Parts of speech: Adjectives

English language learning: Grammar, Composition, Vocabulary & Pronunciation

 

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Definition

A word which gives information about noun or pronoun is called adjective. For example;

  • He is tall. (tall stands for he which is pronoun)
  • Susan is intelligent. (intelligent stands for Susan which is noun)
  • The situation is difficult. (difficult stands for situation which is noun)
  • Your essay is too short.( short stands for essay which is noun)

In the above examples the italicized words are adjectives because they talk something about subjects, e.g. [tall] is the characteristic of he, similarly [intelligent] stand for Susan and so on.

Three degrees of adjective

Since adjective is the quality of noun or pronoun and quality varies in degrees, therefore adjective has three degrees which are as follows;

  1. Positive
  2. Comparative
  3. Superlative

Positive is the simple adjective or the quality in which you are not comparing one thing to other nor you are presenting one thing as the best or worst, like;

  • He is good in studies.
  •  I want to purchase a small bag.
  • The valley is beautiful.
  • The cupboard is heavy.

Comparative, as the name indicates, is the kind of adjective in which we compare one thing to other in its quality, like; better, smaller, more beautiful, heavier etc. After using comparative adjective the word [than] is used like;

  • He is better than him.
  • This house is smaller than that one.
  • The valley is more beautiful than where we lived.
  • This furniture is heavier than that.

Superlative is that degree of adjective in which we are placing one thing as the best in particular quality than all others. before superlative degree definite article [the] is used. For example;

  • He is the best of all.
  • This house is the smallest of all.
  • This valley is the most beautiful.
  • That is the heaviest rostrum in the college.

Examples of all the cases of adjective

Positive Comparative Superlative
small smaller (than) (the) smallest
good better (than) (the) best
few fewer (than) (the) fewest
much more (than) (the) most

Adjectives and syllables

One sound is called syllable, like;

  • tall (tall: one sound)
  • happy (ha-ppy: two sounds)
  • beautiful (bea-ti-ful: three sounds)
  • sophisticated (so-phis-ti-ca-ted: five sounds)

Adjective is treated differently with the number of syllables in comparative and superlative cases.

Whenever there is one syllable –er and –est is used at the end of the word like;

  • small, smaller, smallest
  • few, fewer, fewest
  • tall, taller, tallest

In case of TWO syllables if the word ends on –y we use –ier and –iest at the end of words to make comparative and superlative degrees otherwise we have to use –er  and –est. like;

  • happy, happier, happiest
  • filthy, filthier, filthiest
  • simple, simpler, simplest
  • silly, sillier, silliest
  • Mighty, mightier, mightiest
  • Greedy, greedier, greediest
  • Ugly, uglier, ugliest

In case of THREE or more syllables more and most is used to make comparative and superlative degrees. like;

  • beautiful, more beautiful (than), (the) most beautiful
  • important, more important (than), (the) most important
  • intelligent, more intelligent (than), (the) most intelligent

Regular and irregular adjectives

Such one-syllable adjectives which change in spellings and pronunciation while converting into comparative and superlative degrees are called irregular whereas all the others are regular and only –er and –est is needed to convert them.

examples of regular adjectives
  • small, smaller, smallest
  • hard, harder, hardest
  • fast, faster, fastest
examples of irregular adjectives
  • much, more, most
  • good, better, best
  • bad, worse, worst

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