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Adjectives

This Prezi can be used to learn about many different kinds of adjectives.
by

Mark Messer

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Adjectives

Adjectives
& Articles
What are adjectives, and what do they tell us?
What are the different types of adjectives?
Where do adjectives go?
Adjectives are words (like "
old
"), phrases (like "
from France
"), or clauses (like "
that smells good
") that tells us about a noun (like "book"). an
old
book, a book
from France
, a book
that smells good
.

We often use question words like "what kind," "which," and "how many" to understand what adjectives tell us, but we also use other question words, like "where," even though "where" can also be an important adverb word. Because some question words can be used to understand more than one part of speech, it is important to think about the deep meaning of the word. Even so, let's look at some of these groups.
Some adjectives tell us the characteristics of nouns. It's easy to think of them as telling us "what kind" of noun, but that's not exactly true.
Some adjectives tell us "which" or "whose." Actually, some of these words* are not truly adjectives, but because they tell us about nouns, you can study them together.
Some adjectives tell us "how many."
Some adjectives tell us "where," but they can often be thought of as telling us "which." Remember, some adverbs answer the question "where," too, when they tell us where the verb happened. Don't confuse them with adjectives.
golf
shoes
shoes
for golf
friendly
animals
animals
which are friendly
tall
men
men
who are tall
new
ideas
cold
pizza
cooking
spoons
lobster
from Maine
smarter
children
Apple
computers
two
men
85
degrees
six
dollars
some
friends
enough
time
2,000
years
my
*
food
that
* house
the gift
which I brought
the box
that fell on my foot
the painting
from Italy
the

blue
shirt

(here, "blue" is a characteristic of the shirt, but when you put it with "the," the two words together tell you which shirt, as in "Which shirt would you like to take? The blue shirt." The word "the" is already a determiner, so it is used to talk about a specific noun-one we know about, or have already mentioned.)
He showed me a house
in India.
(Here, "in India" clearly tells us where, as in the location of the house [adj.], NOT where he showed [adv.].)
I've chosen the house
in India
.
(Here, "in India" tells us which house of many houses he was considering [adj.] , not where he chose the house [adv.]. He could have made his choice anywhere.)
He painted his house
in India
.
(Here, "in India" could mean where, as in the location of the house [adj.], or which house, if he has many [adj.], or it could means where he painted [adv.].)
He met his girlfriend
in India
.
(Here, "in India" clearly means where, as in where he met [adv.], NOT which girlfriend [adj.] or her location [adj.]. If you want to talk about which girlfriend of many, you would say something like "his girlfriend from India".)
Whenever you're confused about whether a word is an adjective or an adverb, remember to focus on what the word tells us about. Adjectives tell us about nouns, while adverbs tell us about verbs, and sometimes adjective and other adverbs.
Most adjectives are "positive" adjectives because they tell us about a noun, but some are called "comparative" adjectives (they tell us that one thing is more or less like the characteristic which an adjective describes than another thing), and others are called "superlative" adjectives (they tell us that one thing is the most or the least like the characteristic which an adjective describes). This sounds more complicated than it really is. Look at these examples.
Positive: wide, tall, interesting
Comparative: wider, taller, more interesting
Superlative: widest, tallest, most interesting
Do you know the rules for making comparative and superlative adjectives? Can you figure them out by looking at the following groups of positive, comparative, and superlative adjectives? These groups don't cover ALL the possible rules, but do cover the most common ones. As you try to figure them out, think about the number of syllables in the words, patterns of consonants and vowels, the final letter in the positive adjectives, and more.
Group 1
Positive, Comparative, Superlative
white, whiter, whitest
fine, finer, finest
cute, cuter, cutest
pale, paler, palest
loose, looser, loosest
brave, braver, bravest
rude, ruder, rudest

Do you see the pattern?
Group 2
Pos., Comp., Super.
hot, hotter, hottest
big, bigger, biggest
fat, fatter, fattest
thin, thinner, thinnest
glad, gladder, gladdest
grim, grimmer, grimmest

Do you see the pattern?
Group 3
Pos., Comp., Super.
light, lighter, lightest
fast, faster, fastest,
poor, poorer, poorest
kind, kinder, kindest
soft, softer, softest
gray, grayer, grayest
coy, coyer, coyest

Do you see the pattern?
Group 4
Pos., Comp., Super.
happy, happier, happiest
silly, sillier, silliest
lonely, lonelier, loneliest
sorry, sorrier, sorriest
lucky, luckier, luckiest
sunny, sunnier, sunniest
greasy, greasier, greasiest
tidy, tidier, tidiest
dry, drier, driest

Do you see the pattern?
Group 5
Pos., Comp., Super.
modern, more modern, most modern
interesting, more interesting, most interesting,
beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful
honest, more honest, most honest
excited, more excited, most excited
comfortable, more comfortable, most comfortable
dangerous, more dangerous, most dangerous

Do you see the pattern?
Group 6: The irregulars (You just
have to learn these.)
Pos., Comp., Super.
good, better, best
bad, worse, worst
far, farther/further, farthest/furthest
fun, more fun, most fun
shy, shyer, shyest
Prepositional phrases are adjectives when they tell us about nouns. For example, "from school" is a prepositional phrase which can tell us about a noun ("the bus
from school
"). We can take the noun in this phrase and use it like an adjective, too ("the
school
bus"). By using the noun "school" to describe the noun "bus," we have made "school" into an adjective. It's important to see that these phrases are equal ("the bus from
school
" = "the
school
bus"). Look at the following examples. Notice that some of the nouns in the prepositional phrases look the same as the adjectives they become, but others have different adjective forms. Notice also that some prepositional phrase adjectives don't have positive forms.
"people
from the city
" = "
city
people"
"cats
with spots
" = "
spotted
cats"
"the box
on the table
" (no positive form)
"the weather
in summer
" = "
summer
weather"
"boys
with tattoos
" = "
tatooed
boys"
"the dance
at school
" = "the
school
dance"
Proper nouns are the names of specific people, places, or things (John, Maine, or Kleenex). As you just saw, nouns can be used to make prepositional phrases which can be adjectives. "From Apple" is a prepositional phrase which can tell us about a noun ("the computer
from Apple
"). We can take the noun in this phrase and use it like an adjective, too ("the
Apple computer
"). By using the noun "Apple" to describe the noun "computer," we have made "Apple" into an adjective. It's important to see that these phrases are equal ("the computer from
Apple
" = "the
Apple
computer"). Just like with the common nouns you saw, some nouns don't change their spelling when they become adjectives, but others do change. Look at these examples. Notice any patterns?
"lobster
from Maine
" = "
Maine
lobster"
"oranges
from Florida
" = "
Florida
oranges"
"peaches
from Georgia
" = "
Georgia
peaches"
"grapes
from Peru
" = "
Peruvian
grapes"
"wine
from France
" = "
French
wine"
"music
from Japan
" = "
Japanese
music"
"cheese
from England
" = "
English
cheese"
"dates
from Egypt
" = "
Egyptian
dates"
"hamburgers
from Burger King
" = "
Burger King
hamburgers"
"trucks
from Ford
" = "
Ford
trucks"
"bottles
of Coke
" = "
Coke
bottles"
Relative clauses are made with relative pronouns, like 'who,' 'whom,' 'which,' and 'that.' They must have verbs, and they may also have other elements. If the relative pronoun is an object, then the clause needs a subject, too. Relative clauses act like adjectives because they tell you about a noun. For example "who killed my cat" is a relative clause in the sentence "Jenny is the woman who killed my cat." The relative clause tells you 'which woman.' Look at the following examples. Is the relative pronoun a subject or an object in each sentence? What does it tell you?
"I pointed to the woman
who sold me the fruit
."
Is 'who' a subject or object? It's a subject.
What does it tell you? Which woman

"This is the box
that fell on my foot
."
Is 'that' a subject or object?
What does it tell you?
"That is the book
that he stole from me
!"
Is the second 'that' a subject or object?
What does it tell you?

"This is the box
which I dropped on my foot
."
Is 'which' a subject or object?
What does it tell you?
"This is the dog
which bit me
."
Is 'which' a subject or object?
What does it tell you?

"Jay showed me the man
whom she had married
."
Is 'who' a subject or object?
What does it tell you?
Gerund adjectives are made from prepositional phrases which have gerund (-ing) nouns as the objects. For example, "for running" is a prepositional phrase in the sentence "These shoes are for running," and it tells you about the shoes. More specifically, "for running" tells you what kind of shoes they are.
Participial adjectives are made from present participles used in sentences like "This movie is frightening me." The word 'frightening' is the present participle form of the verb frighten, and we can use it as an adjective to describe the movie: "frightening movie."
Participial adjectives are also made from past participles used in sentences like "The boy was frightened by the movie." The word 'frightened' is the past participle form of the verb frighten, and we can use it as an adjective to describe the boy: "frightened boy." So, if we say "The movie frightened the boy," we can say it was a "frightening movie," and he was a "frightened boy."
Study the examples below.
walking
shoes = shoes
for walking
paring
knives = knives
for paring
cooking
spoons = spoons
for cooking
drinking
glasses = glasses
for drinking
a
smoking
room = a room
for smoking
broken
glass = glass
which was broken
salted
popcorn = popcorn
which was salted
heated
towels = towels
which were heated
a
half-eaten
candy bar = a candy bar
which was half eaten
fried
chicken = chicken
which was fried
a
walking
boy = a boy
who is walking
an
interesting
movie = a movie
which is interesting to me
a
screaming
baby = a baby
which is screaming
the
smoking
gun = the gun
which is smoking
a
smoking
room = a room
which is smoking
(on fire)
Compound adjectives are adjectives that are made from two words which are connected with a hyphen (-)to show a difference in meaning. Let's look at at an example which is NOT a compound adjective first: "small car factory." What does "small car factory" mean? It means a small factory that makes cars. Both the word "small" and the word "car" describe (tell us about) the noun "factory." However, if we connect the first two words with a hyphen, we get a phrase with a different meaning. A "Small-car factory" is a factory that makes small cars. The word "small" does not describe the word factory. It describes the word "car." Some mistakes don't really confuse people, though. For example, the correct phrases is "15-year-old boy." It means a boy who is 15 years old. If you forget the hyphens and write "15 year old boy," it may be incorrect, but people will understand. They won't think that you mean "15 boy," "year boy," and "old boy." Let's look at more examples.
"Blue face
paint" is blue paint and face paint, so no hyphen is needed.
A "
cold-blooded
killer" is a killer with cold blood, a person who kills
without emotions. It is not a cold killer and blooded killer."
"
New-car
smell" is the smell of a new car, not a new smell and a car smell.
A "
full-moon
party" is a party where we celebrate the full moon, not a full
party and a moon party.
A "
big red
truck" is a big truck and a red truck, so no hyphen is needed.
A "
cold-drink
cup" is a cup for cold drinks, not a cold cup and a drink cup.
A "
long-time
friend" is a friend you've had for a long time, not a long
friend and a time friend.
A "
front-door
bell" is a bell at the front door, not a front bell and a door bell.
Except for normal predicate adjectives, which follow a linking verb, all adjectives are "bound" to the noun they modify. "Bound" means that they are connected either directly to the noun, or they are before or after another adjective which is connected to the noun. This is a really important idea because sometimes we can confuse an adjective for an adverb, which is not bound to the word it modifies in the same way. In short, adjectives have to go in very specific places in sentences, but most adverbs can go in more than one place. To see how adjectives fit into a sentence, let's divide them into groups: one-word adjectives (including compound adjectives) and adjectives made of two or more words (phrasal and clausal adjectives).
Some adjectives are predicate adjectives. Though a predicate is everything that follows a subject, a predicate adjective is an adjective that tells us about the subject of a sentence and is usually connected to the subject with a linking verb. Here is an easy example: Bob is nice.
"Bob" is the subject, "is" is a linking verb, and "nice" is an adjective that tells us about Bob. This is an easy example because the verb is obviously a linking verb, but some verbs can be linking verbs OR action verbs depending on the meaning. Look at this example with the verb "taste" in it twice. "John tasted the coffee, and the coffee tasted bad." The first "tasted" is an action verb because it's something John did. The second "tasted" is a linking verb because "bad" tells us about the coffee. Sometimes it can be hard to know if a verb is an action verb or a linking verb, but if you see an adjective alone after the verb, that's a big hint! On the left are sentences with clear linking verbs and predicate adjectives. In the middle are sentences with action verbs and other sentences with the same verb used as a linking verb. On the right are examples of a way to use predicate adjectives to modify an object! For this group, imagine the word "be" between the object and the adjective (Bob makes me BE angry).
That movie was
amazing
!
The book became
interesting
.
My dog is getting
old
.
This movie is
similar to "Casablanca."
Black bears seem
harmless
at first.
Can you
smell
smoke? (an action verb and an object)
The dog
smells

like mud
.
The guard
sounded
the alarm. (an action verb and an object)
This song
sounds

beautiful.
I could
look
at the ocean for hours. (an action verb and a prepositional phrase)
This puzzle
looks

difficult.
Did you
feel
that earthquake? (an action verb and an object)
These shoes
feel

tight.
Bob makes me
angry
!
Playing tennis makes me
hungry
.
She found him
asleep
.
We left him
alone
.
John saw himself
naked
!
One-word adjectives (including compound adjectives)
One-word adjectives go right before the nouns they modify.
If you have two or more one-word adjectives, then they all go before the noun. (There are rules for the order they follow in the "Articles" section of this prezi.)
a
big
truck
an
ugly
dog
an
orange
tank
a
red
truck
a
spotted
dog
a
steel
tank
a
Ford
truck
a
guard
dog
a
cold-water
tank
Single-word adjectives follow a specific order before a noun. The order is determined by the "class" that they belong to. A class is a group of adjectives that tell you something similar, say, color. An adjective in group 1 comes first, group 2 second, group 3 third, etc. Let's look at the nine classes (we could make more classes) and some noun phrases using some adjectives in those classes.
Did you notice that some adjectives had commas between them, but others didn't? All adjectives tell us about nouns, but some adjectives came from other parts of speech. For example, "red" is always an adjective, but "Ford" was a noun, "cold water" is a noun phrase, and "soup" is a noun. There is a test to see if a comma is needed. If you can use both adjectives in sentences like "the truck is big" and "the truck is red," use a comma.

However, "the truck is Ford" does not sound okay. We would have to say "the truck is a Ford." Can you say "the dog is guard"? No. You need to say "the dog is a guard dog." Can you say "the pot is soup"? No. You need to say "the pot is a soup pot" If I say "big and red truck," that sounds okay, but "big and Ford truck" sounds strange.

So, which is correct, "delicious, birthday cake" or "delicious birthday cake"?
a
big
,
red
truck
a
big Ford
truck
a
red Ford
truck
an
ugly
,
spotted
dog
an
ugly guard
dog
a
spotted guard
dog
an
orange
,
steel
tank
an
orange

cold-water
tank
a
steel cold-water
tank
an
ugly
,
big
,
black
,
metal
pot
an
ugly
,
big
,
black
and
white
,
metal
pot
an
ugly
,
big
,
black
,
metal

soup
pot
Adjectives made with more than one word (phrasal and clausal adjectives)
Phrasal and clausal adjectives include prepositional phrase adjectives, relative clause adjectives, and some other shortened forms. They all go after the nouns they modify.
prepositional phrase adjectives

the man
from Canada
boys
with tattoos
cats
with stripes
people
from the city
more prep. phrase adj.

computers
at work
salad
without dressing
trees
along the river
relative clause adjectives
(Some must have a
relative pronoun
.)

the boy
whose
toy I broke
the box
that
fell on my foot
the man
who
sold me the fruit
the woman
whom I love
the woman
I love
("whom" is not necessary)
the day
which I will never forget
the day
I will never forget
("which" is not necessary)
How are these different?

the man
who is singing
the
singing
man
the man
who is singing loudly
the man
singing loudly
(Some can have a relative pronoun,
but don't have to have one.)
the box
that
you dropped
the box
you dropped
("that" is not necessary)
and these?

the girl
who is running
the
running
girl
the man
who is running away
the man
running away
An
article is
a
word that comes before
a
noun phrase. The articles "a" and "an" both introduce
a
noun that is not defined, so they are called indefinite articles.
The
article "the" comes before
a
defined noun, so it is called a definite noun. The explanations below are simple, and they don't include every "rule," so if you want to learn more, ask your teacher for help or look for resources online.
"A" and "an" are used to mark general, non-defined nouns, and have the meaning of "one," so should not be used with non-count nouns like "anger," or "snow."
okay not okay
"a dog" "an idea" "a book" "an anger" "a snow"
"The" is used to mark specific (specified) nouns. It can go before singular, plural, or non-count nouns.

all are okay
"the dog" "the idea" "the book" "the anger" "the snow"
We use "the" after a noun has already been introduced.
I saw a snake! I think
the
snake was scared of me
We use "a" or "an" the first time a noun is introduced.
I saw
a
snake!
We use "the" if a noun is followed by an adjective
phrase
or
clause
that tell us which one.
He said that milk is healthy, but
the
milk
from his farm
is healthiest!
He said that milk is healthy, but
the
milk
(that) his cows give
is healthiest!
We use "the" if a superlative shows us that the noun is one of a kind. Notice that it is sometimes followed by an adjective
phrase,
or
clause
that identifies it, or
She is
the
best cook!
He is
the
shortest boy
in my class
.

That is
the
scariest movie
(that) I have ever seen
!
We use "the" if a noun is the only one of its kind in the world, or in the
relevant context
.
The
sun rises at 4:30.
Please pass the salt. (
which is near you
)
Take this to the office. (
the only one in the school
)
We use "a" or "an" to talk about a member of a group even if you don't mention the group
I am
a
player on the tennis team. (one of many players on the team)
I am
an
artist. (one of many artists in the world)
1. articles, determiners, numbers:
a
boy,
an
apple,
the
clock;
some
doughnuts,
my
ears,
this
fly;
one
girl,
two
horses,
three
irons, . . .

a
bench
2. evaluation/opinion:
good
news,
ugly
shoes,
interesting
hat,
funny
cat, . . .

an

ugly
bench
3. size:
small
word,
tall
bird ,
medium-sized
locks,
thin
fox, . . .
an

ugly
,
long
bench
4. age:
young
guy,
old
gal,
new
car,
antique
furniture,
six-year-old
scar, . . .

an

ugly
,
long
,
old
bench
5. shape:
round
face,
square
head,
triangular
nose,
oblong
cloud,
oval
office, . . .

an

ugly
,
long
,
old
,
curvy
bench
6. color:
blue
eyes,
white
hair,
fuschia
lipstick,
purple
shirt,
green
pants, . . .

an ugly
,
long
,
old
,
curvy
,
black
bench
7. place of origin:
western
clothing,
French
bread,
Indian
music,
Korean
women,
African
stories, . . .

an

ugly
,
long
,
old
,
curvy
,
black
,
English
bench
8. material:
wooden
stake,
metal
door,
aluminum
bat,
plastic
bowl,
glass
eye,
ceramic
cup,
wax
statue,
cloth
doll, . . .

an

ugly
,
long
,
old
,
curvy
,
black
,
English
,
wooden
bench
9. purpose:
cooking
spoon,
running
shoes,
travel
bag,
winter
coat, . . .

an ugly
,
long
,
old
,
curvy
,
black
,
English
,
wooden
,
park
bench
If more than one prepositional phrase tells us about a noun, put them all after the noun like a list with commas and conjunctions if needed.

I like my salad
with nuts
and
with raisins
.
I like salad
with nuts
and
raisins
.
I like my salad
with nuts
,
with raisins
, and
with croutons
.
I like my salad
with nuts
,
raisins
,
and croutons
.
I like my salad
with nuts
, but
without raisins
.
I like my salad
with nuts
,
without raisins
, and
in a wooden bowl
.
If more than one relative clause tells us about a noun, put them all after the noun like a list with commas and conjunctions if needed.

The clown is the man
who is telling jokes
and
who is holding a balloon
.
The clown is the man
who is telling jokes
and
holding a balloon
.
The clown is the man
telling jokes
and
holding a balloon
.
This is a day
which I will always remember
,
which I will write about
, and
which I will celebrate
.
This is a day
I will always remember
,
will write about
, and
will celebrate
.
This is a day
I will always remember
,
write about
, and
celebrate
.

This is a day
which I will never forget
,
which will be written about in books
, and
which will be celebrated
.
If you put adjectives in the wrong order, it should sound strange to you. Look at these examples. Which of them sounds strange? Which sound good?

blue, large cups? large, blue cups?
a beautiful, old, Mexican hat a Mexican, beautiful, old hat
a cooking, wooden, new spoon a new, wooden, cooking spoon
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