Archived Material (grammar)


This content has been archived! For the latest version please visit:

There are several things to remember when using adjectives:

  • they are describing words. eg/ Small, green and deadly
  • generally, adjectives come before nouns.
  • Adjectives change (modify) the noun (and pronoun) in some way. eg/ It is a red one
  • they usually answer questions like these:
  1. What kind?
  2. Which?
  3. How many?

Remember: When the verbs in the list below are used, or forms of these verbs, the adjective comes after the nouns they modify:

to be            to sound
to feel          to look
to taste        to appear
to smell        to seem

The cat                  is                         white.
noun                     verb-to be         adjective

Explanation: ‘white’ modifies the noun ‘cat’, and comes after the verb.

Different types of adjectives

1. Possessive adjectives (or possessive pronouns.)

Function:  to show possession.
Word examples: my, your, his, her, its, our and their.

Example: My laptop is on the desk.

2. The articles

Function: the definite article 'the' indicates a specific noun.
The indefinite articles 'A' and 'an' do not indicate a specific noun.

A mug (< any cup)
The mug (< a specific cup)

3. Demonstrative adjectives

Function: to demonstrate or indicate specific things.
Word examples: This, that, these and those

Examples: If I hear that music again, I will buy the CD.
Prizes will only be given to those people who complete the quiz.               

4. Indefinite adjectives

Function: indefinite adjectives do not point out specific things. 
Word examples: no, any, many, few and several.

Examples: Many people watched the match.
According to the met office, there is no sign of rain.
Many people have reported seeing several broken down vehicles.

Commentary: The indefinite adjective ‘many’ modifies the noun ‘people’.
The indefinite adjectives ‘many’ and ‘several’ modifies the noun ‘ people’ and ‘vehicles’.

Remember: numbers are classified as adjectives too.
Example:  Two more people were needed to keep the shop open.
Explanation: The adjective ‘two’ modifies the noun ‘people’.