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Parts of Speech

eng_a1_4There are many types of words in any language but they have different functions. For example some words express things and others express actions and words. These words—nouns and verbs—are building blocks of any language, just like parts of the house.

If we want to build a house we need to have bricks, cement with concrete base. We use windows and doors to make door ways to combine all of these. In the same way when we want to construct a sentence we use different words, and each one has its own function.

In English we categorize words into eight basic types.  They are called the “Parts of speech”. They are Noun, verb, pronoun, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction and interjection.



What is an adjective?

An adjective is a word used to add something to the meaning of noun or pronoun. The word, boy is a noun.

We can say a tall boy, an intelligent boy, a rich boy, a polite boy, a lazy boy and so on. In these expressions the words tall, polite, rich, and lazy describe the noun boy. All these words are adjectives.

eng_a1_1An adjective is a describing word. When we use adjectives with nouns, they make nouns precise. They also make our language more beautiful.



Positions of adjectives

When an adjective is used to describe a noun, it is normally placed before the noun:


  • An easy question;
  • a new design;
  • a poor man.

But sometime the adjectives can be placed after the nouns as well:

For example:

  • This question is easy
  • That design is new
  • The man is poor.


Kinds of Adjectives

An adjective can be of six kinds:
1.    Adjective of quality
2.    Adjective of quantity
3.    Adjective of number
4.    Demonstrative adjective
5.    Interrogative adjective
6.    Possessive adjective

Adjective of quality:

As adjective of quality describes the quality of a person or thing.

For example:

  • The teacher asked a difficult question.

An adjective of quality answers the question: what kind of?

Adjective of quantity:

As adjective of quantity specifies the quantity of a thing.

For example:

  • We have enough food for a month.

An adjective of quantity answers the questions: how much?

Adjective of number:

As adjective of number tells how many person or things are meant.

For example:

  • Five passengers got into the bus.

An adjective of number answers the questions: how many?

Demonstrative adjective:

A demonstrative is used to point out some person or thing.

For example:

  • These walls need white washing.

We do not have many demonstrative adjectives.  You will see only this, these, that, those, yonder, such and certain used as demonstrative adjectives.

A demonstrative adjective answers the question: which?

Interrogative adjectives:

An adjective which, when used with a noun, asks a question is called an interrogative adjective.

For example:

  • Which umbrella is yours?

Possessive adjectives:

A possessive adjective shows possession or belonging.

For example:

  • Your dresses are elegant.

A possessive adjective answers the question: whose?

Formation of Adjective

We can form adjectives:

From nouns:

Example :

  • Honor – Honorable, Beauty-Beautiful, Slave-Slavish

From verbs:


  • Quarrel-Quarrelsome, talk-talkative

From adjectives:

Example :

  • Black-blackish, Red-Reddish.

In some cases while adding suffix we may alter the spellings slightly.

Example :

  • Advice –advisable; comfort-comfortable; angel-angelic

Degrees of Comparison

Adjective of quality have three degrees of comparison:

1.  Positive degree

2.  Comparative degree

3.  Superlative degree

We use the positive degree of an adjective when we don’t make any comparison.


  • Richard is a tall boy.  The word tall is said to be in the positive degree.

We use the comparative degree of an adjective when we compare two persons or things.


  • Richard is taller than John.  The word taller is said to be in the comparative degree.

We use superlative degree of an adjective when we compare more than two persons or things.


  • Allan is the tallest of the three.  The word tallest is said to be in the superlative degree.

What is the difference between adjectives and adverbs?

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