What is an adjective?

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What is an adjective?

Adjectives including adjectives starting with a l are words that describe or modify other words, making your writing and speaking much more specific, and a whole lot more interesting. Words like small, blue, and sharp are descriptive, and they are all examples of adjectives. Because adjectives are used to identify or quantify individual people and unique things, they are usually positioned before the noun or pronoun that they modify. Some sentences contain multiple adjectives.

Adjective Examples

In the following examples, the highlighted words are adjectives:

They live in a big, beautiful

Since it’s a hot day, Lisa is wearing a sleeveless

The mountaintops are covered in sparkling

On her birthday, Brenda received an antique vase filled with fragrant

Fortunately, there are few rules to the use of adjectives including adjectives that start with a l.

They can be used in multiple forms (The tough, long and ultimately boring paper was one I needed to pass), they can appear before or after the noun or pronoun they are describing.

There goes a talented person.

When appearing after the noun or pronoun, they will be preceded by a verb, often (but not always) an auxiliary verb such as ‘are’ or ‘is’.

Cakes are delicious.

Compared to:

The delicious cakes…

Order of Adjectives

Descriptive Adjectives; General Opinion Adjectives; Specific Opinion Adjectives

There is a convention in English that multiple adjectives are presented in the following order:

General Opinion; Specific Opinion; Descriptive

Therefore, we get the following order of adjectives:

He is a wonderful, intelligent, old man.

Wonderful is the general opinion adjective, since almost anything can be wonderful.

Intelligent is the specific opinion adjective, since this is a word applied mostly to living beings.

Old is the descriptive adjective, in that it offers no opinion, but describes the person (and can be used as a descriptor for any noun.)

However, by swapping the order of adjectives, emphasis and effect can be created. This is best used sparingly. In the example below, there is greater emphasis placed on the fact the man is wonderful, because it is the final adjective used.

He is an old, intelligent, wonderful man.