An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun.

What is an adjective?

Look at the following picture and then read the explanation.

  • This is a red apple.
  • This is a big apple.
  • This is a ripe apple.
  • This is a sweet apple. 
  • This is a beautiful apple.
  • This is a tasty apple.

The words "red", "big", "ripe", "sweet", and "beautiful" are words that describe the noun "apple". They are adjectives.

What is an adjective?

An adjective is a word that describes people, animals, places or things. That is, adjectives tell us more about nouns.


"The word adjective means adding."-J.C. Nasefield.

"An adjective is a word used to add something to the meaning of a noun."-Wren & Martin.

"An adjective is a word that describes a person or thing." -Oxford Dictionary. 

"An adjective is a word like green, hungry, impossible, which is used when we describe people, things, events, etc." -Michael Swan. 

"Adjective describes properties, qualities or states attributed to a noun or a pronoun."-Cambridge Grammar of English.

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Types of Adjectives

Adjectives add flavor to language, and there are several types of adjectives to spice things up. Here's a quick rundown. Scroll down to dive deeper into!

  1. Descriptive Adjectives
  2. Quantitative Adjectives
  3. Numeral Adjectives
  4. Demonstrative Adjectives
  5. Possessive Adjectives
  6. Interrogative Adjectives
  7. Articles (a, an, the)

1. Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives provide information about the qualities or characteristics of a noun. They describe the appearance, size, color, shape, texture, or any other attribute of the noun. They are named accordingly. Let us explore some of them.

1. Color Adjectives

Color Adjectives tell you about the color of things. 

  • The sky is blue.  
  • Trees are green.  
  • Blood is red.  
  • Milk is white.

Here are some more examples of colour adjectives:

  • red apple
  • blue sky
  • green grass
  • yellow sunflower
  • pink dress
  • purple grapes
  • brown bear
  • black cat
  • white snow
  • orange sunset

2. Shape Adjectives

Shape adjectives tell you about the shape of things.

  • My dining table is oval.
  • This room is rectangular.
  • Our classroom is square.
  • My office table is semicircular.

Here are some more examples of shape adjectives:

  • circular table
  • oval mirror
  • rectangular rug
  • cylindrical tower
  • spiral staircase
  • diamond-shaped pendant
  • hexagonal tile
  • spherical ornament
  • curved road
  • triangular flag

3. Size Adjectives

Size adjectives tell you about the size of things.

  • Kamal is tall.  
  • Mina is short.  
  • The egg is large.  
  • The dining room is small.

Here are some more examples of adjectives of physical condition:

  • small book
  • big tree
  • tiny flower
  • large house
  • huge mountain
  • little mouse
  • enormous waterfall
  • compact car
  • giant pumpkin
  • short pencil

4. Adjectives of Physical Condition

Adjectives of physical condition tell you about the physical condition of people and animals.

  • He is strong.  
  • She is frail.  
  • My mother is ill.  
  • My grandmother is weak.

Here are some more examples of adjectives of physical condition:

  • healthy plants
  • broken vase
  • tired athlete
  • smooth surface
  • rough texture
  • sick child
  • strong coffee
  • weak signal
  • dirty shoes
  • clean room

5. Adjectives of Mental Condition

Adjectives of mental condition tell you about the mental condition of people.

  • She is happy.  
  • He is unhappy.  
  • She is depressed.  
  • He is frustrated.

Here are some more examples of adjectives of mental condition:

  • confused student
  • focused attention
  • curious mind
  • anxious moments
  • calm demeanor
  • determined effort
  • happy thoughts
  • stressed individual
  • relaxed atmosphere
  • worried expression

6. Opinion Adjectives

Opinion adjectives tell you about the quality of things.

  • Pudding is delicious.  
  • Your dress is gorgeous.  
  • The vase is beautiful.  
  • The food was excellent.
  • He is an honest man.
  • The foolish crow tried to sing.

Here are some more examples of opinion adjectives in phrases:

  • yummy ice cream
  • boring movie
  • awesome party
  • amazing sunset
  • delicious pizza
  • terrible weather
  • beautiful painting
  • exciting adventure
  • disgusting smell
  • interesting book

7. Adjectives Indicating What Things Are Made Of

  • wooden chair
  • metallic sculpture
  • leather jacket
  • glass vase
  • cotton shirt
  • stone building
  • plastic toy
  • silver necklace
  • paper envelope
  • brick wall

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2. Quantitative Adjectives 

Adjectives of quantity (or, quantitative adjectives) show how much of a thing is meant. Adjectives of quantity answer the question: How much? They are used with uncountable Nouns.


  • little water  
  • much sugar
  • a lot of homework
  • plenty of time

3. Numeral Adjectives

Adjectives of number show how many persons or things are meant, or in what order a person or thing stands. Adjectives of number answer the question: How many?

  • third fingers  
  • first day
  • three apples
  • five books
  • two cats
  • ten fingers
  • six balloons
  • four chairs
  • seven days
  • one car

4. Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives are his, her, its, my, our, their, and your. They answer the question “Whose”. 

  • Her book
  • His dog
  • Your backpack
  • Our garden
  • Its tail
  • Their toys
  • My family

5. Demonstrative Adjectives

The demonstrative adjectives are that, this, these and  those.

  • this bag
  • that boy
  • these bags
  • those boys

6. Interrogative Adjectives

"What", "which" and "whose" are often used as Interrogative Adjectives.

  • What class are you in?
  • Whose book is this?
  • Which way shall we go?

7. Proper Adjectives

Proper adjectives are formed from Proper Nouns. Proper adjectives begin with a capital letter. 

  • French town
  • American ship
  • Bangladeshi food
  • Indian restaurant

Proper Adjectives of People

  • Shakespearean play
  • Einsteinian theory
  • Freudian theory
  • Aristotelian logic

Proper Adjectives of Place/ Origin

  • Parisian café
  • Venetian canal
  • New York skyline
  • Tokyo sushi bar
  • Roman architecture
  • African safari
  • Mediterranean coastline
  • Himalayan mountain range
  • Australian apple
  • Bavarian village
  • Italian pasta
  • Mexican cuisine
  • Greek mythology
  • Indian spices

The derivation of proper adjectives from proper nouns is somewhat irregular. For instance, the spelling of the following proper nouns and proper adjectives can be compared.

Proper Noun
Proper Adjective

Many proper adjectives end with -an or -ian. However, other endings are also used, as indicated below.

Proper Noun
Proper Adjective

8. Articles

In grammar, articles are words that define a noun as specific or unspecific.

There are two types of articles: definite and indefinite. "The" is the definite article, indicating a specific noun, while "a" and "an" are indefinite articles, suggesting a non-specific noun. For example, "Give me the book" uses "the" to refer to a particular book, while "Give me a book" implies any book will do. Articles may seem small, but they play a crucial role in providing clarity and specificity in language.

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Position of Adjectives

Adjectives occupy three different positions in the sentence. They are:

(i) Before Nouns [Attributive]

We use Adjectives before the nouns they describe. Adjectives used before nouns are called pre-positive adjectives, or Attributive Adjectives. Attributive adjectives can only modify nouns because we cannot use adjectives before pronouns. 

  • He is sitting in a dark room.
  • Today is a windy day.
  • They are two busy persons.
  •  Lazy boys are playing games.

(ii) After Linking Verbs [Predicative]

We use Adjectives after Linking Verbs. Adjectives after linking verbs modify the subject of the verb. Adjectives after Linking Verbs are called Predicative Adjectives. Predicative adjectives can modify both nouns and pronouns. 

  • The room is dark
  • The day is windy.
  •  Two persons are busy.
  •  Some boys are lazy.

(iii) After Nouns [Postpositive]

We can use Adjectives immediately after the noun they modify. Adjectives used immediately after the noun are called Postpositive Adjective.

  • The Attorney general is a kind man. 
  •  I’ll give it to someone special.

Royal Order of Adjectives

There's a general order for adjectives in English, often referred to as the "Royal Order of Adjectives." Here's a breakdown:

  1. Determiners: This comes first and includes articles (a, an, the), possessives (my, your, his, etc.), and demonstratives (this, that, these, those).
  2. Quantity or Number: Words like few, many, some, all, one, two, etc.
  3. Opinion or Quality: These describe how something is, like beautiful, interesting, horrible, etc.
  4. Size: Big, small, tall, short, etc.
  5. Age: New, old, young, ancient, etc.
  6. Shape: Round, square, rectangular, etc.
  7. Color: Red, blue, green, etc.
  8. Origin: French, Italian, Japanese, etc.
  9. Material: Leather, wooden, woolen, etc. 1 Purpose or qualifier: This describes the function or use of the noun, like hunting dog, sleeping bag, etc.

Remember: This is a general guideline, and there can be some flexibility. Sometimes, the order might shift slightly for emphasis or because it just sounds better.

Here are some examples:

  • An amazing old Italian clock (Opinion - Age - Origin)
  • A delicious, warm chocolate chip cookie (Taste - Temperature - Flavor)
  • A long, narrow, plastic brush (Size - Shape - Material)

Note: We wouldn't typically use "and" to connect adjectives before the noun unless they are the same type (e.g., a big and red ball) or describe separate parts of the same thing (e.g., a blue and green striped shirt).

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9. Online Quiz

Hey there!

Ready to put your adjective expertise to the test? Take our online MCQ quiz on adjectives and show off your grammar skills. It's a fun and interactive way to reinforce what you've learned. Don't miss out—dive in and let the adjective adventure begin!

Select the correct answer

Q1. Adjectives are-----.
joining words
naming words
describing words
action words
Q2. Adjectives placed before nouns are called-----.
attributive adjectives
predicative adjectives
postpositive adjectives
proper adjectives
Q3. Adjectives have-----positions in the sentences.
Q4. Adjectives modify-----.
nouns and pronouns
Q5. This is his pen. What kind of adjective 'his' is----------.
Pronominal adjective
Numeral adjective
Quantitative adjective
Descriptive adjective
Q6. It was a very----------situation.
Q7. 'She was found unhurt.' The word ‘unhurt’ is a/an----------.
Q8. Which one is an adjective?
Q9. The colleagues remained happy with the corrupt boss even though I requested them to shun him. Here the word 'happy' is----------.
a noun
an adjective
an adverb
a conjunction
Q10. He is a man of few words. Here ‘few’ is a/an----------.
Descriptive Distributive Adjective
Demonstrative Adjective
Pronominal Adjective
Indefinite numeral Adjective
Q11. The UN envoy came to Bangladesh on ----------visit.
three day
three days
a three days
three day's
Q12. Choose the name of parts of speech of 'fertile'.
Q13. What is the adjective form of 'star'?
Q14. 'Fair Daffodils, we weep to see'. The word ‘fair’ is a/an----------.
Q15. Which one of the following is a cardinal numeral adjective----------.