An adjective is a word that modifies (gives more information about) a noun or a pronoun.

Examples: hot tea, old man, beautiful girl, white shirt, intelligent student, interesting story, handsome boy, huge room.

In the above examples, the words ‘hot, old, beautiful, white, intelligent, interesting, handsome, and huge’ are adjectives because they modify attached nouns which means they give a bit more information about the attached nouns. See the following example.

  • John bought a shirt.
  • John bought a red shirt.

In the above example, in the first sentence, we only know that a shirt was bought by John. However, in the second sentence, the word ‘red’ gives a bit more information about the shirt which was bought by John. We now also know that the color of the shirt was red which was bought by John. This is how an adjective modifies a noun.

The adjective modifies a noun by giving information about various aspects of a noun such as quality, quantity, size, color, and other such characteristics of a noun.

A sentence can have one or more than one adjective.


  • The intelligent boy won the competition.   (one adjective).
  • The intelligent and handsome boy won the competition.    (two adjectives).
  • The intelligent, handsome, and tall boy won the competition.   (three adjectives).
  • The intelligent, handsome, tall and thin boy won the competition.   (four adjectives).

Common examples:

  • Red, white, black, purple, green, yellow, and brown are some adjectives which tell about the color of a noun.
  • Thin, fat, short, tall, beautiful, and ugly are some adjectives which tell about the physical characteristics of a noun or pronoun.
  • Brave, intelligent, courageous, exuberant, diligent, and determined are some adjectives which tell about the personality characteristics of a noun or pronoun.

  Using Adjectives in a Sentence

An adjective is used at two places in a sentence based on the structure of the sentence.

  • Before a noun.
  • After a stative verb (e.g., resemble, look, seem, feel, etc.).

Before reading the examples, it is better to briefly explain what a stative verb is. Most verbs express an action, e.g., eat, buy, go, wash, run. Such verbs are called dynamic verbs. However, a few verbs do not express an action, but they express a state of something, which are called stative verbs. See these two sentences as examples: 1) She is feeling well. 2) He looks handsome. In these two examples, the verbs ‘feel’ and ‘look’ do not express any action (like normal dynamic verbs) but only express a state of wellness and handsomeness. Some verbs are purely stative verbs (e.g., feel), however, some verbs can also be used as a dynamic verb as well as a stative verb (e.g., look).

  Use of adjectives before a noun

Adjectives are mostly used before a noun in a sentence. See the following examples where the red word is an adjective whereas the blue word is a noun.

  • He gifted me a nice shirt.
  • She bought a beautiful car.
  • We ate a delicious pizza.
  • I saw a red rose in the garden. 
  • He told us an interesting story.
  • We watched a funny movie.
  • I bought a small cup.
  • A beautiful girl was singing a song.
  • He was standing near a huge building.
  • A kind-hearted man helped the boys.
  • She was suffering from a severe fever.
  • They were running a small business.
  • He faced many serious problems in his life.

  Use of adjectives after a stative verb

As discussed earlier that a stative verb (e.g., seem, consist, feel, possess) expresses the state of something rather than an action (like a dynamic verb). It was also discussed that sometimes a dynamic verb may be used as a stative verb. Similarly, the auxiliary verbs (e.g., is, am, are, was, were etc.) may act as stative verbs in some sentences. 

If a sentence consists of a stative verb (or any other verb used as a stative verb), the adjective is used after the verb. See the following examples, where red words are adjectives, and the blue words are stative verbs (or verbs acting as stative verbs). The underlined word is the noun or pronoun (modified by the adjective).


  • He looks handsome.
  • She is feeling sad.
  • The idea seems good.
  • This food tastes bad.
  • She was angry.
  • The movie is interesting.
  • My shirt is new.
  • The kids became happy.
  • The soldier is brave.

Adjectives have three degrees: 1) Positive degree, 2) Superlative degree, and 3) Superlative degree. Click here to read them.