What do adjectives modify? Writing Guide

What do adjectives modify? Adjectives modify nouns. They can identify…

What do adjectives modify? Adjectives modify nouns. They can identify a person’s mood (the happy receptionist) or status (the rich man). They can also describe a noun’s actions or consequences (the bright lights, the angry customer).

What are Adjectives?

Adjectives are words that provide more information about the noun they modify. They usually come before the noun they modify, though they can come after it. Some adjectives modify nouns that appear many times. Other adjectives modify unique nouns.

Adjectives answer the questions: What kind? (the black bag) How many? (three children) and Which ones? (the first book).

Adjectives allow us to communicate more clearly. They help us give more detailed information and description about people, things, and places.

What do Adjectives Modify: Types of Adjectives

Most adjectives are modifiers of nouns, but some adjectives modify verbs, pronouns, or phrases. English’s most commonly used adjectives are usually two-syllable words ending in -ness, -y, -ful, or -able. For example, believable, vigorous, and adorable. A mastery of the adjectives highlighted below will help you use them better.

1. Descriptive Adjective.

Descriptive adjectives describe a noun or pronoun’s attributes, traits, or characteristics. Examples of descriptive adjectives are broken, lonely, noisy, sweet, sad, bright, red, and happy. Descriptive adjectives are usually used with verbs or another adjective to emphasize the nature of a thing or action.

For example:

  • I am happy you got the promotion.
  • Your mother is a kind woman.
  • James owns a red car.

2. Comparative Adjectives.

These adjectives tell us how two things compare to each other. They tell us which of two things is more than the other. Common examples of comparative adjectives are: bigger, smaller, faster,similar, and dissimilar.

Examples of Comparative Adjectives in Sentence

  • Mary is taller than Chris.
  • Oranges are sweeter than apples.
  • My hair is blonder than yours.

3. Superlative Adjectives.

A superlative adjective describes the strongest or most significant degree of something and is often used to identify a leading characteristic. Superlative adjectives emphasize the most distinguishing attribute of something. They use the words – more, least, and most to show the importance of one thing over another. Examples of superlative adjectives include strongest, smartest, least expensive, most expensive, and easiest.

Examples of Superlative Adjectives in Sentence:

  • Auntie is the oldest person in the family.
  • Jack is the smartest kid in the class.
  • My book is more interesting than yours.

4. Demonstrative Adjective.

Demonstrative adjectives specify, categorize, and identify. They include words like this, these, that, and those.


  • My room is over there.
  • These apples are rotten.
  • Those children are too loud.

5. Interrogative Adjectives.

An interrogative adjective poses a question. We use interrogative adjectives to inquire about someone or something. Depending on the form, they are often classified as interrogative pronouns, adverbs, or interrogative adverbs. They include what, why, how, which, and whose.

For example

  • Which car is yours?
  • How are you today?
  • Why is he late?

6. Predicate Adjectives.

As in the examples above, many adjectives fall before the noun they modify. Predicate adjectives are used in sentences and clauses with linking verbs. They fall after the noun and verb. A predicate adjective modifies a verb and is quite a common type of adjective.


  • John is smart.
  • My uncle is quiet.
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To Wrap Up

Adjectives modify and provide extra information about the noun or pronoun. Working with adjectives can improve your vocabulary, allow you to identify objects better, and exercise your grammar skills, such as producing sensible sentences.

Learning the types of adjectives and the examples provided in this article will guide you through the process of effectively using them in writing.

Frequently asked questions

Do adjectives weaken writing?

Significant and proper adjectives are not only unnecessary, but they weaken the writer’s message.

What effects do adjectives create?

Nouns are modified when adjectives denote them. With adjectives, the reader can find out more about an object’s color, size, shape, material, and more.

What is the importance of adjectives in creative writing?

Taking a specific characteristic from a person, place, or thing helps one visualize or appreciate the concept.

What is the effect of using powerful adjectives?

Verb or adjectives that are strong help to build a stronger visual and a mood for the scene as well as to create a more descriptive and better version of a simple verb or adjective. Verbs and adjectives help readers and listeners become more engaged.

What effects do adjectives on writing and speaking?

An adjective refers to a part of speech that modifies a noun or pronoun. Adjectives usually tell what kind, how many, or what about nouns or pronouns. A spoken word is a part of speech that modifies another adjectival word, a verb, or an adjective. It is often identified by the suffix -ly at the end.

How do adjectives improve your writing?

Describes a noun with an adjective. It explains qualities associated with people, places, objects, or places. Your writing is made better after a good adjective. The description helps readers identify exactly what you are trying to say by making it clear to them.

Do adjectives modify verbs?

Adjectives do not modify verbs, adverbs, or other adjectives. Margot wore a beautiful hat to the pie eating contest. Summertime may be an opportunity for furry dogs to overheat.

What is an adjective modifier called?

Compound modifiers (also known as compound adjectives, phrasal adjectives), are compound compounds of two or more attributive words: two or many words that collectively modify nouns.

How do you identify a modifier and an adjective?

A sentence is sometimes hard to tell the difference between adjectives and adverbs. A word that is being changed by the modifier is important. In the case of a noun, the modifier is an adjective. A modified verb, adjective, or adverb is an aadm-modifier.

Why do we use adjectives in writing?

It’s obvious that adjectives can add detail to a noun (such as a person, place, or thing) to make descriptions clearer and more engaging. They appear before nouns in sentences: In the noisy town hall, some lively discussions took place.

How do you modify an adjective in English?

You may modify your adjective with -er or -est when your adjective has two syllables, and sometimes you will not modify. It gets confusing here. 1. Generally, two-syllable adjectives ending in a vowel (such as gentle) or a vocal sound (such a mellow) will take and are.

Why do writers use extreme adjectives?

In addition to extreme adjectives, extreme adjective styles can add variety to your text or presentation. You may also use them as a way to show urgency. When students are not confident about using other modifiers, they may overuse the word “very”.

What does a adjectives modify mean?

Nouns are modified by adjectives. These words are often called “describing words” since they give us more details about a noun, such as how white it looks (the white horse), how many boys there are (the three boys) or which one it is (the. Verbal or other adjectives are not modified by adjectives.

What are the types of modifiers?

Adjectives and adverbs are two types of modifiers.

What can an adjective modify?

An adjective is a word used to change a noun or pronoun to make it clearer and more precise.

What do adjectives modify? Writing Guide

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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