ADJECTIVES are used to describe NOUNS. They give more details or information about the nouns they are associated with.   Button

GIRL A: "Tell me about your boyfriend."

GIRL B: "Well, he is tall, dark and handsome."

GIRL A: "Sounds like mine."


ADJECTIVES can be used to answer the questions "What kind (of)?" or  "Which one?  Button


CUSTOMER: "Hi. I'm calling about the car you're selling?"

SELLER: "It's a great car. (It's) in excellent condition.

CUSTOMER: "What kind of seats does it have?"

SELLER: "They're very comfortable seats; soft, plush, just like a sofa.

CUSTOMER:"I'll think it over. It's a big decision."


TONY: "Hand me that book."

JEFF: "Which one do you want?"

TONY: "The red one, with the glossy  cover."




ADJECTIVES come before the NOUNS they modify - never after.   Button


Three happy hippies lived in the Heartbreak Hotel. CORRECT

Three hippies happy lived in the Heartbreak Hotel. WRONG

ADJECTIVES can also be used with linking verbs to describe the subject of a sentence. When used in this manner, the ADJECTIVE(S) come after the linking verb  Button


My mother is tall and slender. CORRECT

My mother tall and slender. WRONG [There is no linking verb.]


"Seem", "become", "appear" and VERBS OF PERCEPTION can also be used as linking verbs.

Notice how these are used with ADJECTIVES below.

(Can you identify the linking verbs with the adjectives?)   Button


The journey seemed long. It appeared to be strenuous and boring.

"You smell nice today. What kind of cologne are you wearing?"

Paul: "What do you want to do this weekend? Bowling? Shopping? Watch a movie?"

Tam: "Bowling sounds good."



The journey seemed long. It appeared strenuous and boring.

"You smell nice today. What kind of cologne are you wearing?"

Paul: "What do you want to do this weekend. Bowling? Shopping? Watch a movie?

Tam: "Bowling sounds good."]




Tom looked greedy. (He appeared to be a greedy person.)

Here, the ADJECTIVE "greedy" is used to describe Tom.



Tom looked greedily at the pie on the table. (He saw the pie and wanted it all for himself.)

Here, the ADVERB "greedily" is being used to describe Tom's action "looked". Button


ADJECTIVES are the same for all NOUNS. They do not change for plurals.


The three tired children slept deeply. CORRECT

The three tireds children... WRONG


Adjective Order

When several adjectives modify the same noun, there is a particular order they must follow in English. Certain adjectives come before others. (Not all have to be used in the same sentence.)   Button

See the chart below.

Quantifier            Article, Possessive,         Number Sequence      Quality, Size         Shape         Colour          Origin          Material


 some of, all of,         the, a, an, this, that, my,           three, second, next            wonderful,                 flat, round,      black, red,       American,       card, ceramic,

both                          his                                                                                       clean, large               square            yellow             English,           metal, wooden



Some of the hungry gentlemen.

The last great civilization.

Ten big round metal rings.

The beautiful Japanese ceramic vase.

My three lovely daughters.

An interesting wooden statue.

The third red plastic barrel.



Now try for yourself.

Look around you: describe something that you can see.

Try to make use of some of the COMMON ADJECTIVES listed in the next part of this lesson. Use 30 taken at random, and assign them to the table above.

Now try to make sentences with them.   Button


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