What is an Adjective?

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

This silly sentence contains all of the letters of the alphabet, and you might notice it is also stuffed full of adjectives. In this video, we’ll talk about what adjectives are and how to use them in a sentence.

An adjective is a word that describes a noun. It can describe something’s size, color, age, origin, material, or shape. Adjectives can be used to make the subject simpler to understand and to shed light on what an author wants their ideas to truly convey.

The adjectives used in the sentence about the fox and the dog are quick and brown, describing the fox, and lazy, which describes the dog.

Here is another example:

She is the smartest student in the class.

Student is the noun and smartest is describing what kind of student she is, so smartest is the adjective.

Shakespeare has been credited for adding hundreds of new words to the English language when he was writing, and many of those were adjectives. An example of Shakespearean adjectives can be found here:

“Thou cold-blooded slave, hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side, been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend upon thy stars, thy fortune and thy strength, and dost thou now fall over to my fores?”
– King John

Cold-blooded is an adjective that describes the slave. It helps us to know what type of person the slave was. Cold-blooded is a word that had been used to describe snakes and reptiles, but Shakespeare used it for the first time to describe a person.

Here is an example from the book Little Women:

“She remembered her mother’s promise and, slipping her hand under her pillow, drew out a little crimson-covered book.”

Crimson-covered describes the color of the fabric that was covering the book.

As you can see, using adjectives can make your sentences and ideas come to life. Instead of just saying that the firework display was beautiful, you can make it much more exciting and easier to envision what the fireworks actually looked like by saying:

The fireworks this year were bursting brightly overhead as the bright, dazzling sparkles lit up the sky.

Bright and dazzling are just two of the many, many adjectives that make writing so descriptive and fun to read!

I hope that we have helped you understand more about adjectives. Thanks so much for watching. See you next time and, as always, happy studying!



by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 23, 2021