To modify a word means to describe the word or to make its meaning more definite. An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by answering one of these questions.
What kind? Which one? How many?
blue car long rope tall person big house
this town last week
the second day
the other woman
one second three boys few cars several people
Nouns Used as Adjectives
Sometimes you will find nouns used as adjectives.
Nouns Used As Adjectives
at the ceiling
come to Florida
The most frequently used adjectives are a, an and the. These little words are usually called articles.
A and an are indefinite articles; they refer to one of a general group.
A woman arrived. An automobile went by.
He waited an hour.
A is used before words beginning with a consonant sound; an is used before words beginning with a vowel sound.
Notice in the sentence, “He waited an hour.”, that an is used before a noun beginning with the consonant h, because the h in hour is not pronounced. Hour is pronounced as if it began with a vowel (like our). Remember that the sound of the noun, not the spelling, determines which indefinite article will be used.
The is the definite article. It indicates that the noun refers to someone or something in particular.
The woman arrived. The automobile went by. The hour for her departure finally arrived.
The words my, your, his, her, its, our and their are considered pronouns in some books and adjectives in other books. They are called possessive adjectives and they come before a noun.
This is my house. (my is a possessive adjective)
The demonstrative adjectives this, these, that, those, and what are used as adjectives to modify nouns or noun phrases.
This apartment needs to be painted.. (this is a demonstrative adjective to indicate which apartment)
An interrogative adjective (which or what) modifies a noun or noun phrase.
Which book are you reading? (which is an interrogative adjective that modifies the noun book)
An indefinite adjective modifies a noun, pronoun or noun phrases.
Some examples of indefinite adjectives are: all, any, anyone, anything, each, everybody, everyone, everything, few, many, nobody, none, one, several, some, somebody, and someone.
There are some boxes in the romm. (some is an indefinite adjective that modifies the noun boxes)
Adjectives in Sentences
Usually, the adjective comes before the noun modified.
Kate gave each child here hot tea and apple pie.
The old, dusty book was found in her bag.
Sometimes, adjectives follow the word they modify.
Books, old and dusty, were found in her room.
Other words may separate an adjective from the noun or pronoun modified.
They seemed quite happy.
Shawn was not being rude. Courageous in battle, he deserved the award.
"A," "an," and "the" are those tiny words we tend to forget about. They may sound simple, but there are Standard Edited American English rules of how to use these articles correctly. Watch the following video to learn about the articles "A," "an," and "the"
The following video will show how to use adjectives in sentences.
This video describes how adjectives are used in English. This is a basic explanation.
Learn English Adjectives Tutorial
This video teaches the grammar of adjectives.
The following video explains how to use comparative adjectives.
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