Adjectives are words that modify or describe nouns.
Adjectives can describe the qualities of nouns. For example:
The word "big" describes a quality of the dog.
Adjectives can also describe the quantity of nouns. For example:
The word "many" describes the quantity of dogs.
Adjectives only modify nouns – they do not modify verbs, adverbs, or other adjectives.
Types of Adjectives
Adjectives come in three forms: absolute, comparative, and superlative.
Absolute adjectives describe something that either cannot be or is not being compared. For example:
The absolute adjective "cool" describes the subject, "my brother." My brother is cool in his own right – he's not being compared to anything else.
Comparative adjectives do just what it sounds like they do – compare two or more things. For example:
- My brother is cooler than me.
The comparative adjective "cooler" is used to prepare my brother's cool factor to my own. Unsurprisingly, he comes out on top.
You can turn most one syllable adjectives into their comparative forms by adding the suffix "-er" to them; if you've got a two syllable adjective that ends with "-y" (e.g. happy), drop the "-y" and add "-ier" (happier). For other multi-syllabic adjectives, add the word "more" as a modifier.
This is the English language though, so there are always exceptions!
Superlative adjectives are adjectives that show that something has the highest degree of the mentioned quality. Let's return to our example:
- My brother is the coolest person in the world.
See? The superlative adjective "the coolest" shows that my brother has achieved peak levels of cool. You simply can't be any cooler than he is!