All About Adjectives: Examples, Types and Uses

By: Mitch Ryan  | 
Raise your hand if you're ready to learn how to identify adjectives and their different types! skynesher / Getty Images

There are countless adjective examples in everyday language, but for simplicity's sake, most adjectives are one-word components that enhance or modify nouns. Any sentence may contain two or more adjectives, but the function of each adjective remains the same.


What Is a Possessive Adjective?

Possessive adjectives are one of the most common components of the english language. These broad examples of adjectives tie a noun or object to a person. While other adjectives describe a noun, possessive adjectives provide an owner for the object, such as his, her or their.


12 Other Types of Adjectives You Can Use to Describe Nouns

Although adjectives perform the same function, there are a few different types of specialized adjectives that will take your reading and writing knowledge to the next level. The following categories are some of the most common adjective examples you'll need to describe size, color and other attributes.

1. Absolute Adjectives

Also known as "incomparable" or "ultimate," an absolute adjective describes something that is infinite. For example, an empty glass or an impossible mission. These specific adjectives produce a sense of finality.


2. Attributive Adjectives

These are often appearance adjectives that describe people, places and things, but they don't always have to be. Attributive adjectives are commonly found right alongside the nouns and pronouns they modify. A beautiful hat or red car both have attributive adjectives that help paint the picture.

3. Comparative Adjectives

As the name entails, a comparative adjective is used to compare and contrast two nouns. Common comparative adjectives include better, worse, larger and smaller.

4. Compound Adjectives

A compound adjective clause uses two or more words to describe the same noun. Something rural could be "blue-collar," while a poor decision may become "ill-minded." Generally, you can pinpoint compound adjectives by the hyphen, but it is not a vital prerequisite.

5. Condition Adjectives

These descriptive adjectives are used to describe the condition of a noun. For instance, a messy desk is in a state of disarray, but it can be cleaned and organized. Therefore, condition adjectives differ from absolute adjectives because they have flux and the ability to change their current state.

6. Demonstrative Adjectives

These common examples of adjectives include common words like this, that, these and those. A demonstrative adjective adds direct specificity when describing a specific noun.

7. Descriptive Adjectives

All adjectives are descriptive words, but not all adjectives fall under the descriptive adjective umbrella. People use these adjectives to describe characteristics and conditions, so they encompass many of the subcategories in this list.

8. Predicate Adjectives

A predicate adjective will always connect with a linking verb to add further conditions to a clause. Common predicate adjectives include any form of "be," such as is, was and were. Other examples include sense-based clauses like smell, appear and feel.

9. Proper Adjectives

Proper adjective examples include many adjectives that use proper nouns that convey a simple explanation and a strong feeling. Spanish, Christian and Victorian are all adjectives that describe a noun or pronoun by placing them squarely in a time, region or realm of cultural significance.

10. Qualitative Adjectives

A phrase using qualitative adjectives will describe known attributes. For example, in the phrase "He pet the fluffy cat," the word "fluffy" gives you a clear idea of the cat's appearance.

11. Quantitative Adjectives

Quantitative adjectives describe the objective characteristics of a noun. An adjective phrase is likely quantitative if it includes a countable or uncountable factor. Several, few and infinite are all ways to describe nouns with cumulative amounts. An indefinite adjective may also be quantitative.

12. Superlative Adjectives

A superlative adjective describes the supreme characteristic (or superlative form) of a noun. Superlative adjectives include tallest, fattest, fastest and smallest. This common type of adjective describing pronounced characteristics will almost always follow a linking verb.


Adjectives vs. Adverbs

The difference between these two parts of speech is simple: Adjectives describe nouns, whereas adverbs typically describe adjectives and verbs. An adverb will often end in "ly" — curiously, stubbornly, quickly — but not always. The words "always" and "very," for instance, are also adverbs.