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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adjective

Rules

1. Adjectives are invariable:
They do not change their form depending on the gender or number of the noun.
A hot potato Some hot potatoes
2. To emphasise or strengthen the meaning of an adjective use 'very' or 'really':
A very hot potato Some really hot potatoes.


Position of adjectives

a) Usually in front of a noun: A beautiful girl.
b) After verbs like "to be", "to seem" , "to look", "to taste":

Examples

  • The girl is beautiful
  • You look tired
  • This meat tastes funny.
c) After the noun: in some fixed expressions:

Examples

  • The Princess Royal
  • The President elect
  • a court martial
d) After the noun with the adjectives involved, present, concerned:

Examples

  1. I want to see the people involved/concerned (= the people who have something to do with the matter)
  2. Here is a list of the people present (= the people who were in the building or at the meeting)
Be careful! When these adjectives are used before the noun they have a different meaning:
  • An involved discussion = detailed, complex
  • A concerned father = worried, anxious
  • The present situation = current, happening now


Function of Adjectives

Adjectives can:

Describe feelings or qualities:

Examples

  • He is a lonely man
  • They are honest people
Give nationality or origin:

Examples

  • Pierre is French
  • This clock is German
  • Our house is Victorian
Tell more about a thing's characteristics:

Examples

  • A wooden table.
  • The knife is sharp.
Tell us about age:

Examples

  • He's young man
  • My coat is very old
Tell us about size and measurement:

Examples

  • John tall man.
  • This is a very long film.
Tell us about colour:

Examples

  • Paul wore a red shirt.
  • The sunset was crimson and gold.
Tell us about material/what something is made of:

Examples

  • It was a wooden table
  • She wore a cotton dress
Tell us about shape:

Examples

  • A rectangular box
  • A square envelope
Express a judgement or a value:

Examples

  • A fantastic film
  • Grammar is boring.
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  • Order of Adjectives

    Rules

    Where a number of adjectives are used together, the order depends on the function of the adjective. The usual order is:
    Value/opinion, Size, Age/Temperature, Shape, Colour, Origin, Material
    Value/opinion delicious, lovely, charming
    Size small, huge, tiny
    Age/Temperature old, hot, young
    Shape round, square, rectangular
    Colour red, blonde, black
    Origin Swedish, Victorian, Chinese
    Material plastic, wooden, silver

    Examples:

    • a lovely old red post-box
    • some small round plastic tables
    • some charming small silver ornaments
     
  • for more info adjective

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