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Adjectives

An adjective is a word that gives more information about a noun or a pronoun. Simply put, adjectives are words that describe things.

Pieces with letters forming words on a table. Photo.

An adjective is a word that gives more information about a noun or a pronoun.

Examples:

  • equal opportunityequal says something about the noun opportunity
  • ordinary citizensordinary gives information about citizens
  • good solutionsgood gives information about solutions
  • something awfulawful gives more information about the pronoun something


Adjectives occur inside noun phrases typically before the head noun (* attribute function) or as subject predicatives in clauses. (** predicative function). Cf.:

  • These ordinary (*) citizens must be respected.
  • Only one solution was good. (**)

Comparison (‘gradbøying’)

Adjectives can be compared, and they have three forms.

Those consisting of one syllable are compared like this:

POSITIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

nice

nicer

nicest

small

smaller

smallest


We add the ending –(e)r in the comparative and –(e)st in the superlative.

Adjectives consisting of more than one syllable are compared by using more in the comparative and most in the superlative.

POSITIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

ordinary

more ordinary

most ordinary

special

more special

most special

Irregular comparison

Some adjectives have an irregular comparison:

POSITIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

good

better

best

bad/ill

worse

worst

far

farther

farthest

-

further

furthest

old

older

oldest

little

less

least


It is important to have a large set of adjectives in your active vocabulary. They make your own writing interesting to read because your description of people and things becomes varied, detailed and vivid.

If we want to refer to a group of people or the entire population of a country, we put the definite article in front. Concord must be plural if the nationality word is the subject. Cf.

The Greeks are proud of their cultural heritage. Do the French accept this compromise?

Remember to use an uppercase letter in all nationality words!

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