What Are Adjectives?


An adjective is a word that describes or modifies nouns. You can use it to describe the quality of something, like "beautiful" or "ugly." Adjectives can also modify verbs and adjectives, like in the sentence: "She walked slowly past him."

Adjectives can be classified as positive and comparative (and superlative). A positive adjective is used to describe a noun. Comparatives are used when comparing two things, like "bigger" or "blue." Superlatives modify the highest degree of something, for example, biggest, bluest.

Adjectives can also be classified as descriptive or demonstrative. Descriptive adjectives describe a noun, like "big" and "blue." Demonstratives point to something specific; they are the words used in front of an adjective, for example, this blue car is mine vs. I love blues music.

In addition to nouns, which can be subjects or objects, adjectives are also used to help describe things. They answer the question "what kind" regarding a person or thing.

Adjectives can come before or after a word they modify depending on whether it describes an object you want to emphasize. For example: "She wore a beautiful dress." The adjective "beautiful" describes the noun "dress," so it comes after the word it modifies (i.e., before the object).

However, if you wanted to emphasize that she wore a certain kind of dress, then this would be placed in front of what it describes: "She wore a beautiful new dress." If the adjective is describing a person or thing that you want to emphasize, then it would typically go after the word it modifies: "The old man walked slowly down the road."

Adjectives can also come before subject complements, which are words that complete subjects, such as "I am a woman." or "She is hungry."

Adjectives that come before subject complements usually describe the way in which something happened. For example: "The cold wind blew through his hair." In this sentence, the adjective "cold," describes how (i.e., type of) wind and comes before the word "hair."


Where Shouldn't Adjectives be Used?

It would be best if you never used adjectives with adverbs or verbs that are already descriptive enough on their own. For example, don't say, "I really like eating well-done steak" because you like steak; well done. Instead, say, "I really enjoy eating well-done steak."

Some adjectives are always weak writing when used in certain contexts. For example, you should never pair "nice" and "pretty" with a noun because they don't provide any information about the noun. It is redundant to say something like, "It was a nice car." Instead, you should describe the noun you are talking about in detail, such as saying, "I saw an expensive black sports car."

Are Adjectives Bad in Writing?

Adjectives describe nouns by providing more information about the person, place, or thing in question. Adjectives can provide color, size, and location to a sentence. They might even change the way you feel about something.

Adjectives are not necessarily bad in writing. But learning how to use adjectives properly will make your work more interesting, descriptive, and error-free.


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