Adjectives: Types, comparison and formation


It is a word that describes or tell us something about a noun. The adjective is one of the eight parts of speech. Consider the following examples.

1) Jake is an intelligent boy.
2) I have bought six pencils.
3) We have enough food for the picnic.
4) She likes this park.

The words intelligent, six, enough and this, are all adjectives in the above sentences.

In the first sentence, ‘intelligent‘ tells us or describes what kind of boy Jake is.
The second sentence, ‘six‘ shows how many pencils I bought.
In the third sentence, ‘enough‘ tells us how much food do we have.
The fourth sentence, ‘this‘ points to the park which she likes.

There are two ways to use Adjectives-

Read the following sentences-
1) An angry teacher yelled at the students.
2) The teacher was angry at his students.

Whenever an adjective is used along with the noun, as the adjective ‘angry‘ is used in the first sentence, it is called Attributive.
While on the other hand in the second sentence, ‘angry‘ is used along with the verb was, it is called Predicative.

Types of Adjectives-

1. Descriptive (or Qualitative) Adjectives –

These adjectives describe the quality or kind of a noun. Examples are-

Elon Musk is a successful entrepreneur.
He owns a large company.
The company makes electrical cars.
He gave a clever answer.
Julie is a strong woman.

2. Quantitative Adjective-

These adjectives show how much quantity is there, of a noun.
Examples are-

David took some salt from the kitchen.
He has studied enough about human history.
We are very happy.
Our school has sufficient space for a new playground.
The movie made no sense.
I have some bills to pay.
Do you have any money?
The whole town was infected by viral flu.
He has full control over the organization.

3. Numeral Adjective-

It tells about how many persons or things are there or in what order they are.
Examples are-

There are six hundred students in our school.
Some people are allergic to flowers.
The company has many subsidiaries.
He has read all the Harry Potter books.
Sonia came second in the competition.
Few of us are interested in your project.

Numeral Adjectives are of three kinds:

1) Definite Numeral Adjectives –
these show the exact number.
one, two, three, four, etc- Cardinals;  First, second, third, etc are called Ordinals

2) Indefinite Numeral Adjectives- these do not give an exact number. e.g. all, many, some, few, several, certain.

3) Distributive Numeral Adjectives- These denote each one of a number
e.g.  Every student is waiting for the results.
Each person should take his responsibilities seriously.
Neither of us has your pen.
This pen comes either in black or blue.

4. Demonstrative Adjectives-

These adjectives point out which noun is being discussed.
Examples are-

house is owned by Mr. Patel.
That girl is an athlete.
Those criminals must be caught.
He likes such books.

Formation of Adjectives

1) From nouns

Noun         Adjective
Gift             Gifted
Energy         Energetic
Man            Manly
Dirt             Dirty
Trouble      Troublesome
Peace          Peaceful
Gold            Golden
rain             Rainy
Love            Lovely
Monument   Monumental
Mind           Mindful

2) From Verbs

Verb             Adjective
Watch           Watchable
Sleep              Sleepless
Cheer             Cheerful
Talk                Talkative

3) From other Adjectives-

Adjective           Adjective
Sad                      Sadly
Green                 Greenish
four                     fourfold

Comparison Of Adjectives

Adjectives change their forms when these are used for comparison. There are three forms of an Adjective and it is named as Degrees of Comparison. These are-

Positive Degree- It is the simple form of an adjective. It is used just to describe a noun.
for example- Usain runs fast.

Comparative Degree- It is used for the comparison between two nouns.
for example- Usain runs faster than Yohan.

Superlative Degree- This form tells about the highest quality.
for example- Usain runs the fastest of all.

How to form Comparative and Superlative

Now, further ahead in this article we will show Positive by P, Comparative by C and the Superlative by S.

1) Most of the adjectives form Comparative by adding er and Superlative by adding est to the Positive.

P       –       C       –      S
Fast – faster – fastest
Tall – taller – tallest
weak – weaker – weakest
Cheap – cheaper – cheapest
Young – younger – youngest
Great – greater – greatest
Strong – stronger – strongest
Bright – brighter – brightest

The positive degree that ends in e, just r and ‘st’ are added.

Wide – wider – widest
Safe – safer – safest
Wise – wise – wisest
Fine – finer – finest

When positive ends in y, preceded by a consonant then ‘y’ is changed into ‘i’ before adding er and est.

Lazy – lazier – laziest
Cosy – cosier – cosiest
Happy – happier – happiest
wealthy – wealthier – wealthiest

Positive adjective words of one syllable ending with a single consonant, preceded by a vowel, this consonant is doubled before adding er and est.

Big – bigger – biggest
Fat – fatter – fattest
Hot – hotter – hottest

2) Adjectives containing more than two syllables form Comparative and Superlative by adding more and most before the Positive.

Dangerous – more dangerous – most dangerous
Curious – more curious – most curious
Difficult – more difficult – most difficult
Beautiful – more beautiful – most beautiful

Some irregular comparison

Good/well – better – best
Bad/evil/ill – worse – worst
Much – more – most
Many – more – most
Far – farther – farthest
Old – older/elder – oldest/eldest
Little – less/lesser – least/last

In general Comparative adjectives are followed by ‘than‘, but there are certain adjectives which are followed by ‘to‘.

inferior, superior, prior, anterior, posterior, senior, junior.

Priyanka is junior to Alisha.
All the other friends are senior to me.
We have to arrange money prior to the meeting.
Manish is superior to Jake in computer skills.

Some double forms of Comparative and Superlative-

~ Late – latter/later – last/latest-

Later and latest refer to time whereas latter and last refer to a position.

This is the latest book by the author.
She came later than Merry.
He went to the person who was sitting in the last row.
The latter part of the is more interesting.

~ Old – Elder/older – Eldest/oldest – 

Elder and eldest are used only of persons, not of animals or things and are confined to the members of the same family. Elder is not used with ‘than‘. Whereas older and oldest are used of both persons and things.

Alisha is my elder sister.
John is his eldest son.
I am older than my brother.
This palace is one of the oldest palaces in India.

~ Father, further –

Both ‘farther‘ and ‘further‘ express distance. But, further, not farther is used to mean ‘additional’.

My house is farther/further from the bus stop than the hotel.
I took further steps despite some initial failures.
No further questions were answered by the President.

~ Nearest, next –

Nearest refers to the shortest distance and Next refers to one of a sequence of things coming one after the other.

Where is the nearest shopping mall?
This library is the nearest library to my home.
He parked his car next to mine.
Ammi lives in the house.


This is all about adjectives. You can tell us in the comment section if you think this article is helpful. You can also suggest topics and give us feedback.

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