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Adjectives are words which describe or modify another person or thing in a sentence. An adjective can modify a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying or quantifying words. An adjective usually comes just before the noun or the pronoun which it modifies. The articles a, an and the are adjectives.

For Example:
  • The tall doctor.
  • The lugubrious woman.
  • A solid promise.
  • A month's salary.
  • A six year old child.
  • The happiest, poorest man. 
  • The car shaped balloon floated over the treetops.
  • Mrs. Smith decorated her kitchen walls with beautiful wall paper.
  • The small boat sailed on the wine dark sea.
  • The coal mines are dark and damp.
  • Many stores have already begun to play the cheerful Christmas music.
  • A brand new music box sat on the wooden sideboard.
  • The backroom was filled with large, yellow paper hangings.

If a group of words which consists of a subject and a verb acts as an adjective, it is called an adjective clause.

My sister, who is much older than I am, is a doctor.  

If the subject and verb are removed from the adjective clause, then the resulting modifier becomes an adjective phrase. She is the woman who is keeping my family in the poorhouse.

Don't overuse adjective, let the nouns and verbs describe things.

An adjective can be modified by an adverb or an adverb phrase or clause Look at the following sentence..

My wife tries to knit intricately patterned mittens. (The adverb intricately modifies the adjective patterned)

Some nouns, pronouns and participle phrases can also act as adjectives.

Stacy listen to the muffled sounds of the radio hidden under her pillow. (Both highlighted adjectives are past participles.)

Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives my, your, his, her, its, our, their are also possessive pronouns but they are used as adjectives and modify a noun or a noun phrase. Look at the sentence below

I can't complete my assignment because I don't have the textbook. (Here, the possessive adjective modifies "assignment" and the noun phrase "my assignment" functions as an object. The possessive pronoun "mine" is not used to modify a noun or a noun phrase.)
Possessive adjectives

What is your phone number? (Here, the possessive pronoun "your" is used to modify the noun phrase "phone number"; the entire noun phrase, "your phone number" is a subject compliment. Note that the possessive pronoun form yours is not used to modify a noun or a noun phrase.

The bakery sold her favorite type of bread. (Here, the possessive adjective "her" modifies the noun phrase "favorite type of bread" and the entire noun phrase "his favorite type of bread" is the direct object of the compound verb "have lost". The possessive pronoun form "theirs" is not used to modify the nouns or the noun phrases.

After many years, he returned to his homeland. (Here, the possessive adjective "his" is used to modifies the noun "homeland". The noun phrase "his homeland" is the object of the preposition "to".

Similar examples:
They have lost their way in the wood
In many fairy tales, small children are neglected by their parents.
The dog chased its ball down the stairs and into the backyard.

Demonstrative Adjectives

This, that, these, those demonstrative adjectives. Demonstrative adjectives are identical to the demonstrative pronouns, but are used as adjectives to modify nouns or noun phrases, like in the following sentences: 

When the waitress tripped over that cord, she dropped the drinks.
In this sentence the demonstrative adjective "that" modifies the noun "cord" and the noun phrase "that cord" is the object of the preposition  "over"
Demonstrative Adjectives
This house needs to be fumigated.

Here "this" modifies "house" and the noun phrase "this house" is the subject of the sentence.

Even though my partner preferred those tools, I bought these. 

In the subordinate clause, "those" modifies "tools" and the noun phrase "those tools" is the object of the verb "preferred". In the independent clause, the direct object of the verb "bought" is "these". 

The relationship between a demonstrative adjective and a demonstrative pronoun is just like the relationship between the possessive adjective and possessive pronoun or just like the relationship between the interrogative adjective and interrogative pronoun. 

Interrogative AdjectivesInterrogative Adjectives

Which or What are interrogative adjectives. An interrogative adjective is similar to an interrogative pronoun but it modifies a noun or a noun phrase rather than being on its own.

Which plants should be watered once a week? (Here, which modifies plants)

What game are you playing? (Here "what" modifies game)

Indefinite Adjectives
Indefinite Adjectives

Indefinite adjective is similar to an indefinite pronoun, but it modifies a noun, pronoun or a noun phrase. Look at the following sentences:

Many people believe that company's are under taxed. (Here, the indefinite adjective many modifies the noun "people".

I will send you any mail that arrives after you have moved to Delhi. (Here, the indefinite adjective any modifies the noun "mail")

They found a few goldfish swimming in the pond. (Here, the indefinite adjective few modifies the noun "goldfish")

The title of Jimmy's favorite book is "Do all dogs go to heaven?" (Here, the indefinite adjective all modifies the noun "dogs")



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Adjectives Exercises