June 02, 2008


Go through the following paragraph.


Nelson Mandela is known all over the world for his relentless struggle against the apartheid regime of South Africa.  His color was black and he was hated for his skin color. It was for his struggle and efforts to end the apartheid regime today people move freely and breathe free air.  As a mark of respect to his grand contributions towards the people of South Africa, he was made president of the country.  And today when he is leading a retired life, people recall his smiling face and missionary zeal.  He is great and his greatness is unforgettable. 


Now mark the words written in bold letters.  Relentless struggle, apartheid regime, black color, color skin, grand contributions, missionary zeal and unforgettable greatness. 


Now again mark the words written in bold. 


In the paragraph about Nelson Mandela the words written in bold says, describes, give more information about some nouns.  These words are like ornaments and always beautify the nouns and the sentences.  They are like icing on the cake.  They are known as ADJECTIVE. 


But while using adjectives one must observe caution and choose the adjective carefully. One should not use those freely as in that case there is every chances of making sentences ugly as too much of anything is bad.  So many adjectives to describe a single noun sometime sound good but not always. 


Mark the word color in the above sentences.  Color is a noun and adjective and we know this from the sentence constructions.  His skin color was black. (Here color is a noun and black is the adjective that says about the color of the skin)  He was hated for his skin color.  (Here skin is the noun and color is the adjective)  Some words are used in different forms and it is from their contexts in the sentences we determine the words. 


An adjective tells about the color, state, number, quantity of the Noun.


Cool air.  (The state of air)

Great man. (The quality of man)

Ten girls. (The number of girls)

Much water. (The quantity of water)



According to the size of the adjectives we generally divide adjectives into two categories such as Simple Adjective and Compound Adjective.  Single word adjectives are called Simple Adjective. 

Like Red, hot, cold etc.


Those adjectives that comprise of two or more words we call those adjectives as Compound adjectives. 

Like Pitch-dark, cold-blooded, point-blank, knee-deep, all-powerful, sky-blue.


According to meanings we divide Adjectives into four kinds such as:

1)     Quality Adjective

2)     Quantity Adjective.

3)     Number Adjective.

4)     Demonstrative Adjective.



Qualitative Adjective:


Those adjectives that tell about some quality of nouns are called Qualitative Adjectives.  Educated man.  Red rose.  Rich man. Good boy.  Educated, Red, Rich and Good all these words describe some qualities of nouns.  Hence they are Qualitative Adjectives. Those adjectives that are formed from Proper Nouns are called Proper Adjectives.  German, English, Heroic, Indian are called Proper Adjectives that is a part of Qualitative Adjectives.  All names of colors are Qualitative Adjectives. 


Quantitative Adjectives:


Those Adjectives that describes about quantity of the Nouns are called Quantitative Adjectives.  Not Much water is needed.  Little headway in the case.  Some money is always required.  The whole country was stunned.  A little= some, Little=almost nothing.  After ‘whole’ plural noun follows but ‘the whole’ is followed by singular Noun.  (Whole districts) Whole as an adjective is not followed by any Proper Noun.  And if it follows ‘whole’ becomes a Noun and not an Adjective.  One cannot say ‘whole USA’ (whole of India).  All USA is possible in the same sense. 


All, certain, any, enough are other such adjectives. 


Numerical Adjectives:


From those words we know about Numbers are known as Numerical Adjectives.  One two many any few several all first second etcetera are called Numerical Adjectives.  Many boys (Plural Noun) Many a boy (Singular Noun). Between Many and Noun, if the article ‘A’ comes then the noun becomes singular. 


Demonstrative Adjectives:


Those adjectives which indicate some things are called Demonstrative Adjectives. 


This, that, those, these, the are called Demonstrative adjectives. 


This indicates objects near the Speaker. (These Plural of this)

That indicates far objects from the speaker. (Those is the plural of that)


Each: Indicates every single object differently from a group of two or more. 

Each of the boys of the class is present. 

Every: Indicates every single object individually from a group of two or more.


Every student of the class should hear the class teacher. 


Each is used as Pronoun and Adjective but Every is used only as an Adjective. 


Either: is used to choose one object from a group of two. 

Give me either book. (One from the two)  

Neither: Not Either.

That means not one among the two. 

The salesman showed two pieces of blouses to my mother but she liked neither. 


Every other: Each from a group individually.

Every other boy left. 


* Other aspects of the Adjectives like its Order, Degree, Suffixes that makes Adjectives and The ~ed ending adjectives would be covered in different posts with same key word.  Watch out for the next part on Degree.  



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