What is a Adjective? Adjective usage and examples


An Adjective is a word or phrase which describes or supports a Noun or Pronoun. Adjectives are very important in basic sentence structure as the bring meaning and context to the Noun. The word Adjective comes from the Latin word nomen Ajectivum. Adjectives were inflected for gender, number and case like nouns and were considered to be a type of Noun.

USes of adjectives

A Adjective can precede or come after a Noun. It all depends on the language in which it is used. Sentence structure , context and style considerations are the most important factors that affect where a Adjective is positioned within a sentence. Adjectives are generally categorized into 3 main categories in the English Language.

  1. Prepositive adjectives occur on an antecedent basis within a Noun phrase.
  2. Postpositive adjectives can occur immediately after a noun phrase
  3. Nominalized adjectives are adjectives which function as nouns

Adjectives are classified as a part of speech in most languages. Some languages have words that serve as the sematic functions of adjectives and are categorized together with some other class such as verbs or nouns. In some languages adjectives can function as nouns , such as Spanish where “uno Azul” means “a blue one”. In languages where adjectives are considered to be a word class it is usually a open class.

Order of adjectives

In other languages adjectives which describe the attributes of a person ,place , thing or action usually occur in a specific order. This order is called QOSWATHSCPOMP and usually denotes the following.

  • Quantity- adjectives which describe a number or amount (one, twelve)
  • Opinion- adjectives which convey the opinion of a individual (beautiful, ugly , unique)
  • Size- adjectives which describe the size of a noun ( large , huge , small)
  • Weight- adjectives which describe weight ( slim, fat , thin)
  • Age- adjectives describing age (old , seventeen years old , new)
  • Temperature- cold ,hot
  • Humidity- adjectives describing humidity (wet ,dry)
  • Shape- adjectives describing shape ( round, rectangle)
  • Colour- adjectives describing colour (red, white , blue)
  • Pattern- adjectives describing patterns ( spotted, striped)
  • Origin – adjectives describing origin ( French, Danish)
  • Material-adjectives which denote what something is made of ( fabric , plastic)
  • Qualifier / purpose- the final limiter which usually forms apart of a compound noun ( rocking chair , public bus , working space)

Adjectives are a important aspect of many languages and sentences and their usage greatly impact sentence structure and grammar.

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