Grammar Basics: Adjectives

Next to nouns and verbs, adjectives are essential to every meaningful sentence. There wouldn’t even be any exciting stories to tell if it wasn’t for adjectives. Simply put, adjectives describe to us “what something or someone is like.” But let’s dive deeper into the topic and show you how to identify an adjective when you see one.

What Are Adjectives?

Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. You can also say that they are “describing words.” They give us more information about someone or something and can vary in their usage.

  • She is a kind person. (kind = adjective)
  • Luna is a cute dog. (cute = adjective)
  • This was a scary movie. (scary = adjective)
  • My neighbor parked his old rusty car in the garage. (old rusty = both adjectives)
  • He was very friendly to me. (friendly = adjective)

Usually, when we describe verbs instead of nouns and pronouns, we use adverbs. However, we’ll talk about adverbs in another article. For now, we only want you to mind that there is an exception when we talk about what something (or someone) looks like, smells like, sounds like, tastes like, and feels like. 

  • She looked fantastic in that dress.
  • The cake smelled heavenly.
  • His voice sounded hoarse 
  • The bread she bought from the new bakery tasted delicious.
  • The children felt sick after dinner.

Where To Put Adjectives In A Sentence

Before a noun = Attribute:

  • Sophie is a talented woman.
  • He was a healthy boy.
  • They own a red car.

After a verb (“to be”-> “is/are/was/were/will be”)= Predicative Position:

  • Sophie is talented.
  • He was healthy.
  • The car they own is red.

You can also use adjectives without nouns, so they become nouns themselves. However, you then must use the definitive article “the”:

  • famous people -> the famous
  • fast and furious car drivers -> the fast and furious
  • German citizens -> the Germans