Kinds of Adjectives
There are ten kinds of Adjectives:
1. Proper Adjectives
The Adjectives formed from Proper Nouns are called Proper Adjectives. As:
Indian coast, French wine, American culture, English language, Shakespearean plays.
2. Descriptive or Qualitative Adjectives
The Adjectives which describe the merits or demerits, shape and size, colour and form, good qualities or bad ones, of a person or a thing are called Qualitative Adjectives. As:
A great man, a beautiful girl, a brave boy, a small toy, a white cow, cold water.
3. Quantitative Adjectives
The Adjectives which express the quantity (not number) of a thing are called Quantitative Adjectives.
These Adjectives are always applied to uncountable Nouns in the Singular Number. The Nouns which they qualify can never be in the Plural Number.
These Adjectives are: Much, little, no, none, some, any, enough, sufficient, all, whole, half, less, a good deal of, a lot of, plenty of, a kilo/pound/ton/quintal, a litre/metre. As:
- This is all the milk in the cup.
- There is enough sugar for the evening tea.
- There is no bread in the cupboard.
- There is one litre milk in the jug.
4. Numeral or Numerical Adjectives
These Adjectives show Number. They are: One/two/three, etc.; first/second/third, etc.; a, an, many, few, some, several, a few, all, any, a number of, a lot of, a heap of, plenty of.
These Adjectives are always applied to Countable things in both Singular and Plural Numbers.
Amongst these, those which refer to definite Numbers (as one / two / three. etc. or I, II, III etc.) are called Definite Numeral Adjectives, and those which refer to Indefinite Number (as many, several, few, etc.) are called Indefinite Numeral Adjectives.
- He has four books.
- He has one house.
- He has many books.
- He has several houses.
- Five workers are there.
- There are no workers.
- All workers have gone.
Note: The examples given above under Rules No. 3 and 4 above will show that some Adjectives are both Adjective of Quantity and Adjective of Number. They are: all, some, enough, no, none, more, any, plenty of, etc. They are common to both.
They become Adjective of Quantity or Adjective of Number (Numeral Adjective) according to their use. If they show quantity, they become Quantitative, and if they show Number, they become Numeral Adjectives. As:
5. Demonstrative Adjectives
The Adjectives which point to some Person or thing are called Demonstrative Adjectives. They are of two types—Definite Demonstratives and Indefinite Demonstratives.
The more common Definite Demonstratives are these— This, that (with Singular Noun) These, those (with Plural Noun) Any, Such, Some (with both Numbers according to sense)
Indefinite Demonstratives are these—Any, some, such, other, any other, a certain, etc.
A Singular Demonstrative should go with a Singular Noun, and a Plural Demonstrative with a Plural Noun. Therefore, we cannot write this boys or these boy.
The Demonstratives which are common in both Singular and Plural Numbers are these— a certain book, certain books the other book, the other books such a boy, such boys any man, any men the same boy, the same boys.
6. Distributive Adjectives
Distributive Adjectives are those that point to Persons or Things Singly or Collectively. They are: each, every, either, neither. As:
- Each boy will show his work.
- Every man had gone in time.
- You can take either road, this or that.
- Neither road is safe at this hour.
- You have to take this medicine every four hours (i.e., every period of four hours).
- Every four teams will give a demonstration turn by turn (i.e., in groups of four teams).
7. Interrogative Adjectives
Interrogative Adjectives are those that ask Questions. As: What, which, whose, etc. As:
- Which book do you want ?
- What book was that ?
- Whose book was that ?
8. Possessive Adjectives
Possessive Adjectives show relationships. They are: My, Our, Your, thy, his, her, its, their.
In Attributive form they are used before the Nouns they qualify. As: My book/ books, Your book/ books, Our house/ houses, its wings.
But the Possessive Adjectives can be Possessive Pronouns also. In that case they are used Predicatively, i.e. after the Nouns they qualify. As:
- This is my book. (Possessive Adjective)
- This book is mine (Possessive Pronoun)
In the same way mine, ours, yours, theirs, hers are also Possessive Pronouns (not Possessive Adjectives).
9. Emphasizing Adjectives
These Adjectives are used to lay emphasis on the Noun. They are: own, very. As:
- I saw it with my own eyes.
- This happened before my very eyes.
- His own book was lost.
- He came this very day.
10. Exclamatory Adjectives
What can be used as Exclamatory Adjective also. As:
- What joke that was !
- What nonsense this is !
- What a beautiful house you have !
Degrees of Adjectives
There are three Degrees of Adjectives:
- Positive Degree
- Comparative Degree
- Superlative Degree
In the Positive Degree some special quality of a thing is pointed out, not the Degree of the special quality. As:
- Ram is a brave boy.
In the Comparative Degree the second lower or higher degree of the quality is suggested, and in it there is a sense of comparison of the same
quality in two things. As:
- Ram is braver than Shyam.
In the Superlative Degree the third and highest Degree of the quality is suggested, and in it there is the sense of the highest Degree of the same quality amongst at least three or more things. As:
- Ram is the bravest of these five boys.
- Ram is the bravest of all.
Note: Absolute Superlative—Sometimes Superlatives formed by most are used in such a way that they do not carry the sense of the highest Degree of comparison; they only lay emphasis on the quality concerned.
They are called Absolute Superlatives. As:
- That was a most unfortunate event.
- It was a most moving speech.