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Adjective Introduction

Let’s say you are at the store and there are two shirts that you really want to buy — but you can’t decide which shirt because they are both so nice! You ask your friend for their opinion, and they tell you that the blue shirt looks nice, but the green shirt is even nicer.

By telling you about the blue vs the green shirt, your friend just used adjectives!

All adjectives are words that describe something. Often, adjectives are used to describe an item… but not always. All adjective words describe nouns. (In case you need a reminder, a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. For example, the following are all nouns: Roger Federer, tennis court, racquet, championship).

Adjectives can also describe pronouns. As a quick reminder, a pronoun replaces a noun. You can say “That’s his phone” rather than saying “That’s Quinton’s phone.” In this case, you are

Depending on what you are describing, there are different types of adjectives. For example, if you are describing markers, you may choose to describe the color, amount, or size. If you are describing a person, you may choose to describe their personality. All adjective words describe nouns somehow — there are plenty of other categories of adjectives besides the ones I mentioned.

There are other types of words that describe words besides adjectives. For instance, if I run quickly, I am using an adverb because I am describing the verb “run.” However, I can run in a white shirt — which is an adjective. Remember – all adjectives describe a noun. In this case, I am using the adjective “white” to describe the shirt used.

Oftentimes, we used adjectives to compare two or more things. All comparative and superlative adjectives compare two or more things.

Comparative Adjectives

We generally use comparative adjectives when we are comparing two objects. In English, we tend to use the “-er” ending or the words “more” or “less” to compare!

Examples of the comparative
She has a bigger bed than I do.
He has one younger brother.
That movie was more boring than the sequel.

When do I use “-er” and when do I use “more” or “less?”

If your adjective is one syllable then add “-er” to use the comparative. This would turn the adjectives “blue” and “smart” into the words “bluer” and “smarter.”

If your adjective has three or more syllables in it, then you would add the word “more” or “less” before your adjective. This turns the adjectives “magical” and “important” into “more magical” and “less important.”

If your adjective has two syllables, what you do depends on the spelling! If your adjective ends in the letter “y,” the comparative ending becomes “ier.” You can act sillier than your sister, but she may be jollier than you!

If your adjective has two syllables and ends in any letter that is not the letter “y,” then you use “more” or “less.” You can have a “more yellow” piece of paper and a “less broken” computer.

Superlative Adjectives

We generally use the superlative when we are comparing three or more objects. In English, we use the “-est” ending or the words “most” or “lease” to compare.

It doesn’t matter if we are comparing three or three hundred — as long as there are three or more objects being compared, the superlative gets used.

Examples of the superlative

She has the biggest bed out of my four sisters..
He is the youngest of all his brothers.
That movie was the most boring one in the series.

When do I use “est” and when do I use “most” or “least?”

If your adjective is one syllable then add “-est” to use the comparative. This would turn the adjectives “blue” and “smart” into the words “bluest” and “smartest.”

If your adjective has three or more syllables in it, then you would add the word “more” or “less” before your adjective. This turns the adjectives “magical” and “important” into “most magical” and “least important.”

If your adjective has two syllables, what you do depends on the spelling! If your adjective ends in the letter “y,” the comparative ending becomes “iest.” You can act the silliest of your five brothers and sisters, but one of your sisters may be the jolliest of all five!

If your adjective has two syllables and ends in any letter that is not the letter “y,” then you use “more” or “less.” You can have a “most yellow” piece of paper and a “least broken” computer.

Irregular comparative and superlative adjectives

Most adjectives in the English language use the above rules — though there are a few exceptions. Look at the chart below for some common examples of irregular adjectives. Regardless if the adjectives are regular or irregular, all comparative and superlative adjectives adjectives compare two (comparative) or more (superlative) nouns.

Adjective Comparative Form Superlative Form
Bad Worse Worst
Good / well Better Best
Little Less Least
Far Farther / further Farthest / furthest

In order to use the chart, simply use either the comparative or superlative form of the adjective instead of one of the rules mentioned earlier.

For example, you wouldn’t say or write “I played tennis today gooder than I played last week.” Rather, you would say or write “I played tennis today better than I played last week.”

What are other types of adjectives?

Remember — all adjective words describe nouns. But, there are many types of adjectives. Read on learn about some of the different types of adjectives!

Descriptive adjectives

These are the adjectives that you are probably the most familiar with. Like the name suggests, descriptive adjectives describe a noun’s characteristics. They can discuss size, color, taste, shape, personality, beauty, age, and so much more! When describing the tiny, energetic, loving dog, you have used the three adjectives “tiny,” “energetic,” and “loving.”

Demonstrative adjectives

Do you want to eat this apple, or that apple? Should you buy these socks, or those ones? Demonstrative adjectives simply point out particular nouns.

Proper adjectives

Just like a proper noun refers to a specific person, place, thing, or idea, a proper adjective does the same. For example, if I am from the country of France (proper noun), I would say that I am French (proper adjective).

Interrogative adjectives

“Which,” “whose,” and “what” are the three examples of interrogative adjectives in English. These types of adjectives are often answered by using a demonstrative adjective.As an example, a mother asks her son, “Which game should I buy?” The son responds with “That one.”

Indefinite adjectives

Indefinite adjectives are used when you have some information, but not all of it. For example, imagine that a principal said that most of the students would graduate high school and go to college. As a reader, we do not know exactly how many will do this. Examples of indefinite adjectives in English include “some,” “most,” “many,” several,” and “much.”

Numerical adjectives

If you are shopping, you need to know how much you are buying. “Some avocados” is indefinite, since there is not a specific amount. “Three avocados” is using a numerical adjective, since you are assigning a specific number. If it is a number, then you can make it a numerical adjective.

Quantitative adjectives

A quantitative adjective shows about how much of a noun you have. For example, there are many grains of salt in a saltshaker, but you aren’t going to count each and every one! Other examples of quantitative adjectives are “all,” “few,” “little,” and “many.”

Review

As a review:
– All adjectives describe a noun of some sort
– All comparative and superlative adjectives compare two (comparative) or more (superlative) nouns
– There are many types of adjectives. All adjective words describe nouns somehow.

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