FAQ - English & Grammar

What Is an Adjective? Definition, Examples, Types, Practice.

What Is an Adjective?


An adjective is a word or phrase that describes a noun’s quality or state of being. The purpose of an adjective is to essentially provide more information about another word or group of words. This can include details about size, shape, quantity, color, duration, texture, emotions, and other qualities.



·         The red balloon flew away.

·         Gabriel and his wife baked five dozen cookies for the event.

·         I do not like green eggs and ham.

·         Melissa’s fluffy dog wagged his tail when he saw her.

·         Mr. Brown’s speech lasted exactly seven minutes.


Adjectives typically appear before the nouns they modify, as with the examples above. Therefore, they are also called modifiers. However, when they are used with “to be” verbs and verbs that involve the five senses, they appear after the verb. These types of verbs are called linking verbs.


Adjectives and “To Be” Verb Examples


A “to be” verb (am, are, is, etc.) is an irregular verb used to describe the condition of a noun. The following are examples of adjectives used with “to be” verbs:


·         The kids are tired after a long day of hiking.

·         I am happy to see you.

·         The dog’s bark is loud.

·         Clinton’s friends were confused about what he said.


Adjective and Sense Verb Examples


A sense verb is another type of linking verb that involves taste, touch, smell, sight, or sound. The following are examples of adjectives used with sense verbs:


·         The chicken Parmesan smells terrific!

·         She seems undecided about college.

·         This sunny, 70-degree day feels great.

·         Lucy’s guitar sounds out-of-tune.

·         Juan’s homemade lasagna tastes wonderful.


What Are the Different Types of Adjectives?


There are a total of eight types of adjectives in the English language.

·         Article

·         Compound

·         Demonstrative

·         Indefinite

·         Interrogative

·         Possessive

·         Proper

·         Quantitative

Article Adjectives


Although not as obvious as the other adjectives, articles (the, a, and an) do describe nouns. Therefore, they belong to the adjective part of speech.


·         An elephant can’t jump.

·         The snow kept falling.

·         A dog marks that hydrant every day.


Compound Adjectives


A compound adjective is one that combines two or more words to form an adjective phrase.


·         Rebecca has a part-time job.

·         I can’t believe how well-behaved Buster is!

·         The run-of-the-mill conference was poorly attended.

Demonstrative Adjectives


A demonstrative adjective specifically refers to a person or object (this, that, those, these).


·         This cat is meowing.

·         Those houses are beautiful.

·         That woman was not very friendly.


Indefinite Adjectives


An indefinite adjective modifies a noun without specific information like color, shape, size, etc.


·         Few members accepted the invitation.

·         Every parent should see the movie.

·         Nobody wanted to make the trip.

·         Several students complained to the principal.

Interrogative Adjectives


Interrogative adjectives ask a which, what, or whose question and must precede a noun.


·         Whose candy is this?

·         Which pen did you use?

·         What book are you reading?

Possessive Adjectives


Possessive adjectives show ownership and always precede a noun.


·         Our house is in the middle of the street.

·         Her/his phone cracked.

·         My parents are in town.


Proper Adjectives


Comparable to proper nouns, proper adjectives usually need to be capitalized because they involve a company, ethnicity, culture, region, etc.


·         Sheila loves Mexican food.

·         McDonalds fries are his favorite.

·         That is a very Texan thing to say.


Quantitative Adjectives


Quantitative adjectives give details about how much or how many of a certain noun is being described. These adjectives can be numerical or non-numerical.


·         Solomon counted 15 deer in his yard.

·         Heidi lost 30 pounds.

·         The baby was born with only nine fingers.


Adjective Practice

Now, it’s time to test your understanding of adjectives. Find the adjective in the sentences below. Keep in mind that some have more than one!

1.       Tunde ran a 5-minute mile.

2.       She embraced the salty breeze.

3.       Diana didn’t seem embarrassed by the man’s rude comments.

4.       John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is a young-adult novel.

5.       The fluffy cat was the loudest cat.

6.       Esteban doesn’t like Chinese food.








1.       5-minute

2.       Salty

3.       Embarrassed, rude

4.       Young-adult

5.       Fluffy, loudest

6.       Chinese

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