Adjectives

An adjective is a word such as "tall", "lonely" or "educational" that either describes or gives more information about a person or thing. Adjectives usually come before nouns and after being and sensing verbs such as "taste" and "feel".

Examples:


That is a very tall man.

He's such a lonely puppy when I'm at work.

We watched an educational movie.

There was a sweet taste in my mouth.

The old, dark house gave me a bad feeling.

The Order of Adjectives

When using multiple adjectives together there is an order:

Quantity, Value/opinion, Size, Temperature, Age, Shape, Colour, Origin, Material

The tall (size) Chinese (origin) vase was worth a lot of money.

My favourite (value/opinion) old (age) blue (colour) sweater was ruined in the wash.

The cold (temperature) round (shape) metal (material) touched my arm and shocked me.

Using Adjectives to Compare

To compare the attributes of two things that are equal this is the structure to use:

as + adjective + as

Coco is as thirsty as Steve.

She is as tall as her best friend.

The string is as long as the table.

To compare the attributes of two things that are unequal these are the structures to use:

not as + adjective + as
less + adjective + than
adjective + than

They are not as cool as the others.

Miranda is not as funny as her sister.


They are less cool than the others.

Miranda is less funny than her sister.


The others are cooler than them.

Yoko is lfunnier than Miranda.

Adjectives Describing Quantity

When comparing things that are equal this is the structure to use:

as + adjective indicating quantity + (noun) + as

I had as many books as a library has in my house.

There were as many dogs as there were people at the party.

If I had as few problems as you do, I would be more relaxed.

When comparing things that are unequal this is the structure to use:

adjective indicating quantity + (noun) + than

Sarah has more pens than her sister.

The big monkey has fewer nuts than the small monkey.

We have had more success than they have.

The company made less money than it did last year.

Comparative Adjectives

Comparative adjectives allow us to compare two nouns to one another. Here is the structure we use with comparative adjectives:

Noun (subject) + verb + comparative adjective + than + noun (object).

Most comparative adjectives are formed by adding "r" or "-er" to the end of the adjective or "more" in front of the adjective.

Adjective Comparative
small smaller
wide wider
strong stronger
happy happier
intelligent more intelligent
important more important

The fir tree is stronger than the pine tree.

My friend is older than your friend.

Your health is more important than your need for sweet snacks.

The green and the red sweets both taste good, but I like the green better . ("...than the red." is implied).

Superlative Adjectives

A superlative adjective compares three or more nouns and takes the comparison of nouns to the highest degree. Here's how to structure it:

Noun (subject) + verb + the + superlative adjective + noun (object).

Most superlative adjectives are formed by adding "-est" to the adjective or "most" in front of the adjective.

Adjective Superlative
small smallest
wide widest
strong strongest
happy happiest
intelligent most intelligent
important most important

Jim's mom is the most intelligent person I know.

My town has the smallest library in the country.

Our dog is happiest when she is chewing on a bone.

Irregular comparative and superlative adjectives

Like with most things in English grammar, there are exceptions to the above most common structures. Here are some of the most common irregular comparatives and superlatives:

Adjective Comparative Superlative
far farther farthest
good better best
many 較多 most
well better best
bad worse worst