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ENGLISH GRAMMAR - ADJECTIVES

QUESTIONS BOX
What are some common suffixes for adjectives?
What is the attributive position of the adjective?
What is its position?
What meaning is suggested by –ing participles as adjectives (active meaning)
What meaning is suggested by –ed participles as adjectives (passive meaning)
Give some examples of a compound adjective – an English-speaking audience
Groups of Adjectives – order – What is the usual order?
Opinion- size- quality/ character – age- shape –colour-participles-origin-material-type-purpose

1. FOUR Features /characteristics of ADJECTIVES

I. Attributive Function – pre-modify a noun, positioned between Determiner and the Head of
the noun phrase

II. Predicative Function – as Subject or Object complement

III. Can be pre-modified by intensifiers (are gradable) – very, not very, somewhat, rather

IV. Can take on Comparative and Superlative forms (are comparatives)

NOTE:
1. Not all adjs. exhibit all features;
2. Features 3 and 4 may be exhibited in the same way in words
3. Adjs that are both Attributive and Predicative are called Central Adjectives

2. Typical adjective endings : -


-able, -ible acceptable, suitable, capable, credible
-al accidental, seasonal, dictatorial, political
-ed frenzied, crooked, wicked, kindhearted
-fuI careful, faithful, doubtful, lawful
-ic romantic, dramatic, historic, dynamic
-ish childish, foolish, smallish, feverish
-ive active, comprehensive, defective, affirmative
-less careless, reckless, hopeless, harmless
-ous famous, glorious, ambitious, erroneous
-y tasty,- moody, heavy, hungry.

CENTRAL ADJECTIVES (“COMPLETE ADJECTIVES”) : can be Attributive or Predicative


1. Attributive – as pre-modifiers of nouns (pleasant dreams)
2. Predicatively – as subject predicative - linked by a copular verb – His dreams were
pleasant.
3. Some Adjectives only Attributive (criminal, late and old)
4. Some adjectives only predicative (afraid , fond)
5. Nominal Adjectives - that serve as nouns (old people - the old; poor people - the poor)
6. Comparison - between two or more objects – (tall, taller, tallest)
7. Gradability - degree of intensification- very old ; extremely old
8. Semantic feature : INHERENT / NON-INHERENT :
i. A perfect stranger / A perfect plan
ii. A firm handshake / a firm friend

3. Sometimes a word can be an adjective and an adverb depending on its context –


He drove fast
It’s a fast car
She arrived in the late afternoon
She arrived late in the afternoon

4. Adjectives with -ing and –ed

His news is surprising – His surprising news is…


The man seemed offended - the offended man
The results were unexpected – the unexpected results
His lung is diseased – his diseased lung

Note : passive meaning with –ed adjectives when there si a corresponding verb.
Eg. Lost property – property that has been lost.

5. Compund Adjectives :

Rarely-performed; slow-moving

6. Ordering of Adjectives

Opinion- size- quality/ character – age- shape –colour-participles-origin-material-type-


purpose