Overview: Adjectives | Basic English Grammar for Competitive Exams - Bank Exams PDF Download

Introduction of Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns or pronouns. They provide more information about the qualities, characteristics, and features of the person, place, thing, or idea being referred to. In English, adjectives typically come before the noun they modify, while in Hindi, they generally come after the noun.

Types of Adjectives

1. Descriptive Adjectives: These adjectives describe the qualities or characteristics of a noun.

  • Example: beautiful
    She is a beautiful girl.

2. Quantitative Adjectives: These adjectives describe the quantity or amount of a noun.

  • Example: some
    I have some money.

3. Numeral Adjective: These adjectives indicate the number or order of a noun.

  • Example: first
    She came first in the race.

4. Demonstrative Adjectives: These adjectives point out or demonstrate which noun is being referred to.

  • Example: this
    This book is interesting.

5. Possessive Adjectives: These adjectives show ownership or possession of a noun.

  • Example: my
    This is my house. 

6. Interrogative Adjectives: These adjectives are used to ask questions about a noun.

  • Example: which
    Which book do you want?

7. Distributive Adjectives: These adjectives refer to individual things or people within a group.

  • Example: each
    Each student received a certificate.

8. Emphasizing Adjectives: These adjectives are used to emphasize the importance of a noun.

  • Example: own
    She bought her own car.

Examples of non-countable Adjectives in English and Hindi with sentences

Non-countable adjectives are used to describe nouns that cannot be counted or measured. Here are some examples of non-countable adjectives in English and Hindi along with sentences:

  • Liquid
    Example: The water in the glass was cold.
  • Gas
    Example: The air in the room was stuffy.
  • Food
    Example: I love Italian cuisine.
  • Example: His advice was helpful. 
  • Materials
    Example: The table is made of wood.
  • Concepts
    Example: She has a lot of patience.
  • Information
    Example: He gave me some good advice.
  • Emotions
    Example: He felt great anger towards his boss.

Note: Non-countable adjectives are also called uncountable or mass adjectives.

  • Agreement: In many languages, adjectives need to agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. For example, in Spanish, if the noun is feminine and plural, the adjective must also be feminine and plural (e.g., "casas bonitas" - beautiful houses).
  • Position: In some languages, the position of the adjective can change its meaning or emphasis. In English, we usually place adjectives before the noun (e.g., "a big house"). In other languages, such as French or Spanish, adjectives can appear either before or after the noun, with different effects on the meaning (e.g., "un homme grand" vs. "un grand homme" in French).
  • Comparatives and superlatives: Adjectives can have comparative and superlative forms to express different degrees of a quality. In English, we usually add "-er" or "-est" to the adjective or use "more" and "most" (e.g., "big, bigger, biggest" or "important, more important, most important").
  • Irregular forms: Some adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms that don't follow the standard rules (e.g., "good, better, best" or "bad, worse, worst").
  • Adjective clauses: An adjective clause is a dependent clause that modifies a noun or pronoun. It usually begins with a relative pronoun (e.g., "who," "which," "that") and functions like an adjective (e.g., "The book that you gave me is interesting").
  • Adjective phrases: An adjective phrase is a group of words that functions as an adjective in a sentence. It usually includes an adjective and one or more modifiers (e.g., "quite interesting" or "very difficult").
  • Predicate adjectives: A predicate adjective is an adjective that follows a linking verb and describes the subject of the sentence (e.g., "The cake is delicious" or "She seems happy").
  • Attributive adjectives: An attributive adjective is an adjective that directly modifies a noun within the noun phrase (e.g., "the red ball" or "a beautiful dress").
  • Coordinate adjectives: Coordinate adjectives are two or more adjectives of equal importance that describe the same noun. They are usually separated by commas or the word "and" (e.g., "a tall, slender man" or "a sweet and sour sauce").
  • Cumulative adjectives: Cumulative adjectives are adjectives that build on each other and should not be separated by commas. The order of cumulative adjectives is usually determined by their category or meaning (e.g., "a big old brown dog" or "a beautiful long red dress").
  • Adjective order: In English, there is a general order for adjectives when they appear before a noun, which includes categories such as quantity, quality, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, and purpose (e.g., "two large round wooden dining tables"). However, this order can vary between languages.
  • Intensifiers: Intensifiers are words that emphasize or strengthen the meaning of an adjective (e.g., "very," "quite," "rather," "extremely").

Functions of Adjectives with Examples

1. Describing a noun: Adjectives are used to provide more information about a noun by describing its characteristics, qualities, or state.

  • Example: The beautiful girl

2. Comparing nouns: Adjectives are used to compare two or more nouns in terms of a specific quality or characteristic.

  • Example: She is taller than her brother

3. Expressing an opinion: Adjectives can be used to express an opinion or judgement about a noun.

  • Example: The food is delicious

4. Denoting quantity or amount: Adjectives can indicate the quantity or amount of a noun.

  • Example: She has many friends

5. Describing a person's emotions or feelings: Adjectives can describe a person's emotions or feelings.

  • Example: He is happy

Solved Exercises

1. Identifying Adjectives in Sentences
The big, brown dog barked loudly.

"Big" and "brown" describe the noun "dog."

She wore a beautiful, long dress to the party.

"Beautiful" and "long" describe the noun "dress."

The old, wooden house creaked in the wind.

"Old" and "wooden" describe the noun "house."

I bought a pair of comfortable shoes for hiking.

"Comfortable" describes the noun "shoes."

2. Comparing Adjectives

Exercise: Choose the correct form of the adjective in parentheses.
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

We use the superlative form "highest" because we're comparing more than two mountains.

My new car is faster than my old one.

We use the comparative form "faster" because we're comparing two cars.

This is the best pizza I've ever had.

We use the superlative form "best" because we're comparing more than two pizzas.

She is taller than her sister.

We use the comparative form "taller" because we're comparing two people.

The water in the ocean is colder than the water in the pool.

We use the comparative form "colder" because we're comparing two sources of water.

3. Ordering Adjectives
Exercise: Rearrange the words to create a sentence with the correct order of adjectives.

red / the / car / new / shiny / fast

The fast, shiny, new, red car.
Adjectives are typically ordered in the following sequence: opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose. In this case, fast (opinion), shiny (size), new (age), and red (color) need to be in that order.

old / black / cat / small / sleepy

The sleepy, small, old, black cat.
Sleepy (opinion), small (size), old (age), and black (color).

book / thick / interesting / the / green

The interesting, thick, green book.
Interesting (opinion), thick (size), and green (color).

house / blue / the / big / haunted

The big, haunted, blue house.
Big (size), haunted (opinion), and blue (color).

Spotting Errors (Adjectives)

Exercise 1: Identify the errors in the following sentences and correct them.

She is more taller than her sister.

She is taller than her sister.
"more" should not be used with "taller" as it is a comparative form of the adjective.)

This is the most unique painting I have ever seen.

"Unique" is an absolute adjective and should not be used with "most.")

The movie was so much interesting that I watched it twice.

The movie was so interesting that I watched it twice.
"much" is not needed before the adjective "interesting.")

The weather today is more better than yesterday.

The weather today is better than yesterday.
"more" should not be used with "better" as it is a comparative form of the adjective.)

He is the most cleverest student in our class.

He is the cleverest student in our class.
"most" should not be used with "cleverest" as it is a superlative form of the adjective.)

Exercise 2: Spot the errors in the following sentences and correct them.
My brother is elder than me by two years.

My brother is older than me by two years.
"elder" should be replaced with "older" when comparing age.)

Of the two options available, I chose the latter one.

Of the two options available, I chose the second one.
"latter" should be replaced with "second" when referring to two options.)

His car is more faster than mine.

His car is faster than mine.
"more" should not be used with "faster" as it is a comparative form of the adjective.)

This book is as much interesting as the other one.

This book is as interesting as the other one.
"much" is not needed before the adjective "interesting.")

The Eiffel Tower is the most tallest building in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris.
"most" should not be used with "tallest" as it is a superlative form of the adjective.)

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