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Adjectives

backnext We use adjectives to describe nouns. Most adjectives can be used in front of a noun: They have a beautiful house. We saw a very exciting film last night. or after a link verb like be, look or feel: Their house is beautiful. That film looks interesting.

adjectives: -ed and -ing


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lot of adjectives are made from verbs by adding -ing or -ed:


-ing adjectives:

The commonest -ing adjectives are:


amusing shocking surprisin frightenin g g

interestin disappointin exciting tiring g g worrying boring terrifying annoying

!f you call something interesting you mean it interests you. !f you call something frightening you mean it frightens you. ! read a very interesting article in the news"a"er today. That #racula film was absolutely terrifying.

-ed adjectives:

The commonest $ed adjectives are:


annoyed tired disappointed bored closed frightened excited worried delighted

!f something annoys you, you can say you feel annoyed. !f something interests you, you can say you are interested. The children had nothing to do. They were bored.

order of adjectives
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%ometimes we use more than one adjective in front of a noun: &e was a nice intelligent young man. %he had a small round black wooden box.
Opinion adjectives:

%ome adjectives give a general opinion. We can use these adjectives to describe almost any noun:
good beautiful awful bad nice important lovely brilliant wonderful strange excellent nasty

%ome adjectives give a specific opinion. We only use these adjectives to describe "articular kinds of noun: Food: tasty' delicious Furniture, buildings: comfortable' uncomfortable People, animals: clever' intelligent' friendly

We usually "ut a general o"inion in front of a specific o"inion: (ice tasty sou". nasty uncomfortable armchair lovely intelligent animal )sually we "ut an adjective that gives an opinion in front of an adjective that is descriptive: a nice red dress' a silly old man' those horrible yellow curtains We often have two adjectives in front of a noun: a handsome young man' a big black car' that horrible big dog %ometimes we have three adjectives, but this is unusual: a nice handsome young man' a big black merican car' that horrible big fierce dog !t is very unusual to have more than three adjectives. djectives usually come in this order:
1 General opinion 2 Specific opinion 3 4 5 6 7 Nationality 8 Material

Size Shape

Age Colour

We use some adjectives only after a link verb:


afraid content sorry alive glad sure alone ill unable asleep ready well

%ome of the commonest -ed adjectives are normally used only after a link verb: annoyed; finished; bored; pleased; thrilled We say:

*ur teacher was ill. My uncle was very glad when he heard the news. The "oliceman seemed to be very annoyed but we do not say: We had an ill teacher. When he heard the news he was a very glad uncle &e seemed to be a very annoyed "oliceman few adjectives are used only in front of a noun:

north south east west We say:

northern southern eastern western

countless occasional lone

eventful indoor outdoor

&e lives in the eastern district. There were countless "roblems with the new machinery. but we do not say: The district he lives in is eastern The "roblems with the new machinery were countless.

comparative and superlative adjectives


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We use comparative adjectives to describe "eo"le and things: This car is certainly better but it+s much more expensive. !+m feeling happier now. We need a bigger garden We use than when we want to com"are one thing with another: %he is two years older than me. (ew ,ork is much bigger than -oston.

&e is a better "layer than .onaldo. /rance is a bigger country than -ritain. When we want to describe how something or someone changes we can use two comparatives with and: The balloon got bigger and bigger. 0verything is getting more and more expensive. 1randfather is looking older and older. We often use the with com"arative adjectives to show that one thing depends on another: When you drive faster it is more dangerous 2 The faster you drive, the more dangerous it is. When they climbed higher it got colder 2 The higher they climbed, the colder it got.
Superlative adjectives:

We use the with a su"erlative: !t was the happiest day of my life. 0verest is the highest mountain in the world. That+s the best film ! have seen this year. ! have three sisters, 3an is the oldest and ngela is the youngest .

intensifiers
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We use words like very' really and extremely to make adjectives stronger: !t+s a very interesting story 0veryone was very excited. !t+s a really interesting story. 0veryone was extremely excited We call these words intensifiers. *ther intensifiers are: amazingly - exceptionally - incredibly - remarkably - particularly We also use enough as an intensifier, but enough comes after its adjective:

!f you are seventeen you are old enough to drive a car. ! can+t wear those shoes. They+re not big enough.
Intensifiers with strong adjectives:

When we want to describe something or someone as exce"tional you can use a strong adjective. %trong adjectives are words like: Enormous' huge 4 very big Tiny 4 very small Brilliant 4 very clever Awful; terrible; disgusting; dreadful 4 very bad ertain 4 very sure Excellent; perfect; ideal; wonderful; splendid 4 very good !elicious 4 very tasty We do not use very with these adjectives. We do not say something is 5very enormous5 or someone is 5very brilliant5. With strong adjectives, for intensifiers we normally use: absolutely - exceptionally - particularly - really - "uite The film was absolutely awful. &e was an exceptionally brilliant child. The food smelled really disgusting.

mitigators
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Mitigators are the opposite of intensifiers. When we want to make an adjective less strong we use these words: fairly - rather - "uite -y the end of the day we were rather tired. The film wasn+t great but it was uite exciting. and in informal 0nglish: pretty We had a pretty good time at the "arty.

We call these words mitigators.


Warning quite

When we use "uite with a strong adjective it means the same as absolutely: The food was uite awful. 4 The food was absolutely awful. s a child he was uite brilliant. 4 s a child he was absolutely brilliant.
Mitigators with comparatives:

We use these words and "hrases as mitigators: a bit - #ust a bit - a little - a little bit - #ust a little bit - rather - slightly %he+s a bit younger than ! am. !t takes two hours on the train but it is a little bit longer by road This one is rather bigger. We use slightly and rather as mitigators with comparative adjectives in front of a noun: This is a slightly more expensive model than that. This is rather bigger one than that.
Adjectives as intensifiers:

We use some adjectives as intensifiers: absolute total - complete utter - perfect real We say: &e+s a complete idiot. They were talking utter nonsense. but we do not say: The idiot was com"lete. The nonsense they were talking was utter.

noun modifiers
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We often use two nouns together to show that one thing is a part of something else: the village church' the car door' the kitchen window' the chair leg' my coat pocket' !ondon residents
Warning

We do not use a "ossessive form for these things. We do not talk about: The car+s door' the kitchen+s window' the chair+s leg We can use noun modifiers to show what something is made of: a gold watch' a leather "urse' a metal box We often use noun modifiers with nouns ending in -er and -ing: an office worker' a jewellery maker' a "otato "eeler' a sho""ing list' a swimming lesson' a walking holiday. We use measurements, age or value as noun modifiers: a thirty kilogram suitcase' a two minute rest' a five thousand euro "latinum watch' a fifty kilometre journey' We often "ut two nouns together and readers"listeners have work out what they mean. %o:

an ice bucket a bucket to keep ice in an ice cube a cube made of ice an ice breaker the ice age a ship which breaks ice

the time when much of the !arth was covered in ice"

%ometimes we find more than two nouns together: 6ondon office workers' grammar "ractice exercises

Position of noun modifiers

(oun modifiers come after adjectives: The old news"a"er seller tiring fifty kilometre journey