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ESL Grammar Resources

Adjectives

 

 

              
 

Adjectives are used to describe nouns. They give more details or information about the nouns they are associated with.

    A: Tell me about your boyfriend

    B: Well, he is tall, dark, and handsome.

    A: Sounds like mine.

Adjectives can be used to answer the questions What kind (of) or Which one?

    A: Hi. I'm calling about the car you're selling?

    B: It's a great car. (It's) in excellent condition.

    A: What kind of seats does it have?

    B: They're very comfortable seats, (soft, plush, just like a sofa.)

    A: Uh. I think I'll sleep on it.

    A: Hand me a book.

    B: Which one do you want?

    A: The red book. The red one.

 

Adjectives come before the nouns they modify (not after).

Three happy hippies lived in the Heartquake Hotel.

WRONG: Three hippies happy lived in the Heartquake Hotel.

Adjectives can also be used with linking verbs to describe the subject of a sentence.

When used in this manner, the adjective(s) come after the linking verb.

My mother is tall and slender.

WRONG: My mother tall and slender. (No linking verb.)

Seem, become, appear, and verbs of perceptioncan also be used as linking verbs. Note how they are used with adjectives in the following. Can you identify the linking verbs and the adjectives?

    The journey seemed long. (It appeared strenuous and boring.)

    You smell nice today. What kind of cologne are you wearing?

    A: What do you want to do this weekend? Bowling? Shopping? A movie?

    B: Bowling sounds good.

    CAUTION/BE CAREFUL:


    Tom looked greedy. (He appeared to be a greedy person.)

    The adjective greedy is used to describe Tom.

    Tom looked greedily at the pie on the table.

    (He saw it and wanted it for himself.)

    The adverb greedily is used to describe Tom's action.


     

     

Adjectives are the same for all nouns. They do not change for plurals.

Example: Three tired tigers tried to tie a triangular tie.

Not: Not three tireds tigers.



Adjective Order
When several adjectives modify the same noun, there is a particular order they must follow in English. Certain adjectives come before others. (Not all have to be used in the same sentence.)

See the chart below.

Quanti-fier Article
Posses-sive
Demons-trative
Number
Sequence
Quality
Size
Shape Color Origin Material
Some of
All of
Both
The, a, an, this, that, my, his three
second
next
wonderful
clean
large
round
square
flat
red
yellow
black
Laos
Italian
French
metal
ceramic
wood

Examples:

Some of the hungry gentlemen

The last great civilization

Ten big round metal rings

The beautiful Japanese ceramic vase

Either of the small green apples

My three lovely daughters

An interesting wooden statue

The third red plastic container






ESL Videos to help you speak English

Rosetta Stone - English

Speak English as a Second Language

Learning English - Lesson One


English Greetings & Phrases

English Pronunciation

English - Introductions



                  






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