Category: Grammar

Hello and welcome back to our parts of speech series My name is Ganesh and in this lesson we’re going to learn all about adjectives. In this lesson I will tell you what is an adjective and what are the two main types of adjectives and then we will focus on using adjectives correctly and how to avoid common mistakes that students make with them. We will look at three areas: ed and ing adjectives, comparatives and superlatives and the order of adjectives – that is when you have more than one adjective in a sentence, which should you put first second etc. So we’ll talk about avoiding errors in these three areas. Before we start just remember if you have any questions at all you can ask me in the comments section below and I will talk to you there. OK so first of all what is an adjective? Well that’s easy – an adjective is a word that gives information about a noun or pronoun. In grammar we say that an adjective modifies a noun or pronoun modify here means to change the noun or pronoun by giving more information about it. For example take a look at this sentence There are three small black wooden chairs in this room. Focus on the noun chairs and can you tell me which adjectives modify – that is give more information – about chairs? The adjectives are three, small, black and wooden. These adjectives answer questions like How many? What size? What color? What material? etc. Now in this example the adjectives occur before the noun but they can also appear after the noun or pronoun like in this example – The food was hot and delicious. Here the adjectives hot and delicious appear after the noun food and notice that we use the linking verb be – past tense was – to connect the noun and the adjectives. OK now that you know what an adjective is let’s talk about the two types of adjectives in English There are two main types of adjectives in English – these are called determiners and descriptive adjectives. Or as I like to say less interesting and more interesting adjectives. I say that descriptive adjectives are more interesting because these are what we commonly think of as adjectives – words like beautiful, big, small, tall, short, blue, red etc. So what are determiners then? Well determiners are a small group of grammar words that act as adjectives. Words like my, our, your, his, her etc. are determiners When I say – That’s my car, for example, the word my shows that I’m not talking about any car – I’m talking about one particular car – my car – so the word my acts as an adjective by giving information about the noun car. In the same way the words this, that, these and those also act as adjectives. Also the question words what, which and whose can be determiners. If I asked – Which team do you think will win the next match? – the word which asks for information about team. Team is a noun so which is an adjective. Quantity words like numbers and quantity expressions such as a few, some and many are determiners as well. And finally articles that is the words a, an and the are also considered adjectives because if I said – A window is broken – it could be any window but if I said – The window is broken – we both know which window I’m talking about so articles give us information about nouns and so they’re also adjectives. Now all determiners are adjectives but we will discuss these in other lessons because each one of them is a big topic. In this lesson we’re going to focus on the really interesting adjectives that is descriptive adjectives and we will look at how to avoid common errors with them. Now in English there are lots and lots of descriptive adjectives – some of them are formed from nouns, verbs and even other adjectives.

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