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In this blog we will discuss important topic of English Grammar i.e. ADJECTIVE.

Let’s understand adjectives with examples:

  1. Sita is a clever girl. (‘Girl’ of what kind?)
  2. He gave me five mangoes. (How many mangoes?)
  3. I don’t like that boy. (Which boy?)
  4. There is little time for preparation. (How much time?)

As, now we have seen the examples and in the first sentence we can see that ‘clever’ shows what kind of girl Sita is; or, in the other words, ‘clever’ describes the girl Sita.

In the second sentence, ‘five’ shows how many mangoes he gave me.

In the third sentence, ‘that’ points out which boy is meant.

In the fourth sentence, ‘little’ shows how much time there is for preparation.

So, from this we can define adjective as, A word used with a nun to describe or point out, the person, animal, place or thing which the noun names, or to tell the number or quantity, is called an Adjective.

In short, we can say that, Adjective is a word used with a noun to add something for its meaning.

Kinds of Adjectives:

There are 5 main kinds of adjectives:

  • Adjectives of quality
  • Adjectives of quantity
  • Adjectives of number
  • Demonstrative Adjectives
  • Interrogative Adjectives
  • Adjectives of Quality: it is also known as Descriptive adjective which show the kind or quality of a person or thing; as,

Kolkata is a large city.

He is an honest man.

Note: Adjectives formed from proper Noun for e.g. French wines, Turkish tobacco, Indian tea, etc are sometimes called Proper Adjectives. They are generally classed with Adjectives of Quality.

Adjective of Quality answer the question: Of what kind?

  • Adjective of Quantity: It shows how much of a thing is meant.

For example: I ate some rice.

                          He has lost all his wealth.

                          You have no sense.

Adjective of Quantity answer the question: How much?

  • Adjectives of Number:  it is also known as Numeral Adjectives which shows how many person or things are meant, or in what order a person or thing stands; as,

For example: The hand has five fingers.

                          There are no pictures in this book.

                          All men must die.

Adjectives of Number answer the question: How many?

Adjective of number are of 3 kinds:

  1. Definite Numeral Adjectives: Which denote an exact number. Such as, One, Two, three, etc.       First, Second, Third, etc
  1. Indefinite Numeral Adjectives: Which do not denote an exact number. Such as, All, no, many, few, some, any, certain, several, sundry.
  1. Distributive Numeral Adjectives: Which refer to each one of a number. Such as, Each boy must take his turn. Every word of it is false.
  • Demonstrative Adjectives: Where Adjectives point out which person or thing is meant. Such as,

This boy is stronger than Hari. I hate such things.

Demonstrative Adjectives answer the question: which?

  • Interrogative Adjectives: what, which and whose when they are used with nouns to ask questions, are called Interrogative Adjectives. Such as,

What manner of man he is?

Whose book is this?

Comparison of Adjectives:

We can learn the comparison of adjectives with some examples in the beginning:

  • Rama’s mango is sweet.
  • Hari’s mango is sweeter than Rama’s
  • Govind’s mango is sweetest of all.

In the 1, sentence we can see that the adjective sweet merely tell us that Rama’s mango has the quality of sweetness which shows the positive degree.

In the 2, sentence we can see that the adjective sweeter tell us that Hari’s mango, compared with Rama’s mango, has more of the quality of sweetness which shows the comparative degree.

In the 3, sentence, we can see that the adjective sweetest tells us that of all these mangoes govind’s mangoes has the greatest amount or highest degree of the quality of sweetness which shows the superlative degree.

These all adjectives show us the comparison so these are called the three degree of comparison.

The positive degree of an Adjective is the adjective in its simple form. It is used to denote the mere existence of some quality of what we speak about. It is used when no comparison is made.

The comparative degree of an Adjective denotes a higher degree of the quality than the positive, and is used when two things or we can say set of things are compared.

The Superlative Degree of an Adjective denotes the highest degree of the quality, and when more than two things are compared.

Let’s have a look to some of the formation of Comparative and Superlative.

Usually most Adjectives of one syllable, and some of more than one form the comparative by adding ‘er’ and the superlative by adding ‘est’ to the positive.

For example: Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest; kind, Kinder, Kindest; Great, Greater, Greatest.

In the adjectives, when the positive end in the e, only r and st are added.

For example: Brave, Braver, Bravest.

Adjectives of more than two syllables form the Comparative and Superlative by putting ‘more’ and ‘most’ before the positive.

For example: Beautiful, More Beautiful, Most Beautiful.

Note: Usually when there are more than one adjectives  that are used to describe a noun, they are usually put in a certain order.

The order begins with:

The article/pronoun used as adjective, intensifier, quality, size, age, color, participle, noun used as adjective, head noun.

For example:

  • A beautiful young French woman (but not ‘a French beautiful young woman’)
  • A large blue paper bag (but not ‘a paper blue large bag’)

Position of Adjectives:

In adjectives, there are usually three positions where it can be placed and i.e. before a noun, after a noun, or in the predicate. These three positions of adjectives are called attributive, postpositive, and predicative respectively.

Attributive position:

An adjective is called in its attributive position when it is placed before a noun.

For example:

  • I found some hilarious pictures of you. (here hilarious pre-modifies ‘pictures’)

However, pronouns cannot be pre- modified so, they most often come immediately before a noun this is the attributive position.

Postpositive position:

An adjective is called in its postpositive position when it is placed after the noun.

These adjectives are not as common as attributive or predicative ones, but they are found in number of fixed expressions.

For example:

  • We have plenty of rooms available. (here Available post-modifies ‘rooms’)

NOTE: when some word or phrase is joined to the Adjective to explain its meaning, the adjective is placed after the noun.

Predicative position:

An adjective is called in its predicative position when it is placed in the predicate of a sentence. In that case, it modifies the subject of the sentence via a linking verb or other linking mechanism.

For example:

  • Most students are happy. (Happy modifies ‘students’ via the linking verb ‘are’)

Some correct uses of adjectives:

Usually candidates got confused while solving questions in banking exams. So, let’s have a look to some of the adjectives:

  • Some, any: to express a quantity or degree some is used normally in affirmative sentences, any is used in negative or interrogative sentences.
  • I will buy some mangoes.
  • I will not buy any mangoes.
  • Have you bought any mangoes?

Usually any can be used after if in affirmative sentences and some is used in questions which are really offers\requests or which expect the answer “yes”.

  • Will you have some ice-cream?
  • Could you lend me some money?
  • Did you buy some clothes?
  • Each, every: each and every are similar in meaning but every is a stronger word than each; it means, ‘each without exceptions’.

Each is used in speaking of two or more things, while ‘Every’ is used in speaking of more than two. Each directs attention to the individuals while ‘Every’ to the total group.

  • Every seat was taken.
  • Five boys were seated on each bench.
  • Little, a little, the little: it is very important to note carefully the use of three of the adjectives.
  • Little: it is equal to not much. Thus, the adjective little has a negative meaning.
  • There is a little hope of his recovery.
  • A little: this is equal to some though not much. A little has a positive meaning.
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
  • The little: it is equal to not much, but all there is.
  • The little knowledge he had was not quite reliable.

Rule no 1: We use adjective with a verb when some quality of the subject is expressed, rather than of the action of the verb, is to be expressed.

It is one of the very general rules, if any phrase denoting manner could be substituted, the adverb should be used, nut if some part of the verb to be could be employed as a connective, the adjective is required.

For example: The flowers smell sweet. (Not ‘sweetly’)

                          It tastes sour. (Not ‘sourly’)

Rule no 2: The plural form these and those are often used with the singular noun’s kind and sort; as,

For example: These kinds of things.

Keep in mind, such a form of expression is, however, constantly heard and occurs in good writers.

Rule no 3: In comparing two things or classes of things the comparative should be used; as,

For example: Of the two suggestions, the former is the better.

                         Which is the cheaper of the two?

This rule is, however, not strictly observed. In informal English the superlative is often used when we talk about one of only two items. We can use best, most interesting, cheapest and tallest in the sentences above.

Rule no 4: Latter is often wrongly used for last. Use latter when there are two only, last when there are more.

For example: of the three, tea, coffee and cocoa the last (not latter) is his favourite.

Rule no 5: Double Comparatives and Superlatives are to be avoided, though their use was once common in English. Thus, we have in Shakespeare-

For example: it was the unkindest cut of all.

Rule no 6: Note the pattern: that + adjective + a/an + noun.

For example: I can’t afford that big a car.

Rule no 7: Few and a few have different meanings.

Few is negative, and equivalent to not many, hardly any.

A few is positive, and equivalent to some.

For example: Few persons can keep a secret.

                           A few words spoken in earnest will convince him.

Rule no 8: All the adjectives which refer to the same noun should be in the same degree of comparison.

For example: He is the wisest and most honest worker in the office.

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