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THE ADJECTIVE - Classification of the Adjectives


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Trimite pe Messenger
The Past Perfect Simple
The future - Indicating the future using 'will'
Grammar Test – Noun and Article
Stylistic Differentiation of the Vocabulary
ADJECTIVUL - Adjective posesive, interogative
Tenses and their use
Timing by adjuncts

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      I.            Classification of the Adjectives

  1. Simple adjectives: good, nice, black, old, rich
  2. Compound adjectives: snow-white, life-long
  3. Derivative adjectives:

-formed from:

  1. nouns: foggy, natural, lovely, famous
  2. verbs: creative, urgent, forgetful
  3. other adjectives: impolite, irregular, unhappy

      I.            Comparison of the Adjectives

-positive degree

-comparative degree

-superlative degree

  1. Short adjectives: (monosyllabic, disyllabic, ending in: -er, -le, -y, -ow, -some)

short- shorter- the shortest

nice- nicer- the nicest

clever- cleverer- the cleverest

noble-nobler- the noblest

happy- happier- the happiest

narrow- narrower- the narrowest

handsome-handsomer-the handsomest

Spelling rules:

  1. if a monosyllabic adjective has a short vowel and ends in a single consonant, the consonant is doubled

big- bigger- the biggest

hot- hotter- the hottest

  1. '–y' after a consonant is changed into '–i'

dry- drier- the driest

happy- happier- the happiest

Exceptions: shy- shyer-the shyest

sly- slyer- the slyest

  1. the final mute '–e' disappears

wise- wiser- the wisest


  1. Long adjectives: (adjectives of three or more syllables, all participles in '-ed' or '-ing' and most disyllabic adjectives with the stress on the first syllable)

beautiful- more beautiful- the most beautiful

comfortable- more comfortable- the most comfortable

-some disyllabic adjectives may be compared either by adding '-er' and '-est' or by the use of 'more' and 'most'

common- commoner/ more common- the commonest/the most common

  1. Irregular adjectives/ adverbs:

good- better- the best

bad/ ill- worse- the worst

little- smaller/ less- the smallest/ the least

far- farther/further- the farthest/ the furthest

-they generally refer to distance

-further is used to express something that will follow

They gave us further details.

near- nearer- the nearest (distance)/ the next (order)

Our next care was to find the nearest way to the next village.

late- later/ latter- the latest/ the last

late, later = refer to time

latter, last = refer to order

the latest = the most recent

This is the latest news I have ever heard.

Have you read his latest novel?

old- older/ elder- the oldest/ the eldest

My elder sister is two years older than I am.

John is my eldest brother.

elder, the eldest = used as an attribute

elder = can be used as a noun (You should respect your elders.)

east(ern)- more east(ern)- easternmost

west(ern)- more west(ern)- westernmost

north(ern)- more north(ern)- northernmost

south(ern)- more south(ern)- southernmost

Comparative degree:

  1. comparative of superiority: much/ far/ a lot

My flat is much/ far/ a lot bigger/ more beautiful/ better than yours.

  1. comparative of inferiority: less/ the least

He is less musical than you.

This is the least interesting topic.

  1. comparative of equality: (not) as… as

Paul is as clever as John.

Idioms: as silent as the grave, as white as sheet, as silly as a goose, as smooth as silk, as old as the hill, as sure as death, as dark as midnight, as dry as dust, as sharp as a razor, as cold as ice, as cunning as a fox, as busy as a bee, as hard as rock, as hungry as a wolf, as obstinate as a mule.

  1. comparative phrases: the + comparative … the + comparative

The sooner the better.

The more you learn the better you know.

The older you get the more careful you become.

Adjective word order:

Opinion / Size/ Age/ Style/ Colour/ Origin/ Material/ Purpose/ Noun

long blue denim skirt

wavy brown hair

beautiful old Welsh farmer’s cottage

She is wearing a long blue denim skirt.

He is the one with the wavy brown hair.

It is a beautiful old Welsh farmer’s cottage.



  1. Make adjectives from these nouns using the suffixes –y, -ly, -like, -ful.

hunger, coward, noise, child, child, fool, truth, father, life, fun, snob, leisure, youth, prince, plenty, filth, boy, skill.

  1. Complete the adjectives with the suffixes –ful/-less. In some cases you can form only a –ful or only a –less adjective.

use-, wonder, colour-, youth, hair-, hope-, shame-, thought-, beauti-, help-, forget-, sense-, success-, reck-, aw-, harm-, ruth-, play-, price-, fright-.

  1. Can you match the everyday nouns (of Germanic origin) in group A with the corresponding adjectives (of Latin origin) in group B?

Group A: brother, woman, friend, god, fun, year, mother, man, cat, dog, mind, brain, sight, touch, hand, house, earth, east.

Group B: maternal, canine, terrestrial, fraternal, manual, mental, divine, feline, oriental, cerebral, feminine, masculine, annual, amicable, visual, comic(al), tactile, domestic.

  1. There is usually a difference in meaning and use between simple adjectives and adjectives of Latin/ Greek origin. Choose the adjective which best fits the meaning of these sentences.

Animals which are active during the hours of darkness are called nightly/ nocturnal animals.

  1. Animals which are active during the day are called diurnal/ daily animals.
  2. There is now a walking/ pedestrian precinct in the town/ urban centre.
  3. Country/ rural people often find it difficult to adjust to an urban/ a town environment.
  4. Mr. Green is a tooth/ dental surgeon.
  5. This food is not salty/ saline enough for my taste.
  6. Salty/ saline solutions are prepared in laboratories.
  7. Harvard has a world-famous law/ legal school.
  8. Every citizen has a lawful/ legal right to protect himself against attack.
  9. Many of Escher`s paintings make use of eye/ optical illusions.
  10. The police were able to call on several eye/ optical witnesses to give evidence.
  11. Home/ domestic murders account for one in five of all murders in the UK.
  12. There is a difference between calendar months and moon/ lunar months.
  13. For mouth/ oral hygiene you should use a mouth/ an oral wash as well as tooth/ dental paste.
  14. It was a fine starry/ stellar night with a severe ground/ terrestrial frost.
  15. The US has launched a probe into deep starry/ stellar space.

Make adjectives from these verbs using the suffix –able. Take care with the spelling.

Then form the negative of the adjectives by adding the prefix un- or in-. Note that some of the adjectives do not have a negative form.

predict, believe, change, deny, despise, change, recognize, regret, rely, transfer, value, vary, work, obtain, cure, advise, translate, forget, describe.

  1. Add the suffix –able or –ible to the following stems.

adapt-, contempt-, respect-, vi-, terr-, debat-, feas-, memor-, avoid-, hospit-, respon-, fall-, cap-, prob-, desir-, flex-.

  1. Form adjectives ending in –ive from the following verbs.

Group A: destroy, exceed, extend, respond, deceive, impel, explode, possess, repel

Group B: progress, produce, persuade, attract, receive, represent, permit, repeat, retain.

  1. Use the adjectives from group A in these sentences.

a.       The students were all eager to answer his questions. He found them most ------ .

  1. She often does things on the spur of the moment without thinking of the consequences. She is a rather ------ girl.
  2. He is much nicer than he looks. His appearance is ------.
  3. The ugly green-eyed monster in the film was really ------.
  4. War might break out between the two countries. It is a highly -----.
  5. The bill came to $ 150.00 for two people. We thought this was ------.
  6. Criticism which is ------ discourages people.
  7. They will have to make ------ alterations in order to increase the size and the capacity of the factory.
  8. A ------ mother is one who treats her children more like personal property than as human beings.

1.      Use the adjectives from group B in these sentences.

a.       He can talk you into doing what he wants you to do. He is a very ------ talker.

  1. All the men try to talk to her: she is a very ------ woman.
  2. He is ready to listen to what other people have to say. He is ------ to new ideas.
  3. One man, one vote- is the basis of ------ government.
  4. Many songs have the same words sung over and over. I find them rather ------.
  5. He forgets nothing. He has a very ------ memory.
  6. The conservative group want to keep things as they are and the ------ group want to change everything.
  7. She wrote eight novels in five years. It was her most ------ period.
  8. The ------ society describes a society which is very tolerant of people’s private behaviour and morals.

Here are 12 adjectives in –ate. Can you match nine of them to the definitions given below?

adequate, affectionate, appropriate, corporate, deliberate, delicate, elaborate, illiterate, obstinate, private, proportionate, temperate.

a.       describes someone who cannot read or write

  1. friendly, loving and eager to show it
  2. enough, but not more than enough
  3. opposite of public
  4. not accidental, done on purpose
  5. describes a mild climate without extremes
  6. done carefully, with great attention to detail
  7. suitable, fitting the situation
  8. of a person, not strong; of a thing, easily broken

Add –ary or –ory to these stems and then match the resulting adjectives to the definitions.

compuls-, imagin-, satisfact-, contempor-, introduct-, station-, element-, necess-, tempor-.

a.       not moving, standing still

  1. not permanent, for the present
  2. simple, opposite of advanced
  3. living/ happening at the same time as something or someone else
  4. not real, which does not actually exist
  5. good enough, which comes up to the required standard
  6. describes something which you must do, not optional
  7. describes for example, the first sentences of a book or speech
  8. describes something which you need to do

12. Add –ent or –ant to these stems to form adjectives.

magnific-, indec-, import-, hesit-, suffici-, dec-, preg-, afflu-, indig-, sil-, viol-, curr-, immigr-, toler-, perman-, consist-, rec-, migr-.

Add –ic or –ical to these stems to form adjectives.

realist-, techn-, alphabet-, biolog-, fantast-, romant-, pract-, specific-, crit-, antibiot-, publ-, atom-, med-, scientific-, clin-, mathemat-, automatic-, rad-.

  1. Add –ous, -ious, -eous, -uous to these stems to form adjectives.

ambit-, danger-, ambig-, obv-, miscellan-, ridicul-, var-, stren-, outrag-, jeal-, court-, superstit-, virt-, enorm-, spontan-, ard-, simultan-, tremend-.

  1. Complete the sentences with the appropriate adjectives.

a.       true/ truthful

This play is based on a ------ story.

I believe her: I think she is a ------ person.

  1. childish/ childlike

You cannot have everything you want: don’t be so ------.

She has a ------ quality, a sort of innocence, which I like.

  1. young/ youthful

Our teacher is full of ------ enthusiasm for her subject.

Enjoy yourself while you are still ------.

  1. uneatable/ inedible

This meat is so tough that I find it ------.

Some of the ------ varieties of fungus are poisonous.

  1. unreadable/ illegible

The inscription was ------, but I recognized it as Latin.

War and Peace may be a good novel, but I find it ------.

  1. economic/ economical

The country is experiencing a time of great ------ difficulty.

This soap is very ------: you need to use a little of it at a time.

  1. sensible/ sensitive

John will be all right on his own, he is a very ------ boy.

Don’t criticize her too harshly, she is very ------.

13.  Form the comparative and superlative of these adjectives. Pay attention to any spelling changes.

tiny, handsome, lively, dry, pleasant, simple, mellow, good, bad, far, sad, heavy, late, quiet, polite, clever, big, fat, wide, foggy, able, ill, common, soon, thin, calm, healthy, true, wide, early, narrow, free, rare, flat, pretty.

  1. Make up sentences on the pattern A> B.

a.       Anna >old> Louise.

  1. Girls >clever> boys.
  2. The sun > bright> the moon.
  3. Northerners >friendly> southerners.
  4. Rome >beautiful> Milan.
  5. Cats >intelligent> dogs.
  6. Men >sensible> women.
  7. The English >witty> the Americans.
  8. Some people > honest> others.
  9. Physics >hard> chemistry.

13.  Make up sentences using the patterns:

a.       English >easy> Japanese.

  1. Japanese >difficult>English.
  2. Japanese ≠easy≠ English.
  3. Health >important> money.
  4. A change =good= rest.
  5. Blackbird >common> eagles.
  6. You =welcome= flowers in May.
  7. Programmes <interesting< they used to be.
  8. Thirst >bad> hunger.
  9. Things ≠good≠ they used to be.
  10. Jogging >healthy> smoking.
  11. Cigarettes <harmful< cigars.
  12. Pluto >far way> Mars.
  13. Pluto >distant> Mars.
  14. Mars <distant< Pluto.
  15. She >ill> she was yesterday.
  16. The towns >noisy> villages.

13.  Put the adjectives in brackets into the form which best suits to the meaning of the sentence.

a.       That is (incredible) story I have ever heard.

  1. It is not always (bright) students who do well in tests.
  2. Terylene shirts are harder-wearing, but cotton shirts are much (comfortable).
  3. Which is (deep) lake Garda or Lake Iseo?
  4. She is much (self-confident) than she used to be.
  5. (tall) man in Manresa is a basketball player.
  6. I like both of them, but I think Michael is (easy) to talk to.
  7. Most people are (well off) than their parents were.
  8. She has a lot to be thankful for- (sad) thing of all is that she does not realise it.
  9. I want to rent a car – (powerful) one you have.

(Cassell`s Students’ English Grammar)

Complete the sentences with much or as…as and the correct form of the adjectives in


a.       Toledo in Spain is … than Newquay. (beautiful)

  1. Is the population of India … that of China? (large)
  2. The shops here are not … in the capital. (fashionable)
  3. The weather is … than it was last year. (good)
  4. The beaches on the Costa Blanca are … than the beaches on the Costa Brava. (long)

13.  Make comparisons using the words in brackets:

a.       The noise from the motorway traffic is … in the summer. (a lot/ loud)

  1. Children usually behave … when they are bored. (far/ badly)
  2. The … you get the … you become. (old/ careful)
  3. My … sister is ill. (old)
  4. Bath is … from London than Bristol. (much/ far)
  5. His jokes are … than yours. (much/ bad)
  6. Which is … part of Scotland to visit? (beautiful)
  7. Today’s crossword is … yesterday’s. (much/ difficult)
  8. This is … music I have ever heard for a long time. (exciting)
  9. You must look after your purse … in the future. (careful)
  10. The channel crossing by ferry isn’t … by tunnel. (fast)
  11. It was … I thought to the town. (not/ far)
  12. The … you tidy your room, … you can go. (quickly/ soon)
  13. May is one of … months to visit Italy. (good)
  14. He is … than my uncle. (old)

13.  Rewrite the phrases, putting the words in brackets in the correct place:

a.       an interesting/ painting/ eighteen-century/ oil

  1. dark/ short/ hair/ curly
  2. show/ amusing/ TV game/ an American
  3. a sofa/ comfortable/ leather/ old
  4. a large/ kitchen/ wooden/ table
  5. sophisticated/ Italian/ three/ woman/ young

(Adapted from Snapshot Intermediate)




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