ESL Study Guide

Monday, January 18, 2010

ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Adjectives


Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns. Adjectives answer the questions:

What kind? How much? Which one? How many?

For example:

What kind? red nose gold ring
How much? more sugar little effort
Which one? second chance those chocolates
How many? several chances six books

There are five kinds of adjectives: common adjectives, proper adjectives, compound adjectives,articles, and indefinite adjectives.

1. Common adjectives describe nouns or pronouns.
strong man
green plant
beautiful view

2. Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns.
California vegetables (from the noun “California”)
Mexican food (from the noun “Mexico”)

3. Compound adjectives are made up of more than one word.

far-off country
teenage person

4. Articles are a special type of adjective. There are three articles: a, an, the.
The is called a “definite article” because it refers to a specific thing.

A and an are called “indefinite articles” because they refer to general things. Use a with consonant sounds; use an before vowel sounds.

5. Indefinite adjectives don’t specify the specific amount of something.

all another any both
each either few many
more most neither other
several some

Follow these guidelines when you use adjectives:

1. Use an adjective to describe a noun or a pronoun.

Jesse was unwilling to leave the circus.
noun adj. adj. noun

2. Use vivid adjectives to make your writing more specific and descriptive.
Take a larger slice of the luscious cake.
adj. noun adj. noun

3. Use an adjective after a linking verb. A linking verb connects a subject with a descriptive word. The most common linking verbs are be (is, am, are, was, were, and so on), seem,appear, look, feel, smell, sound, taste, become, grow, remain, stay, and turn.

Chicken made this way tastes more delicious (not deliciously).

Quick Tip

Predicate adjectives are adjectives separated from the noun or pronoun by a linking
verb. Predicate adjectives describe the subject of the sentence.

The weather was cold all week.



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