How Adjectives Work
An adjective modifies or describes a noun or pronoun - it provides more detail. It is commonly used to address these types of questions: Which one? What kind? How many? What condition or quality? What size or color? Whose? Adjectives (in blue) usually appear just before the nouns (in green) they modify. For example:
- Marisa came to work in a blue dress.
- The cotton shirts are hanging on the clearance rack.
- She is a dedicated teacher.
- The Smiths live in a tiny house.
- The library uses a digital database to sort its massive catalog.
(Sometimes, you can use a number as an adjective. In the sentence "I have five coins in my purse," the word five is an adjective because it modifies the noun coins, i.e., it adds detail.)
Some adjectives are comparable. A car may be expensive, but another car may be more expensive, and yet another car may be the most expensive. The words more and most are used to modify the adjective expensive to indicate a varying degree of comparison (referred to as comparative and superlative).
Another way to indicate varying degrees of comparison is with the suffixes er and est.
- sweet, sweeter, sweetest
- cold, colder, coldest
- smart, smarter, smartest
Some adjectives are irregular; they don't use suffixes.
- some, more, most
- good, better, best
- little, less, least