Adjectives (What’s An Adjective?)

English adjectives, as with other word classes, can’t generally be identified by their form, but many adjectives are formed from nouns or other words with the addition of suffixes such as -ic (atomic), -ful (blissful), -al (habitual), -ous (hazardous), -ish (youngish), etc.; or from other adjectives using a prefix: disloyal, irredeemable, unforeseen, overtired.

Adjectives may be used attributively, as part of a noun phrase, as in the big house, or predicatively, as in the house is big. Adjectives nearly always precede the noun they modify; exceptions are postpositive adjectives. Certain adjectives are restricted to one or other use; for example, drunken is attributive (a drunken sailor), while drunk is usually used predicatively (the sailor was drunk).



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  1. Bill

    “Adjectives” page now up.

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