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Adjectives in English

Home » Adjectives in English

Adjectives in English

What are adjectives in English? 

Adjectives are describing words which are used to describe or modify nouns. Adjectives in English come in many shapes and sizes, such as demonstrative, interrogative, possessive, distributive, quantitative and qualifying

Why do we need adjectives? 

Without adjectives, the English language would be extremely bland and boring. All people and things (nouns) are normally described in one way or another, and for this reason – adjectives are necessary.

They also form part of the six parts of speech in English.

Adjectives in English with equalizers, comparatives, and superlatives

We can also equalize, make comparisons and superlatives with adjectives, primarily with qualifying adjectives. A quick example:

Equaliser (as…as)

  • The car is as big as the bike.
  • I’m as good as you.
  • Jess is as angry as me.
  • This animal is as strange as the other one. 

Comparative (more, less)

  • The car is bigger than the bike. 
  • I’m better than you. 
  • My job is more difficult than yours. 
  • My job is less difficult than yours.

Superlative (most, least)

  • The car is the biggest
  • I’m the best
  • My job is the most difficult. 
  • My job is the least difficult.

Difference between –ed and –ing adjectives? 

Adjectives ending in –ed (tired, annoyed, amazed etc.) have a different meaning to adjectives ending in –ing (tiring, annoying, amazing etc.). 

Adjectives ending in –ed suffix

In short, we use adjectives ending in the –ed suffix when the entity (the thing or person) is affected. I.e, 

  • They are tired
  • I am annoyed
  • You are amazed

In the above examples, the subjects they, I and you are all affected by the actions, therefore the –ed form/suffix must be used.

Adjectives ending in –ing suffix

We use adjectives ending in –ing when we want to talk about the experience or action and not about the entity (thing or person) being affected. I.e., 

  • This race is tiring
  • That man is annoying
  • The game was amazing

In the above examples, the nouns race, man and game are not affected, because we are talking about the experience of tiring, annoying and amazing.

Therefore, in the above examples, you can not use the –ed suffix.