English Grammar Overview - Parts of Speech - Adjectives

 

Moving further down our list of parts of speech, we have our adjectives. Adjectives modify or describe nouns. Basically, they give more information about the noun. Here, we've used a noun such as chair. It could be any old chair. It's only the noun. If we want to describe the noun, we need to use an adjective before it. So, I could say "I have an old black leather chair". Here, we have to be concerned about the adjective order. In this instance, I started with age, as age typically goes before color and then I use the color to go before the material. This is a certain pattern. Depending on the adjectives you want to use, you always have to use certain patterns to which you'll need to be aware of when teaching your class. Another way to describe a noun is by showing possession. We do so by using our possessive adjectives. Earlier, we used the example of "chair" as the noun. We talked about it in terms of age, material, etc. Now, we could add words, such as "my", "your", "his", "her", "its", "our" and "their" also to describe the chair. "It's my chair" or "it's her chair" or "it's our chair". These are not to be confused with possessive pronouns, which of course we'll get into in just a moment. When forming our comparatives and our superlatives, we always have to be concerned with spelling patterns. With one-syllable adjectives, such as fast and old, where we have two consonants at the end, we simply add our "-er" or our "-est". However, with one-syllable adjectives where the pattern is "consonant vowel consonant", we have to double our final consonant before adding "-er" or before adding "-est". Now, with two-syllable adjectives that end in "-y", we drop our "y" and add "-ier" or "-iest". However, with all other two-syllable or three-syllable adjectives, we don't simply put "-er" or "-est" at the end. We'll typically keep the adjective as the same adjective, here "modern", but in order to make the comparative, we'll add "more" before "modern" and when forming the superlative, we'll put "the most" before the adjective "modern" and finally when looking at our comparatives and superlatives, we must be aware that there are some irregular comparatives and superlatives. Two of the most common are the adjectives "good", changing to the comparative "better" and to the superlative "the best". We also have the adjective "bad" changing to the comparative "worse" and the superlative "the worst".


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