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adjective

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

In English grammar, adjectives fall into the category called modifiers. (A modifier is a word that either describes or limits the meaning of the word it refers to. There are two main classes of modifiers: adjectives and adverbs.)

Types of adjectives

Descriptive adjectives answer the question what kind?:

  • green eyes [What kind of eyes? Green.]
  • a small dog [What kind of dog? Small.]
  • Lucky you! [What kind of person are you? Lucky.]

Limiting adjectives answer the questions which one(s)?, how much? or how many?:

  • my BlackBerry [Which BlackBerry? Mine.]
  • these houses [Which houses? These.]
  • little food [How much food? Little.]
  • several children [How many children? Several.]

Placement of adjectives in a sentence

Adjectives are commonly found in two places in a sentence:

  • before a noun: a red iPod [red describes the noun iPod]
  • after a linking verb: I am hungry. [hungry describes the pronoun I]

Sometimes, for effect, a writer will put one or more adjectives after a noun:

  • The breeze, cool and fragrant, was delightful after the heat of the day. [Cool and fragrant are adjectives describing the noun breeze.]