Linguistic Terms

Adjectives

Adjectives?

Adjectives are those words that we use to modify or accompany the noun. In general, they are used to describe, complement or quantify the name in the sentence. For example:

Get to know the characteristics that adjectives have in English

1. They precede the noun in most cases:

  • The latest update.
  • An important information.
  • My grandma loves sewing.

2. A noun can function as an adjective when used to describe another name:

  • The leather purse.
  • department store.
  • The police officer

3. They are invariable in gender and number:

  • She has  funny friends.
  • I called his  grandma yesterday night.
  • You need to buy two yellow flowers.

4. Adjectives can go after status or sensation verbs, such as the verbs  to be (to be), to feel  (to feel), to  smell (smell), etc.

  • I feel  good  this morning! I think I’ll go running.
  • You look  awesome ! Are you on a diet?
  • Chris didn’t eat because he’s sick .

The Order of Adjectives in English: Know Where to Place

The big green tree, the pretty young girl or the beautiful old sailing ship. It sounds like Chinese, but it is simply the order of adjectives that we must follow in English . They almost always juxtapose (they are placed one behind the other without using “and” as in Spanish) and they are always placed in front of the noun.

In fact, in English it is necessary to follow a  fairly strict order in case we want to use several adjectives to describe a noun. This is a very marked difference between English and Spanish, because in our language we do not usually give importance to the order in which we say the adjectives.

While at first it may seem difficult to learn that order, in a while you can say it without much thought. What is the secret? Practice . You will not have to think about which adjective goes first, as it will come naturally.

Classification of adjectives in English

As in Spanish, in English there are a variety of types of adjectives. These are:

1. Qualifiers: fat, blonde, caring, stubborn, smart, etc.

2. Demonstrative: this, that, these and those.

3. Quantitative: none, some, any, many, etc.

4. Possessive: my, his, their, your, etc.

5. Numeric: one, three, fourth, nineth, etc. 

Comparative Adjectives

This type of adjective is used when we want to compare two things, objects, situations or people. We can say that something is bigger or less important than something else, for example. For this it is necessary to know the structure and rules of comparative adjectives in English.

Structure of the sentence with comparative adjectives

Subject + verb + more (optional depending on the nature of the adjective) + adjective + than + complement

Examples:

  • John is more attractive than Charles. (John is more attractive than Charles)
  • His younger son is more extroverted than the older. (His youngest son is more outgoing than the eldest)

Formation of comparative adjectives

One syllable:

1. If the adjective has only one syllable, the suffix – er is added in most cases:

  • Joy is faster than Kate. (fast)  (Joy is faster than Kate)
  • Paul is shorter than Anthony. (short)  (Paul is shorter than Anthony)

2. However, if the adjective ends in -e , only one r is added :

  • My TV is larger than yours. (large) (My TV is bigger than yours)
  • Grandparents are wiser than teenagers. (wise)  (Grandparents are wiser than teenagers)

3. If the last three letters of the adjective are consonant-vowel-consonant, the final consonant is doubled:

  • This movie is sadder than the previous one. (sad)  (This movie is sadder than the previous one)
  • Ken is fatter than Keith. (fat)  (Ken is fatter than Keith)

4.-For monosyllable adjectives ending in -y , it is possible to keep the consonant and add the suffix – er , but it can also be changed to the -ier form Let’s see:

  • Colbie is shier / shyer  than Adele. (shy)  (Colbie is more shy than Adele)
  • Grandma is sprier / spryer  than many young ladies. (spry)  (Grandma is more vivacious than many young girls)

Two syllables:

If the adjective ends in -y , the suffix is ​​transformed by -ier :

  • Her hair is curlier than mine. curly )
  • Matt looks happier than before. happy )

In the case that ends in -ow or -le , -er or -r is added as appropriate:

  • Grammar is simpler than math.
  • This street is narrower than the other one .

For the other adjectives of two or more syllables, no suffix is ​​added, but rather puts  more. Let’s see:

  • The chocolate cake is more sugary than the apple one.
  • These high heels are more beautiful than those.

Irregular adjectives in English

There are some adjectives that when used as comparatives do not follow any kind of rules , so they are considered irregular. Here are some of them:

Comparative adjectives exercise

Practice now with this exercise of comparative adjectives that we have prepared for you.

The superlative adjectives in English

Superlative adjectives express a quality in the greatest possible degree or intensity. Unlike the comparative adjective, the superlative serves to demonstrate that something (person, animal, thing, etc.) has a higher level in some quality compared to other specimens of the same species or nature.

For example:  Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. 

(Bill Gates is the richest man in the world)

The formula of the superlative adjective is:

Subject + verb + the + ( most ) + superlative adjective + complement

Rules of superlative adjectives in English

One syllable:

1. The suffix – est is added to most of these adjectives:

Example: cold est (the coldest)  clean est (the cleanest) , young est (the youngest), etc.

  • I am the youngest in the family. (I am the youngest in the family)
  • He has the coldest heart! (He has a colder heart!)

2. If it ends in – e , – st is added :

Example: large st (largest), wide st (widest), etc.

  • Dad bought the largest truck at the car dealer! (My father has bought the biggest truck from the dealership!)

3. If the adjective ends in consonant-vowel-consonant, the final consonant is doubled and the suffix is ​​added – est :

  • China is the biggest country in the world.  (China is the largest country in the world).

4. If there is more than one consonant or vowel at the end, it is added – est :

  • The Empire State is the highest building in New York City. (The Empire State Building is the tallest building in New York City.)

Two syllables or more:

1. If it has two syllables and ends in – and , this particle is changed to – iest :

My dog ​​is the happ iest ! (My dog ​​is the happiest)

2. If it ends in – ow is added – est .

This is the narrow est street in town . (It is the narrowest street in the city).

3. If you click on – you will be added – st .

This is the litt lest book in the world . (It is the smallest book in the world).

4. If it has more than two syllables, the term most is used in the sentence. Let’s see:

  • My baby is the most beautiful in the whole world. (My baby is the prettiest in the whole world).
  • That necklace is the most expensive jewel they have. (That necklace is the most expensive jewel they have).

The possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used, as the name implies, to speak of possession or belonging . In this article we will talk about the main characteristics of possessive adjectives in English and give you some practical advice.

They always accompany a noun, which differentiates them from possessive pronouns . These should not be confused.

possessive adjectives in English

Examples of possessive adjectives:

  • My bed is big. (My bed is big)
  • Your jacket is on the floor. (Your jacket is on the floor)
  • Her dress is stunning! (Her dress is awesome!)
  • His favorite hobbies are driving and playing soccer. (His favorite hobbies are driving and playing soccer)
  • We cannot walk the dog. Its leash is lost. (We can’t walk the dog. His leash is lost)
  • Our teachers are very busy. (Our teachers are very busy)
  • Your exams are corrected. (Your exams are corrected)
  • Their names were written on the board. (Their names were written on the board)

When do we use possessive adjectives?

1. When we want to say that something belongs to someone:

  • That is my car. (That is my car).
  • Our dog is brown. (Our dog is brown).
  • His  boots are very old. (His boots are very old).

2. To refer to people close to us:

  • My friends are funny. (My friends are funny).
  • Her father is a vet. (His father is a veterinarian).

3. To talk about body parts:

  • They wash their hair everyday. (They wash their hair every day).
  • She paints her nails very often, (She often tips her nails).

Important aspects about possessive adjectives

1. Like all adjectives, it goes before the noun .

My cellphone (my mobile) His motorcycle (his motorcycle) Their mother   (his mother)                    

2. Only used in the singular . Here is an example:

  • Incorrect: Ours friends like to drink tea. (Our friends like to drink tea)
  • Correct: Our friends like to drink tea.
  • Incorrect: Hers crayons are new. (His colors are new)
  • Correct:  Her crayons are new.

3. Possessive adjectives must be in accordance with who owns the object and not with the object itself. This is clearer through examples:

Emily is short. Her father is tall. (Emily is short. Her father is tall)

In this case we talk about her father, so the possessive adjective must be feminine. It would be incorrect, therefore, to say ” his father “, because although father is masculine, we are referring to the “object” possessed by Emily.

Be very careful with the translation of “his” . In Spanish, it serves both singular and plural, masculine and feminine, while not in English. So, you have to pay special attention .

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