1.5: Tall, Dark, and Wordsome -- Adjectives (2022)


As we saw in Chapter 1, nouns and verbs often have modifiers, words that describe the noun or the verb.

The following examples are not sentences but only parts of sentences. Here man is the noun; all the other words before and after man are modifiers that restrict the meaning of man in some way:

The man
The man in our neighborhood
The irritable, unfriendly man in our neighborhood

As we’ve seen before, many modifiers appear immediately before the noun they modify: The, irritable, unfriendly. Some appear after: in our neighborhood.

This brings us to a common term that we use throughout these chapters: phrase. A phrase is a word or group of words used as a single grammatical unit.

The three examples above are noun phrases. They contain the noun man and other words and phrases that modify man.

Each of those noun phrases could be used as a single grammatical unit—for example, as the subject of a sentence. That is, the noun by itself would be the simple subject, and the noun and its modifiers would be the complete subject.


Words like irritable and unfriendly are adjectives. Adjectives modify nouns and sometimes pronouns. They describe the noun or place limits on the word’s range of reference. In the following noun phrases, all the underlined words are adjectives:

The silvery moon The light brown hair Blue skies

In most cases, adjectives simply describe nouns: tall, short, ripe, rotten, round, perfect, clean, dirty, blank, full, empty, old, new, ancient, medieval, modern, and thousands more.


There are only three articles in English: a, an, and the. Articles are always used to modify nouns. Some grammar books treat articles as if they are a separate class of words, but in this book we’ll consider them a small, special subset of adjectives.

There is some confusion about when to use a and an. We use the article a before a word that begins with a consonant, and use an before a word that begins with a vowel, as in these phrases:

A child An only child A cheese omelet An omelet

But we’re sometimes puzzled when we see a and an used in phrases like these:

A union of concerned citizens An honor to work with you

So let’s clarify the rules: Use a before a word beginning with a consonant sound (as in a union or a child):

A unicorn An uninvited guest

Use an before a word beginning with a vowel sound (as in an honor or an only child):

A man An honest man

The important consideration is the first sound (not the first letter) in the word following the article. This includes the first sound in abbreviations: An M.D., a U. S. territory.

(Video) Adjective sentences examples | Identify and underline the adjectives | Kids Channel

Finally, a and an are called the indefinite articles. The is the only definite article in English, indicating a specific object that we can distinguish from all other objects of the same kind: the last straw.


In the noun phrases we’ve seen so far, the adjective appears before the noun. But adjectives can also appear immediately after the noun:

The old house, dark and foreboding
The noisy fairground, bright and crowded A glorious sunset, gold and lavender

Articles are helpful in recognizing other adjectives. Consider this:

The smaller child learned the simplest tasks.

The green apples Red sails
A blue moon

The gold and lavender sunset Red, white, and blue bunting A yellow traffic light

When a word appears between an article and a noun, it’s an adjective or another word functioning as an adjective.


There are certain groups of words that we can easily recognize as adjectives. Color words are often adjectives: a blue moon, green apples. (Sometimes, in a different context, color words are nouns: a dark blue, a vivid red.)

These color words are adjectives:

There are other descriptive words:

The new house Impulsive behavior A generous gift

A sentimental old song Exciting new developments Soft music

There are adjectives that indicate number or quantity:

Both friends
A few corrections Many pages

One sock Two shirts Three shoes

Words that show possession are often used as adjectives:

My mistake Your complaint His insight

Bob and Ray’s routine Wayne’s help Elizabeth’s reign

Some question words can be used as adjectives:

(Video) COMPARATIVE & SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES 🤔| English grammar | Learn the rules with examples

Which room?
What mess?
Whose responsibility?

We’ll say it again: A good desk or online dictionary can help you identify adjectives and other words.


Sometimes we build a noun phrase by using nouns or verbs to modify a noun:

The street noise The squeaking wheel The traffic accident A frozen lake

In these cases, we say that the noun or verb is used adjectivally, and we’ll look at more cases of these in future chapters.


Some adjectives have three forms, which together make the comparison of the adjective:


cold friendly famous suspicious athletic


more famous more suspicious more athletic


coldest friendliest
most famous most suspicious most athletic

In any comparison of adjectives like these, there is a positive form of the adjective that simply names a quality the noun has: hot, cold, friendly.

We use the comparative when we’re comparing two—and only two—items, and we use the superlative when we’re comparing three or more:

Susan is a fast runner.
Susan is a faster runner than Alice. In fact, she’s the fastest runner of all.

As we see in these sentences, when we’re comparing one- syllable adjectives (and some two-syllable adjectives), we create the comparative and superlative forms by adding the suffixes –er and –est. See the examples for hot, cold, and friendly in the table of comparisons above.

When we’re comparing adjectives of three or more syllables (and some two-syllable adjectives), we create the comparative and superlative forms by placing the modifiers more and most before the adjectives. See the examples for famous, suspicious, and athletic in the table above.

When the comparison of an adjective is formed using the -er and -est suffices or the more and most adverbs, we refer to it as a regular adjective.

Some two-syllable adjectives, like those below, can take either kind of comparison:

happy, happier, happiest
happy, more happy, most happy.

(Video) Basic English Grammar: Parts of Speech – noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb...

often, oftener, oftenest
often, more often, most often

Many careful writers seem to prefer happy, happier, happiest and often, more often, most often. When in doubt about a comparison, turn to the dictionary. And never use both kinds of comparison with the same word:

WRONG: Ed is our most hardest working employee.

Some adjectives that describe absolute qualities cannot be compared logically: We don’t usually say deader or deadest, or more pregnant or most pregnant, unless we’re kidding around. And it usually doesn’t make sense to say more full or most instant or most continuous.

But sometimes we ignore logic, especially in everyday conversation. Unique (meaning “one of a kind”) is a well-known example. Logically, something is either unique or it isn’t, but people will still say things like this:

That tire swing in their living room is a very unique feature.

They mean that it’s an unusual feature. But in everyday conversation (as opposed to professional writing), it seldom matters if you say very unique or most unique.

Every now and then a careful writer will ignore all of these arguments and compare an absolute quality, and it works. The opening words of the Preamble of the United States Constitution are one such example:

We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union . . . .

No one we know of has ever objected.


1. Know the irregular adjectives.

A few adjectives have comparisons that are like clothes you see marked down in the stores: They’re irregular adjectives— they don’t follow the usual patterns. They are some of the most commonly used adjectives, so you probably know most of them already:


much (or many)


worse better less more


worst best least most

2. Use superlatives correctly.

Consider this sentence:

I’ve heard Barbra and Taylor sing. Barbra is the best singer.

(Video) Russian Grammar: Degrees of Comparison

By the strictest rules of usage, we should write Barbra is the better singer, because we’re only comparing two singers. Using the superlative form in a comparison of two is common in casual conversation, but we should try to avoid it in careful writing unless we’re deliberately developing an informal style.

3. Use hyphens in certain kinds of phrases.

When we use an entire phrase as an adjective, we typically hyphenate it:

The four-year-old girl
A by-the-numbers process The broken-down car
The short-term solution

Some cases are a bit more complex. Consider this noun phrase:

Nineteenth-century and twentieth-century American literature We can remove one word and say the same thing:

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature

Notice the hanging hyphen after nineteenth. It enables nineteenth and twentieth to share the second element century. Here’s another example:

Short- and long-term solutions.

All the uses of hyphens shown here reflect formal usage. Increasingly, the hyphen is omitted in cases like these in less formal published prose.


4a. Name the three articles.
4b. Identify the adjectives (including articles) in these sentences and underline them:
1. The new teacher is waiting in the outer office.

2. A rainy day could ruin the entire event.

  1. Count Dracula is the tall, pale man in the shadows.
  2. A backyard garden is a wonderful thing.
  3. She wore a red and white dress to the casual party.
  4. I gave my little brother good advice.
  5. She has been a better student this year because of her hard work.
  6. Bob’s idea is the worst idea I’ve heard in a long time.
  7. The point-by-point refutation was a difficult argument to follow.

10. Two roads lead to his farm.

11. Which roads are those?

4c. Give the comparative and superlative forms of these adjectives; use a dictionary when you need it. In some cases, there may be no comparative or superlative forms.

1. Small

2. Fast

3. Bright

4. Good

5. Bad

6. Curious
7. Cheerful
8. Happy
9. Wrong
10. Far (meaning anything except geographical distance)

(Video) French Adjectives | les adjectifs français


What is the adjective of enough? ›

Enough is an adjective that describes something that is adequate for an intended purpose. Enough is also used as an adverb to mean sufficiently or fully. Enough also has senses as a pronoun and an interjection. Enough describes something as being adequate or sufficient.

What are adjectives 20 examples? ›

Examples of adjectives
  • They live in a beautiful house.
  • Lisa is wearing a sleeveless shirt today. This soup is not edible.
  • She wore a beautiful dress.
  • He writes meaningless letters.
  • This shop is much nicer.
  • She wore a beautiful dress.
  • Ben is an adorable baby.
  • Linda's hair is gorgeous.

What order of adjective is tall? ›

adjective, tall·er, tall·est.

What are the 3 questions an adjective answers? ›

Adjectives do not have to agree in number or gender with the nouns they describe. Adjectives answer the following questions: What kind?, How many?, or Which ones?

What is use enough? ›

enough means 'as much as necessary'. It can be used with an adjective, an adverb, a verb or a noun. It can also act as a pronoun.

What are 50 examples of adjectives? ›

Top 50 adjectives in English
  • Able. Having what is required (e.g., money or skills) to do something. ...
  • Angry. Being very annoyed or upset. ...
  • Bad. Unpleasant; causing problems. ...
  • Best. Superior to all others. ...
  • Better. Superior to someone or something else. ...
  • Big. Large in size. ...
  • Busy. Occupied with activities or work. ...
  • Clear. Very obvious.
10 Nov 2022

What is an adjective give 10 example? ›

Adjectives are words that describe the qualities or states of being of nouns: enormous, doglike, silly, yellow, fun, fast. They can also describe the quantity of nouns: many, few, millions, eleven.

What is an adjective give 5 examples sentences? ›

Adjective Examples
S. No.Adjective ExamplesAdjective Used in a Sentence
1cleverSita is a clever girl.
2littleThere is little time for preparation.
3FiveHe gave me five mangoes.
4lazyThe lazy boy was punished by his teacher.
8 more rows

Is tall an adjective? ›

tall (adjective) tall order (noun) tall ship (noun) tall tale (noun)

Is darkness an adjective? ›

Dark is the absence of light. Dark also describes something that is depressing or evil. The word dark has several other senses as an adjective, noun, and a verb.

What is a sentence for tall? ›

Examples of tall in a Sentence

My mother is short but my father is fairly tall. The giraffe is the tallest animal. The drinks were served in tall glasses. She is five feet tall.

What are adjective 25 examples? ›

25 Most Common Adjectives
  • good.
  • new.
  • first.
  • last.
  • long.
  • great.
  • little.
  • own.

What are the 5 types of adjectives? ›

What are the types of adjectives?
  • Possessive Adjectives.
  • Interrogative Adjectives.
  • Demonstrative Adjectives.
  • Compound Adjectives.

What is enough example? ›

Example Sentences

Adjective Have you got enough money? That's enough talk for now; let's get started. There's enough food for everyone.

Do you mean by enough? ›

as much as is necessary; in the amount or to the degree needed: Do we have enough lettuce for a salad? He had just enough time to make his train.

Has enough meaning? ›

If you say that you have had enough, you mean that you are unhappy with a situation and you want it to stop.

What is your enough? ›

You are enough means that you were made to be you, as you are, on purpose. It is no mistake that you are this person, in this place, at this time. You are enough as you are, mess and all, beautiful and broken, showing up for your life every day. That's all you have to be and all you have to do.

Is not Enough example? ›

The phrase “not enough” is obviously a negative form of that – and it shows that things are not satisfactory! For example: “There is not enough bread for the entire group to eat.” It is usually used to indicate that the level is less than satisfactory – it would not be used if it was in excess.

What type of adverb is enough? ›

Enough is an adverb of degree that can qualify adjectives or other adverbs, normally in predicative position (after to be, etc;) ; it cannot qualify verbs.

What are 100 examples of an adjective? ›

100 Adjectives, Comparatives and Superlatives List
10 more rows

What are 9 types of adjectives with examples? ›

9 Types Of Adjectives All Writers Should Know
  • Descriptive adjectives.
  • Quantitative adjectives.
  • Demonstrative adjectives.
  • Proper adjectives.
  • Possessive adjectives.
  • Interrogative adjectives.
  • Distributive adjectives.
  • Compound adjectives.

What are the 3 types of adjectives examples? ›

Types of Adjectives
  • Proper adjective.
  • Descriptive, qualitative or attributive adjective.
  • Quantitative adjective.
  • Numeral adjective.
  • Demonstrative adjective.
  • Distributive adjective.
  • Interrogative adjective.
  • Possessive adjective.

What are the 3 examples of adjectives? ›

Adjectives are words that are used to describe or modify nouns or pronouns. For example, red, quick, happy, and obnoxious are adjectives because they can describe things—a red hat, the quick rabbit, a happy duck, an obnoxious person.

How do you write adjectives in words? ›

We can form adjectives from nouns by adding suffixes to a noun. The Adjectives that are formed by adding -y or -al or -ial as a suffix are given below in the table. If the noun has an 'e' in the ending, it is removed and -y or -al or -ial is added as a suffix to the noun to form an adjective.

How do you write 3 adjectives in a sentence? ›

When there are three or more adjectives from the same adjective group, place a comma between each of the coordinate adjectives: We live in the big green, white and red house at the end of the street. My friend lost a red, black and white watch.

How adjectives are used in sentences? ›

We use adjectives to describe nouns. Most adjectives can be used in front of a noun: They have a beautiful house. We saw a very exciting film last night.

How many adjectives are in a sentence? ›

If more than one adjective is used in a sentence, they tend to occur in a certain order. In English, two or three adjectives modifying a noun tend to be the usual limit. It should be noted that adjectives can be also formed from two or more words combined by the use of hyphens (compound adjectives).

What is tall called? ›

The words high and lofty are common synonyms of tall.

Who is very tall? ›

According to the Guinness Book Of World Records, the tallest human in recorded history was Robert Wadlow of the United States (1918–1940), who was 272 cm (8 ft 11 in).

Who is a tall person? ›

The Macmillan Dictionary defines a tall person as 'someone who has greater height than the average person'. Based on this information anyone who is above the average height for their population is considered tall for a man or woman.

Which type of adjective is dark? ›

dark ​Definitions and Synonyms ​‌‌‌

What type of word is dark in sentence? ›

Adjective She sat in the dark room alone. Soon it will be dark enough to see the stars. It was a dark and stormy night.

How can I use tall in English? ›

We use tall to describe things which are high and thin in their shape (e.g. buildings, trees): The tall trees by the river give welcome shade on hot days. You know that very tall, white building just where the motorway begins – that's where I work.

Does tall mean long? ›

The word 'long' is used to measure length, i.e. the end-to-end measurement of a thing that is greater in length than usual. The word 'tall' is used to measure the height of a person or some object. It is used as an adjective. It is used as an adjective.

What is tall English grammar? ›

'Tall' is a word that refers to the height of a person or an object. So, when someone asks you how 'tall' you are, they are asking for your height in inches, feet or centimetres. The same is correct for a building or a mountain. 'Tall' can also be used when comparing height.

What are the 100 figure of speech? ›

Some common figures of speech are alliteration, anaphora, antimetabole, antithesis, apostrophe, assonance, hyperbole, irony, metonymy, onomatopoeia, paradox, personification, pun, simile, synecdoche, and understatement.

What are 100 examples of adverbs? ›

abnormally absentmindedly accidentally actually adventurously afterwards almost always annually anxiously arrogantly awkwardly bashfully beautifully bitterly bleakly blindly blissfully boastfully boldly bravely briefly brightly briskly broadly busily calmly carefully carelessly cautiously certainly cheerfully clearly ...

What are the 11 types of adjectives? ›

11 Types of Adjectives Used in English (with Examples)
  • Definite & Indefinite Articles.
  • Possessive Adjectives.
  • Demonstrative Adjectives.
  • Interrogative Adjectives.
  • Indefinite Adjectives.
  • Cardinal Adjectives.
  • Ordinal Adjectives.
  • Proper Adjectives.

What are 3 adjectives together called? ›

"Cumulative adjectives" are two or more adjectives that build on one another and together modify a noun. They're consecutive. They are also called "unit modifiers." Indeed, they work together as a unit and are not independent descriptions of the noun.

IS OUR an adjective? ›

A possessive adjective ("my," "your," "his," "her," "its," "our," "their") is similar or identical to a possessive pronoun; however, it is used as an adjective and modifies a noun or a noun phrase, as in the following sentences: I can't complete my assignment because I don't have the textbook.

What is an adjective Class 7 Example? ›

Definition of Adjective

A word which is used with a noun or a pronoun to describe it (description may be of its type, place, number or amount) is known as an Adjective. Now, look at following sentences. Ramesh is intelligent. An intelligent boy won the quiz.

What are the 4 types of adjective? ›

Types of Adjectives
  • Descriptive Adjectives.
  • Quantitative Adjectives.
  • Proper Adjectives.
  • Demonstrative Adjectives.
  • Possessive Adjectives.
  • Interrogative Adjectives.
  • Indefinite Adjectives.
  • Articles.

What are the 5 questions that adjectives answer? ›

Terms in this set (5)
  • How many? ...
  • What kind? ...
  • Which one? ...
  • How much? ...
  • Whose? ...

Is enough adjective of quantity? ›

In the sentences 1 – 5 above, the adjectives some, no, little, much, and enough are adjectives of quantity or amount since they denote quantity of the nouns they precede—money, sugar, milk, time and food respectively.

Is enough a adjective or adverb? ›

Enough means “the necessary amount.” It can be used as an adjective and it can also be used as an adverb.

Is enough adjective of number? ›

Adjectives of quantity are generally used with uncountable nouns. These adjectives express the approximate amount of the nouns rather than the exact number. Many, much, some, several, few, and enough are some examples of adjectives of quantity.

What do we use the adjective enough to for? ›

When enough is used as an adjective, it modifies a noun. The adjective enough goes before the noun it modifies. I have bought enough eggs. (NOT I have bought eggs enough.

What are the 10 example of adjective of quantity? ›

The Adjective of Quantity examples are:
  • 1)Some. Some are used as an Adjective of Quantity in the affirmative kind of sentences.
  • 2) Any. Any in a sentence is used when the nature of the sentence is negative or interrogative.
  • 3) Double. The numerical two indirectly means double. ...
  • 4) Enough. ...
  • 5) Substantial.

What are the 10 example of adjective of number? ›

Indefinite numeral adjectives: Some, few, many, all, no, several, any, most, more, too, much, none, too many, certain, and so on are examples of indefinite numeral adjectives. Distributive numeral adjectives: Each, every, neither, either, and so on.

Have Enough define? ›

If you say that you have had enough, you mean that you are unhappy with a situation and you want it to stop. I had had enough of other people for one night.

Has had enough meaning? ›

phrase. If you say that you have had enough, you mean that you are unhappy with a situation and you want it to stop.

What does I Am Enough mean? ›

“I am enough” means to accept your flaws whole-heartedly. Without self-acceptance, you will always be struggling with your identity. But when you know you are enough, you can finally be at peace with your flaws, imperfections, and mistakes.

What are adjectives examples? ›

What Is an Adjective? Adjectives are words that describe the qualities or states of being of nouns: enormous, doglike, silly, yellow, fun, fast. They can also describe the quantity of nouns: many, few, millions, eleven.

What are the 8 types of adjectives with example? ›

In English Grammer, there have been 8 types of Adjectives, which are explained with examples in the below section.
  • 1) Descriptive Adjective. ...
  • 2) Numeral Adjective. ...
  • 3) Quantitative Adjective. ...
  • 4) Demonstrative Adjective. ...
  • 5) Interrogative Adjectives. ...
  • 6) Possessive Adjectives. ...
  • 7) Proper Adjectives. ...
  • 8) Exclamatory Adjectives.

Is the number 7 a adjective? ›

In certain cases, numbers can also be adjectives. When you say, “Seven is my lucky number,” seven is a noun, but when you say, “There are seven cats in this painting,” seven is an adjective, because it is modifying the noun cats.

Is enough a noun or adjective? ›

The word enough can be used as an adjective, an adverb or with a noun. It can even be used as a pronoun.

What is too and enough? ›

Remember that 'too' means that it's more than the necessary amount. 'Enough' is the necessary amount, it's the exact amount. And 'not enough' is less than the necessary amount.

Are enough or is enough? ›

If "enough" means a sufficient quantity of people in a countable sense, it would be "are": "1 or 2 friends are enough to move the couch." If "enough" means sufficiency for a qualitative criterion, it would be "is": "1 or 2 friends is enough to make me happy."

What are too and enough called? ›

These adjectives are called determiners, and are used to specify which thing you are talking about. Without a pronoun or determiner, you don't use the of. If enough of us go on the trip, they will give us a discounted rate. (Us is a pronoun, so the “of” is necessary)


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