- Kosur, Heather Marie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 197 Pages – 04/21/2021 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)
Level 1 is the first workbook in the elementary series. Lesson 15 teaches about adjectives. An adjective is a word that describes a noun. Most adjectives have comparative and superlative forms.
A Form-Function English Grammar
What is an adjective?
Notional grammars define the adjective as a word that describes a noun. A more complete definition is that an adjective describes a noun or pronoun.
In The sticky jam spilled, the word sticky is an adjective that describes the noun jam. In She baked those hot rolls, the word hot is an adjective that describes the noun rolls. In The ladybug is small, the word small is an adjective that describes the noun ladybug. In We bought some salty pistachios, the word salty is an adjective that describes the noun pistachios.
Adjectives are open class words, meaning new adjectives are added to the language readily and constantly. For example, glad has been in the language since the Old English period. Ginormous, a blend of gigantic and enormous, was coined in the 1940s. Hangry, which is a blend of hungry and angry, was first recorded as a new adjective in 1992.
Adjectives are also lexical class words, meaning adjectives express discernable lexical meanings. In other words, most adjectives are easy to define. For example, the adjective funny means “causing laughter or amusement.”
If more than adjectives can describe nouns, what makes an adjective an adjective? One test for finding adjectives is that adjectives express degrees of comparison. Prototypical adjectives have positive, comparative, and superlative forms. For example, hot, hotter, hottest.
Positive adjectives are unmarked. Markedness refers to the state in which one form is more distinctly identified (marked) in comparison to another (unmarked) form. The adjective that you find in the dictionary is the positive form.
To form the comparative form of many adjectives, add the -er suffix to the end of the adjective. For example, harder, brighter, darker, sharper, cuter, larger, thinner, wetter, tinier, shinier, saltier, mushier.
To form the superlative form of many adjectives, add the -est suffix to the end of the adjective. For example, hardest, brightest, darkest, sharpest, cutest, largest, thinnest, wettest, tiniest, shiniest, saltiest, mushiest.
Other adjectives take more to form the comparative and most to form the superlative. For example, boring, more boring, most boring. Exciting, more exciting, most exciting. Gorgeous, more gorgeous, most gorgeous.
Look at the sentence, The sad man ate yummy eggs. Which words are adjectives?
Test each word for comparative and superlative forms. The, theer, theest. No. Sad, sadder, saddest. Yes. Man, manner, mannest. No. Ate, ater, atest. No. Yummy, yummier, yummiest. Yes. Eggs, eggser, eggsest. No.
The words sad and yummy have comparative and superlative forms. Both sad and yummy also describe the nouns man and eggs. Sad and yummy are adjectives.
So, what is an adjective?
An adjective is a word that describes a noun. Most adjectives express degrees of comparison and have comparative and superlative forms. Many adjectives take the -er and -est suffixes to form the comparative and superlative. Other adjectives take the adverbs more and most to form comparative and superlative adjective phrases. Now practice your knowledge of adjectives by completing the exercises in Lesson 15 of A Form-Function English Grammar: Level 1, pages 60 through 63.