Adjectives: All positions And forms with easy examples

What is an adjective?

Adjectives are words used to modify or add some extra meaning to the Noun or Pronoun. In other words, adjectives describe some qualities of Nouns or Pronouns.

Examples of adjectives.

  1. Ramesh is an intelligent boy.
  2. He bought a beautiful painting.
  3. Delhi is a famous city.
  4. The boy is clever.
  5. This watch is automatic.

Explanation of adjective

In the above sentences, sentence (1) ‘intelligent’ describes the noun ‘boy’. In (2) ‘beautiful’ describes the noun ‘painting’. In (3) ‘famous’ describes the noun ‘city’. In (4) ‘clever’ describes the noun ‘boy’ and in (5) ‘automatic’ describes the noun ‘watch’. The words in bolded italics are adjectives.

EXERCISE For adjective


Find out the adjectives in the following sentences:

  1. Radhamohan was a brilliant student.
  2. Mr Khan is a careful drive.
  3. I have sufficient time to talk to you.
  4. The ship sustained heavy damage.
  5. I don’t like hot food.
  6. A live ass is better than a dead lion.
  7. A disobedient child is not liked.
  8. A small leak may sink a great ship.

Position of adjectives.

1. Attributive

(i) Adjectives go with nouns. They usually come before the ‘noun’ or the pronoun ‘one(s)’

  1. He is an honest man.
  2. Bombay is a large city.
  3. I saw some beautiful paintings.
  4. I have some presents for your little ones.

In the ‘noun phrases”  of the above sentences 1, 2, 3 and 4 the position of the adjectives (honest, large, beautiful, little) is before the nouns (man, city, painting and ones). This ‘pre-noun’ (before noun) position is called “Attributive). Look for more examples

  1. Your daughter is pretty.
  2. The film was interesting.
  3. I feel ashamed.
  4. The curry smells nice.
  5. He became tired.
  6. He appears smart

2. Predicative

Mark that the adjectives made prominent in the above sentences come after is/was (‘be’ verb) and after ‘feel’, ‘smells’, ‘become’, ‘appears’ (link verbs). These adjective function as complements of be verbs and link verbs. They are used predicatively. Such position is called predicative. Other ‘link verbs’ that take adjectives predicatively are seem/look/taste/feel/sound. Now consider the following sentences:

  1. He made his son happy.
  2. I consider him foolish.
  3. He painted the wall green.

The adjective ‘happy’ in (1), is a complement of the object ‘his son’. In 2, the adjective ‘foolish’ is the complement of the object ‘him’ and in (3), the adjective ‘green’ is the complement of the object ‘the wall.

3. Post-positioned

 Look at the following sentences:

  1. I think that something terrible is going to happen.
  2. Everything necessary will be done.
  3. There was nobody/no one important at the meeting.
  4. I would like to go somewhere interesting.

In the above sentences, the adjectives (terrible, necessary, important and interesting) come after ‘something’, ‘everything’, nobody/ no one, and ‘somewhere’. This position of the adjectives coming after something, everything, anything, nothing, somebody, anywhere etc is called the “post positioned“.

Some adjectives change their form in the Attributive and Predicate positions.

Attributive and Predicate position.

It is a Healthy baby.  The baby is will/healthy.
He is a sick man.The man is ill/sick.
He left with a contented smile.He is content with very little.
That is a live fish.The fish is still alive.
It is a frightened child.The child is afraid.
Attributive and Predicative adjective examples

Note, that most adjectives can be used in both Attributive and Predicative positions. But there are some adjectives which are used only attributively and there are some adjectives which are used only predicatively.

Adjectives used only attributively:

  1. Gavaskar was the former captain of the India cricket team.
  2. Badminton is an indoor game.
  3. This is the main road to Puri.

Some other adjectives used only attributively are upper, latter, inner, outer, sole, chief, joint, chemical, coastal, drunken, inside, outside, particular, mere, sheer, late (dead) etc.

Adjectives used only predicatively

  1. The baby is asleep.
  2. He fell ill.
  3. The child was afraid.
  4. He was glad.

Some other adjectives used only ‘predicatively’ are: afloat, alike, well, unwell, awake, aware, content, alive, alone, ashamed etc.


Find out the adjectives in the following sentences and say whether they are used ‘attributively’ or ‘predicatively’ or ‘postpositively’ (post positioned).

  1. My brother is thin my sister is fat.
  2. The two brothers look alike.
  3. I was not very well yesterday.
  4. This is a portable typewriter.
  5. Everything necessary will be done.
  6. You are a mere child.
  7. The room feels hot.
  8. She boiled the egg hard.
  9. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
  10. Anyone Interested is welcome to the meeting.

Adjective before ‘NOUN” and after ‘NOUN’

Sometimes some adjectives, when used ‘before a ‘noun’ and ‘after a noun’ give different meanings:


A concerned after = a worried father.

  1. We met a concerned father, who had lost his only child.

The clerk concerned =a clerk who is concerned with that business.

  1. I had to talk to the clerk concerned.


The present members = those who are members now.

The members present = those who are here now.

(or were present on a particular occasion)


“Proper’ before the noun -> ‘real’, ‘genuine’

  1. He is the proper man for this job.

‘Proper’ – after the noun = itself or themselves.

  1. I visited the village proper to know the problem of the people.


Arrange the words to make a sentence. Identify the adjective and say to which position it belongs. The first one has been done for you.

(i) her/long/is/hair/very

Ans: her hair is very long. Adj-long, (predicative)

ii. is /the/street/town/our/this/of/main

(iii) the /afraid/ man/was

(iv) dress/nice/your/new/looks

(v) car/he/his/sold/old

(vi) hot/was/curry/the /too

(vii) you /talk to/ present /must / everybody

(viii) wash/dirty/let’s/ dishes/those

(ix) the/is/getting/warm/ weather/quite

(x) the/train/on time/ arrived / last


Fill in the blanks in the following sentences using the adjectives given in brackets:

(populous, violent, cheap, ridiculous, thoughtful, doubtful, friendly, narrow, cruel, timely)

(i) There was a _______ storm last night.

(ii) Your remark is _______.

(iii) Calcutta is a _______ city.

(iv) Mangoes are _______ in summer.

(v) He was in a _______ mood.

(vi) Your statement seems_______

(vii) you should make _______ payment of the bill to get the rebate.

(viii) He won the love of everybody by his  _______ manners.

(ix) He drove through a _______ street.

(x) He is _______ to his servants.

Suffix list of typical adjectives

Many adjectives have ‘no typical forms’ but there are some which have. Typical adjective endings include.

-Able (desireable)-Ish (childish)
-ful (hopeful)-ous(dangerous)
-al (musical)-er (bigger)
-some (troublesome)-er (bigger)
-ical (mathematical)-ian (Christian)
-ed (surprised)-y (windy)
-Ible (contemptible)-Like (childlike)
-less (hopeless)-ly (manly, kingly)
-ve (collective)-est (biggest)
-ve (collective)-est (biggest)
-ic (heroic)-ese (Chinese)
-ing (boring)-ative (talkative)
Adjective suffix list

 Formation of adjectives:

1. By suffixing ‘y’ to the noun:

Fault Faulty
Brain Brainy
(doubling this last consonant
and adding ‘y’)
(dropping of ‘e’
and adding ‘y’
or Deleting ‘e’

2. Suffixing ‘ous’ to the noun.


3. By suffixing ‘al’ to the Noun:


4. By suffixing ‘ic’  to the noun:


5.  Some adjectives are formed from ‘verbs”


6. Some adjectives are formed from other adjectives:


7. Now look at the following and see the ‘nouns’ and their ‘adjective forms’


Adjectives ending in ‘-ing’ and ‘-ed’.

There are many pairs of adjectives ending in “-ing” and “-ed“. Here are a few examples.

Adjectives ending in “ing”Adjectives ending in “ed”
List of Adjectives ending in ‘-ing’ and ‘-ed’.


Examples of adjectives ending with ‘-ing’ and ‘-ed’

Look at the following examples:

(a). He told us an amusing story.

We were amused at this story.

(b) This wet weather is so depressing.

This weather makes me so depressed.

(C.) Smita’s job is boring.

Smita is bored (with her job.

(d) The film was disappointing. I expected it to be much better.

I was disappointed with the film. I expected it to be much better.

If something is ‘-ing’, It makes you ‘-ed’


Make adjectives from the following words using appropriate endings:

Pity, heaven, love, hill, need, green, cost, pain, wonder, peace, chill, artist, progress, slave, contempt, picture, sense, quarrel, hope, prince


Fill in the blanks choosing the correct form of the adjectives given in brackets:

  1. After travelling all day and night they were very ___________ (tiring/tired)
  2. I thought the programme on wildlife was ___________. (fascinating/fascinated)
  3. Are you ___________ in football? (Interesting/ interested)
  4. Do you easily get ___________?
  5. I did not find the situation funny.
  6. I was not ___________ (amusing/amused).
  7. I’m ___________ after jogging all that way. (exhausting/ exhausted).
  8. He looks ___________ at his son’s success. (pleasing/pleased)
  9. Everybody was ___________ that he passed the examination. (surprised/ surprising)

‘The’ before Adjective.

The old, the rich etc.

There are some adjectives that we can use ‘the’  to talk about groups of people in society, e.g. ‘the blind’, ‘the rich’, ‘the rich’, ‘the poor’,  etc. The verb used is plural.

Here are some examples;

  1. The rich should not look down upon the poor.
  2. The young are really keen to travel.
  3. It is our duty to care for the sick.
  4. The number of the unemployed is rising.
  5. Fortune favours the brave.

List of adjectives with ‘the’

  1. The homeless,
  2. the hungry,
  3. the starving,
  4. The strong,
  5. the weak,
  6. the deaf,
  7. the dead,
  8. The handicapped,
  9. the living,
  10. the sick,
  11. The elderly,
  12. the middle-aged,
  13. the old, etc.

Comparative and Superlative adjectives:

Most adjectives take ‘comparative’  and ’superlative’ forms. These forms are given below:

(A) Short adjectives

List of Adjectives with Postive, Comparative and Superlative degree


(B) Long adjective

CarefulMore carefulMost careful
DifficultMore difficultMost difficult
BeautifulMore beautifulMost beautiful
SplendidMore splendidMost splendid
IndustriousMore industriousMost industrious

(c) Irregular adjective

LittleLess Least
(of Distance only)
OldElderEldest(of people only)
(of people and things)


Form the comparative and superlative of the following adjective.

  1. Flat
  2. Handsome
  3. Able
  4. claim
  5. dry
  6. narrow
  7. greedy
  8. polite
  9. wide
  10. quiet
  11. clever
  12. late
  13. free
  14. early
  15. rare
  16. heavy
  17. simple
  18. elegant
  19. wide
  20. true
  21. clean

Comparison-usage and meaning

(i)  We often use a phrase with than after a comparative.

Silver is cheaper than gold.

A car is more expensive than a motorbike.

I had a bigger meal than you.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

(ii)  We normally use the before a superlative.

The last question is the most difficult

.Who is the best player in the team?

My grandfather is the oldest in our village.

Note: After a superlative we use in or of.  We use in with places and with groups of people, e.g. team.

(iii) We use as-as with an adjective to say that things or persons are   equal in some way> in the negative not as/so –as is used.

(a) Ramesh is as clever as Sunil.

Here we have put the adjective clever in between ‘as-as’. This sentence gives the meaning that ‘Ramesh is clever’ and ‘Sunil is also equally clever’.

(b) Smita is as tall as Reeta

(smita is tall. Reeta is equally tall)

(c.) Susama is  not as /so tall as Reena.

This sentence means that Susama and Reena differ in their height.

(d) This flat isn’t as big as /so big as our old one.

Other uses of the comparative and superlative forms and adjectives without nouns.

(i) You are twenty years older than me.

You are twenty years older than I am.

Susmita’s husband isn’t as tall as her.

Her husband isn’t as tall as she is.

After ‘than’ or ‘as’, a personal pronoun its won has the object form, e.g. me But if the pronoun has a verb after it, then we use the subject form , e.g. I

(ii) Superlative adjectives are sometimes used without Nouns.

-Difficult situation often brings out the best in people.

-The latest is that he is going to run for election.

(iii) In informal conversation we often drop the noun in situations where we are choosing between two or more varieties.

-My brother has sent me a watch. It is an automatic.

(iv) The word ‘own’ is often used without following a noun.

-I don’t need you pen. I have got my own.

(v) Adjectives denoting an abstract quality go without a noun.

-He worked hard for the good of the people.

(vi)  We use ‘the + comparative’ …………… to say that two changes happen together.

The higher you go, the cooler you feel.

The more you study, the more you learn.


Write the correct form (comparative or superlative of the adjectives given in brackets.

  1. Iron is ________than any other metal. (useful)
  2. Silver is ________ than gold (cheap)
  3. I feel ________ than I did yesterday. (bad)
  4. This photo is the ________. (good).
  5. Is Salim ________ than Rahim? (old)
  6. Honour is ________ to him than life. (deer)
  7. This is the ________ film I have ever seen. (interesting)
  8. Mount Everest is the ________ peak of the Himalayas. (High).
  9. He is ________ between the two. (tall)

Order of adjectives before a noun

When several adjectives come before a noun, they usually have to be put in a particular order. Unfortunately, the rules for adjective order are very complicated. However, we can follow the following rules:

Adjective like big, round, blue, wood etc are fact adjectives. They give us factual information about age, size, colour, shape, material, purpose, nationality, origin, etc. They tell us what somebody thinks of something or somebody.

‘Opinion’ Adjectives usually go before ‘fact’ adjectives. Some other ‘opinion’ adjectives are ugly, pretty, nice, rude, (dis)obedient, gloomy, useful, exciting, interesting, great, terrible, awful etc.

Sometimes we use two or more ‘fact’ adjectives: Very often (but not always) we put ‘fact’ adjectives in this order.

How big?How old?    What colour?Where from?What is it made of?Purpose?

A tall young man (1–>2) –> size/age

A black plastic chain . (3–>5) colour/matrial

An old Russian song (2–>4) à age/origin

A new white cotton shirt (2–>3–>5) àage/colour/material.

Some nice easy quiz questions (opinion/quality/purpose)

Adjectives of size and length (big/small/tall/short/long etc..) usually go before adjectives of shape and width (round/fat, thin/slim/wide etc.)

A large round table, a tall thin girl.

When there are two colour adjectives, we use ‘and’, a black and white dress, a red, white and green flag.


Put the adjectives in brackets in the correct position.

Example: She bought a __________ ribbon. (blue / long )

Ans: She bought a long blue ribbon.

  1. He lives in a __________ village (old/lovely/little)
  2. My friend has got a  car (new/little /red)
  3. He kept his money in a __________ box. (back/small/metal)
  4. She has __________ hair. (black /long/beautiful)
  5. These are __________ shoes (modern /sports/ wonderful)
  6. This is an __________ game (family / new / exciting)
  7. I saw a __________ painting. (old/lovely / Persian)
  8. He sat in a __________ chair. (old/small/wooden/comfortable)
  9. The __________ cat drank all the milk. (fat/black/big)

Adjective Phrase.

 Let us look at the following sentences:

1. Rabi is a clever student.

2. Rabi is clever.

In(1) , ‘ a clever student is used as a complement of the verb ‘is’. The noun ‘student’ is the headword of the phrase. So it is a ‘noun phrase’ But in (2) ‘clever’ is an adjective and it is the headword. So here clever is an adjective phrase.

We can use modifiers before adjectives.

A clever boy, a very clever boy

Some commonly used modifiers before the adjectives are: rather, quite, so, too, how etc.

These sweets are quite tasty.

 How old are you?

I am so tired.

He is too weak.

The patient is rather better today.

Adjective patterns

1. Subject + verb BE + Adjective + (to + infinite)

We were glad to see him again.

I am sure to pass the examination.

He is anxious to see his mother.

He is easy to please.

They are bound to forget me.

(ii) It + Verb BE + Adjective + (to-infinitive)

It is important to remember the rule.

It is difficult to give up bad habits.

(iii) It + verb BE + too + Adjective + (to + inf)

It is kind of you to help me.

It is foolish of him to criticize others

(iv) Subject + verb Be + too + Adjective + (to + infinitive)

I am too weak to walk

(I am so weak that I cannot walk)

(v) Subject + verb Be + Adjective +enough + (to + infinitive)

You are old enough to know better.

(vi) How + Adjective + subject + verb BE

How lovely your garden is!

(vii) Subject + verb + obj. + Adjective

He pulled his belt tight.


Match the constructions in column ‘A’ with ‘B’.

1.This water is safeTo open these tins
2She’ll be the firstTo watch the match.
3It is not easyTo drink
4I am determinedTo fight injustice
5He is cruelTo know the result.
6Armstrong was the first manTo treat animals that way.
7It was excitingTo land on the moon

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