Classification of Adjectives


An adjective which describes is called a descriptive adjective .

  • Most adjectives are descriptive.
  • Eg: round, cold, red, angry, graceful, excessive, young, sudden, Roman.
  • Eg: A young woman.


An adjective which points out or designates is called a definitive adjective .

  • Definitive adjectives include pronouns used as adjectives (as, this opportunity, those pictures, either table and what time is it?).
  • Numeral adjectives (as, two stars, the third year) and the articles…a (or an) and the.
  • Eg: There were two men.

Many descriptive adjectives are compound adjectives such as,—steadfast, lionlike, fireproof, downright, heartsick, everlasting, brown-eyed, broad-shouldered, ill-tempered, dear-bought, far-fetched, never-ending, self-evident, self-important.
Eg: She is a blue-eyed beauty.

A proper noun used as an adjective or an adjective derived from a proper noun is called a proper adjective.

  • Usually begins with a capital letter. 
  • Many so-called proper adjectives begin with a small letter because their origin is forgotten or disregarded such as…..china dishes, italic type, mesmeric power, a jovial air, a saturnine expression, a mercurial temperament, a stentorian voice.
  • Examples : a Panama hat, Florida oranges, a Bunsen burner; Virginian, Spenserian, Newtonian, Icelandic, Miltonic, Byronic, Turkish, English, Veronese.

Adjectives may be classified, according to their position in the sentence as attributive adjectives, appositive adjectives and predicate adjectives .

  • An attributive adjective is closely attached to its noun and regularly precedes it.
    Eg: Pam has long and slender legs.


  • An appositive adjective is added to its noun to explain it, like a noun in apposition.

    Noun in Apposition : The castle, a ruin, stood on the edge of the cliff.

    Appositive Adjective : The castle, ancient and ruinous, stood on the edge of the cliff.

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