An adjective is a describing word.
Adjectives often come in pairs of opposites:
I am Australian.
I am from a little village.
She is very pretty.
She is intelligent and beautiful at the same time.
She is nice.
She is a good friend.
You are really nice.
He is a lucky guy.
I am good thanks but I am really busy.
Do you feel lonely?
You are a good friend.
big – little
large – small
black – white
good – bad
hot – cold
easy – difficult
nice – awful
busy – free
cheap (inexpensive) – expensive
complicated – simple
close – far
sweet – salty
spicy – bland
fast – slow
ugly – beautiful
tall – short
long – short
fat – thin
thick – thin
Present Participless as Adjectives
an interesting story
a fascinating person
a boring lecture
a convincing argument
a passing car
a passing stranger
a speeding car
Past Participles as Adjectives
a collapsed building
a fallen tree
an injured man
a wounded soldier
a ruined building
a bankrupt businessman
a corrupt politician
a well-paid public servant
a stolen credit card
a reserved seat
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The Philosophy of the Adjective
The adjective sets up scales. It sets up qualities which are degrees on scales. Look at these scales:
Goodness and beauty are both important.
And it is important to be temperate. Look at this scale of temperature:
You can flesh out your vocabulary by becoming aware of scales like this. When you learn a word, try to learn its opposite and its place in a a scale.
The verb describes an action but the adjective is a quality. This quality is often a point on a scale.
These points on a scale often use adverbs like this:
a bit expensive
but sometimes adverbs are not necessary
Go through each dialogue in this series of dialogues. Pick out the adjectives. Write them down like this:
Find their opposites like this:
Australian – non-Australian
nice – awful
Find other degrees in a scale like this:
fairly big – pretty big
Look at ways to compare the quality that they describe like this:
Tell us what you find and ask questions on the grammar page: The Grammar Page
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Link to listening activity with Adjectives
Vocabulary Lists of Adjectives
Look at these vocabulary lists:
Adjectives for Describing People
Adjective Noun Combinations
adventurous – adventure
arrogant – arrogance
boastful – boasting
brave – bravery/courage
courageous – courage/bravery
competitive – competition
dim-witted – dim-wittedness/stupidity
evil – evilness/malevolence
funny – humour
good-looking – good looks
handsome – handsomeness/good looks
honest – honesty
impractical -impracticality/lack of …
kind – kindness
lonely – loneliness
lonesome – lonesomeness
loyal – loyalty
modest – modesty/shyness
naive – naivete/stupidity
practical – practicality/presence of mind
quiet – quietness/serenity
rude – rudeness/bad manners
stupid – stupidity
strong – strength
wise – wisdom
Comparative Variations of Adjectives for Describing People
adventurous – more adventurous – less adventurous
arrogant – more arrogant – less arrogant – more humble
boastful -more boastful – less boastful – more humble
brave – braver – more courageous – less courageous – not so brave – cowardly
competitive – more competitive – less competitive – less aggressive
courageous – more courageous – braver – less courageous – a chicken – a coward
dim-witted – more dim-witted – dumber- more stupid – less stupid – more intelligent – cleverer – more clever
evil – more evil – less evil – better – worse
funny – funnier – less funny – not as funny – not so funny
good-looking – more good-looking/better-looking
honest – more honest/honester – less honest – dishonest
impractical – more impractical – less practical
kind – kinder – more kind
lonely – lonelier more lonely
lonesome – more lonesome – lonelier/lonesomer – less lonely/less lonesome
loyal – more loyal – less loyal/less trustworthy
modest – more modest – less modest – less humble
naive – more naive – less naive
practical – more practical – less practical
quiet – more quiet – less quiet
rude – ruder – more rude – less rude
strong – stronger – more strong – less strong/weaker
stupid – stupider/more stupid.
wise – wiser – more intelligent – less intelligent
adventurous – the most adventurous
arrogant – the most arrogant
boastful – the most boastful
brave – the bravest
competitive – the most competitive
courageous – the most courageous
dim-witted – the most dim-witted
evil – the most evil
funny – the funniest
good-looking – the best looking
honest – the most honest
impractical – the most impractical
kind – the kindest
lonely – the most lonely/ the loneliest
lonesome – the most lonesome/ the lonesomest
loyal – the most loyal/ the most trustworthy
modest – the most modest
naive – the most naive
practical – the most practical
quiet – the quietest/the most serene
rude – the rudest
strong – the strongest
stupid – the stupidest/the dumbest
wise – the wisest/ the most intelligent
Learn Adjectives in the Context of a Story
It is daunting to look at vocabulary lists. It is difficult to learn a whole list of words. It is better to learn words in context. it is better to learn words in the context of a story.
Link to a story with these words in context: Love and Death : The Story of Siegfried
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