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What is an Adjective?

adjective (noun): a part-of-speech that modifies or describes a noun or a pronoun

An adjective is one of the eight parts of speech.

An adjective is a word that tells us more about a noun. It "describes" or "modifies" a noun (The big dog was hungry). In these examples, the adjective is in bold and the noun that it modifies is in italics.

An adjective often comes BEFORE a noun:

And sometimes an adjective comes AFTER a verb:

But adjectives can also modify pronouns (She is beautiful). Look at these examples:

Note that we can often use two or more adjectives together (a beautiful young French lady / it is black and white).

The adjective is the enemy of the noun
This is sometimes said because, very often, if we use the precise noun we don't need an adjective. For example, instead of saying "a large, impressive house" (2 adjectives + 1 noun) we could simply say "a mansion" (1 noun).

Adjective Form

Some adjectives have particular endings, for example:

However, many adjectives have no obvious form.

Comparative, Superlative

Most adjectives can be comparative or superlative, for example: