Introduction to Grammar - Adjectives GMAT Notes | EduRev

Verbal for GMAT

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ADJECTIVES

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns or pronouns. They do so by answering certain questions about the entity they modify. For example - What kind is it? How many are there? Which one is it? Let’s look at some examples:

Incessant anxiety has undermined his health.

In this sentence, “incessant” is the adjective that describes the noun “anxiety”. What kind of “anxiety” are we talking about? We are talking about the anxiety that never stopped. So anxiety has been modified by “incessant”.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

This famous proverb contains the adjective “silver” that modifies the noun “lining”. This word defines the color of the lining.

Maria has to prepare two dishes for dinner.

In this sentence, “two” is the adjective that describes the noun “dishes”. How many dishes? Two dishes.

Tom takes pleasure in working on challenging projects.

In this sentence, “challenging” is the adjective that describes the noun “projects”. What kind of projects? Challenging projects.

So, as you saw in the above three example sentences, adjectives provide a little more information about the entity they describe. Now in the examples above we saw single words that act as adjectives. However, phrases and clauses can also act as adjectives.

Adjectives – Words, Phrases, and Clauses
We learned that adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns or pronouns. 

For example:

Incessant anxiety has undermined his health.

In this sentence, “incessant” is the adjective that describes the noun “anxiety”. What kind of “anxiety” are we talking about? We are talking about the anxiety that never stopped. So anxiety has been modified by “incessant”.
Now apart from just words, even phrases and clauses can act as adjectives. 

For example:

We will have to order six vegetable and cheese sandwiches and two slices of broccoli chicken pizza for the guests tonight.

This sentence talks about a few food items. While the adjectives “six” and “two” present the number of specific eatables required for the guests, “vegetable and cheese” and “broccoli chicken” refer to their kind. Notice that both these adjectives (“vegetable and cheese” and “broccoli chicken”) are phrases.

The books with the black and white photographs have been missing since last week.

In this sentence, the prepositional phrase “with the black and white photographs” describes the noun entity the “books”. It describes what kind of books have been missing. Hence, this prepositional phrase acts as an adjective in this sentence.

Nick wants the umbrella that has the Spiderman print on it.

This sentence says that Nick wants a specific kind of umbrella, and this kind has been explained by using the clause “that has the Spiderman print on it”. So in this sentence, this entire clause acts as an adjective, describing the umbrella.

So as you saw in the above three example sentences, adjectives provide a little more information about the entity (noun or pronoun) they describe, and adjectives can be of various kinds - a single word, a group of words, or a clause.

Adjectives can also be used to make comparisons. When we make comparisons, we need to use adjectives in their comparative or superlative forms.

Adjectives – for comparisons
We learned that adjectives are used to describe nouns or pronouns. Adjectives can also be used to present comparisons. And when they are used in this role, they should be used in the appropriate comparative or superlative forms.

When a comparison between 2 entities is made, the comparative form of adjective is used.

Comparative form
This form should be used when an adjective is used to compare 2 entities. It can be formed in two ways. We can add either “er” to the end of the adjective or “more” or “less” before it. Remember that we cannot use more/less + er adjective.

a. Jacob has a bigger villa than Jack does.
b. My cat is certainly lazier than my dog.
c. The salary offered in corporate organizations is more handsome than that offered in governmental firms.
d. Some flowers are more colorful than others even if all of them belong to the same family.

Superlative form
This form should be used when an adjective is used to compare more than 2 entities. Like comparative adjectives, superlative adjectives can be formed in two ways. We can add either “est” or “iest” to the end of the adjective or “most” or “least” before it. 

Remember that we cannot use most/least + est/iest adjective.

a. Jason has the biggest villa in this block.
b. Gina’s is the thickest exercise book in the class.
c. Kim selected the crispiest bacons for her breakfast.
d. For Jason, his grandmother is the most gorgeous woman in the world.
e. This is the most colorful rainbow I have even seen.
f. The stories that Harry tells are the least believable of all.

So always be sure to use adjectives in their correct form. Use the comparative form of the adjective when you compare 2 entities. Construct the comparative form appropriately. Likewise, use the superlative form of the adjective when you compare more than 2 entities. Construct the superlative form appropriately.

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