men must die.
      • You have no sense. — There are no pictures in this book.
      • He did not eat any rice. — Are there any mango-trees in this garden?
      • I have enough sugar. — There are not enough spoons.
    • Demonstrative Adjectives point out which person or thing is meant; as,
      • This boy is stronger than Hari.
      • That boy is industrious.
      • These mangoes are sour.
      • Those rascals must be punished.
      • Yonder fort once belonged to Shivaji.
      • Don’t be in such a hurry.
      • I hate such things.

    Note: Demonstrative Adjectives answer the question: Which?

    [It will be noticed that this and that are used with Singular nouns and these and those with

    Plural nouns.]

    • What, which and whose, when they are used with nouns to ask questions, are called Interrogative Adjectives; as
      • What manner of man is he?
      • Which way shall we go?
      • Whose book is this?

    English Grammar Test Series Quick Links:

    Quiz 1 Quiz 6 Quiz 11
    Quiz 2 Quiz 7 Quiz 12
    Quiz 3 Quiz 8 Quiz 13
    Quiz 4 Quiz 9 Quiz 14
    Quiz 5 Quiz 10 Quiz 15
    Friends this is it for Adjectives. Feel free to ask us any queries and questions you have in the comments section below and we will be glad to answer them for you.
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