The Understanding Of Adjective


The whole of the English vocabulary is subdivided into eleven parts of speech. Notional or fully-lexical parts of speech are: nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, numerals, modal words and interjections. Prepositions, conjunctions and particles are parts of speech largely devoid of lexical meaning and used to indicate various functional relationships among the notional words of an utterance. Generally speaking we can say that all nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs are capable of making direct reference and are the main units which carry the burden of referential information, and that all other words provide functional information. Adjectives are the third major class of words in English, after nouns and verbs, that’s why I think that this part of speech is merited detailed consideration.

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In every language, adjectives are important elements of sentences. Using adjectives means that we can express the quality of any person or object. Without adjectives we could not say how any object looks like. In addition; when we read a paper which is a descriptive one, adjectives help us to picture the content of what we read about. The readers get a better idea of what we wish them to picture when they read our writings. It appeals to our readers’ senses; therefore, they can hear, see, touch, taste, and even smell what you’re describing. Also, use of adjectives sets the tone for our writing. You need to use them for descriptive papers or in our daily life. Moreover, we use adjectives because we want to express ourselves, things, characters in a good or bad way. It will get our readers’ or listeners’ attention and can make the book a good read or speech a good, an effective speech.

The Ukrainian linguists perform research on functional and morphological aspects of adjectives [1-3]. Bobko [1] found that the most productive suffixes for adjectives formation are -ed, -ing, and -y. The author also noted that the adjectives add emotional and expressive connotation to the text, improving the literature value of the texts and influencing the readers’ behavior. The connotational aspect of adjectives for evaluation of a person or situation is presented in the study [2]. The adjectives are the most significant means for evaluation and presentation of the author’s attitude [3].

The purpose of my coursework is to examine the adjectives as the notional part of speech.

To accomplish the purpose and bring about the intended result a number of tasks have to be solved. These are:

  • To study the role of adjective as a part of speech;
  • To do a research on how to form adjective from the other parts of the speech;
  • To learn about the types of an adjective, including base, derivative and compound adjectives, and their role in a sentence;
  • To study the right order of adjectives in a compound adjective;
  • Exemplify the adjectives for face description;
  • The subject of the study is adjectives that describe facial features as a scientific research.

The object is adjectives as part of the speech.

Materials used in the study are the contemporary research articles, monographs and internet resources dedicated to adjectives usage.

Topicality of the course paper is explained by the importance of adjectives in the descriptions.

An adjective is a word which expresses the attributes of substances (good, young, easy, soft, loud, hard, wooden, flaxen). As a class of lexical words adjectives are identified by their ability to fill the position between noun-determiner and noun and the position after a copula-verb and a qualifier. As the other parts of speech adjective has special meaning (semantic properties), form (morphological properties) and function (syntactic properties). All the adjectives are traditionally divided into subclasses: qualitative adjectives, relative adjectives, substantivized adjectives, statives. This coursework will perform the detailed description of the properties and subclasses of the adjectives, including examples.

Novelty of the research paper is presentation of the novel rules to build a compound adjective. The frequency of the usage of some adjectives by the modern people was analyzed.

Theoretical value. The course paper describes the theory of an adjective as a part of the speech: the formation of an adjective, its types and subclasses, the place in the sentence.

Practical value. The paper presents the main adjectives that describe different parts of the face. It also includes the description of the face and the practical activity of face description.

Adjectives are words that describe or modify other words, making your writing and speaking much more specific, and a whole lot more interesting. Words like small, blue, and sharp are descriptive, and they are all examples of adjectives. Because adjectives are used to identify or quantify individual people and unique things, they are usually positioned before the noun or pronoun that they modify. Some sentences contain multiple adjectives.

Forming Adjective

English can be very tricky, so you have to be careful, but a lot of English adjectives end with these suffixes:

-able/-ible – adorable, invisible, responsible, uncomfortable

-al – educational, gradual, illegal, nocturnal, viral

-an – American, Mexican, urban

-ar – cellular, popular, spectacular, vulgar

-ent – intelligent, potent, silent, violent

-ful – harmful, powerful, tasteful, thoughtful

-ic/-ical – athletic, energetic, magical, scientific

-ine – bovine, canine, equine, feminine, masculine

-ile – agile, docile, fertile, virile

-ive – informative, native, talkative

-less – careless, endless, homeless, timeless

-ous – cautious, dangerous, enormous, malodorous

-some – awesome, handsome, lonesome, wholesome [4].

Types of Adjectives

Base (Simple) Adjectives

Base adjectives exhibit the following formal qualities: they may take inflections -er and -est or have some morphophonemic changes in cases of the suppletion, such as, for instance, in good better the best; bad worse the worst. Base adjectives are also distinguished formally by the fact that they serve as stems from which nouns and adverbs are formed by the derivational suffixes -ness and -ly.

Base adjectives are mostly of one syllable, and none have more than two syllables except a few that begin with a derivational prefix un-or in-, e. g.: uncommon, inhuman, etc. They have no derivational suffixes and usually form their comparative and superlative degrees by means of the inflectional suffixes -er and -est. Quite a number of based adjectives form verbs by adding the derivational suffix -en, the prefix en- or both: blacken, brighten, cheapen, sweeten, widen, enrich, enlarge, embitter, enlighten, enliven, etc. [5-6]

Derivative Adjectives

Derived adjectives are formed by the addition of derivational suffixes to free or bound stems. They usually form analytical comparatives and superlatives by means of the qualifiers more and most. Some of the more important suffixes which form derived adjectives are:

-able added to verbs and bound stems, denoting quality with implication of capacity, fitness or worthness to be acted upon; -able is often used in the sense of “tending to”, “given to”, “favouring”, “causing”, “able to” or “liable to”. This very common suffix is a live one which can be added to virtually any verb thus giving rise to many new coinages. As it is the descendant of an active derivational suffix in Latin, it also appears as a part of many words borrowed from Latin and French. Examples formed from verbs: remarkable, adaptable, conceivable, drinkable, eatable, regrettable, understandable, etc.; examples formed from bound stems: capable, portable, viable. The unproductive variant of the suffix -able is the suffix -ible (Latin -ibilis, -bilis), which we find in adjectives Latin in origin: visible, forcible, comprehensible, etc.; -ible is no longer used in the formation of new words.

-al, -ial (Lat. -alls, French -al, -el) denoting quality “belonging to”, “pertaining to”, “having the character of”, “appropriate to”, e. g.: elemental, bacterial, automnal, fundamental, etc.

The suffix -al added to nouns and bound stems (fatal, local, natural, national, traditional, etc.) is often found in combination with -ic, e. g.: biological, botanical, juridical, typical, etc. [5].

-ish — Germanic in origin, denoting nationality, quality with the meaning “of the nature of”, “belonging to”, “resembling” also with the sense “somewhat like”, often implying contempt, derogatory in force, e. g.: Turkish, bogish, outlandish, whitish, wolfish [3].

-y — Germanic in origin, denoting quality “pertaining to”, “abounding in”, “tending or inclined to”, e.g.: rocky, watery, bushy, milky, sunny, etc. [4, 7].

Among the other adjectival affixes should also be named the suffixes: -ful (hopeful), -less (flawless), -ous (famous), -ive (decorative), the prefix a-, constitutive for the stative subclass which is to be discussed below [5].

Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives consist of two or more morphemes of which the left-hand component limits or changes the modification of the right-hand one, as in “the dark-green dress”: dark limits the green that modifies dress [6].

There are some well-established permanent compound adjectives that have become solid over a longer period, especially in American usage: earsplitting, eyecatching, and downtown. However, in British usage, these, apart from downtown, are more likely written with a hyphen: ear-splitting, eye-catching. Other solid compound adjectives are for example:

Numbers that are spelled out and have the suffix -fold added: “fifteenfold”, “sixfold”.

Points of the compass: northwest, northwester, northwesterly, northwestwards, but not North-West Frontier.

A compound adjective is hyphenated if the hyphen helps the reader differentiate a compound adjective from two adjacent adjectives that each independently modifies the noun [5]. Compare the following examples:

  • “acetic acid solution”: a bitter solution producing vinegar or acetic acid (acetic + acid + solution)
  • “acetic-acid solution”: a solution of acetic acid

The hyphen is unneeded when capitalization or italicization makes grouping clear: “Old English scholar” (an old person who is English and a scholar, or an old scholar who studies English) and “Old English scholar” (a scholar of Old English).

If, however, there is no risk of ambiguities, it may be written without a hyphen: Sunday morning walk. Hyphenated compound adjectives may have been formed originally by an adjective preceding a noun [8]:

“Round table” → “round-table discussion”, “Four wheels” → “four-wheel drive” (the singular, not the plural, is used). Others may have originated with a verb preceding an adjective or adverb: “Feel good” → “feel-good factor”,

“Buy now, pay later” → “buy-now pay-later purchase”. Yet others are created with an original verb preceding a preposition: “Stick on” → “stick-on label”,

“Walk on” → “walk-on part”, “Stand by” → “stand-by fare”, “Roll on, roll off” → “roll-on roll-off ferry”

The following compound adjectives are always hyphenated when they are not written as one word [8]:

An adjective preceding a noun to which –d or –ed has been added as a past-participle construction: “loud-mouthed hooligan”, “middle-aged lady”, “rose-tinted glasses”

A noun, adjective, or adverb preceding a present participle: “an awe-inspiring personality”, “a long-lasting affair”, “a far-reaching decision”

Numbers spelled out or as numerics: “seven-year itch”, “five-sided polygon”, “20th-century poem”, “30-piece band”, “tenth-story window”

A numeric with the affix –fold has a hyphen (15-fold), but when spelled out takes a solid construction (fifteenfold).

Numbers, spelled out or numeric, with added -odd: sixteen-odd, 70-odd.

Compound adjectives with high- or low-: “high-level discussion”, “low-price markup”.

Colours in compounds: “a dark-blue sweater”, “a reddish-orange dress”.

Fractions as modifiers are hyphenated: “five-eighths inches”, but if numerator or denominator are already hyphenated, the fraction itself does not take a hyphen: “a thirty-three thousandth part”. But fractions used as nouns have no hyphens: “I ate only one third of the pie.”

Comparatives and superlatives in compound adjectives also take hyphens: “the highest-placed competitor”, “a shorter-term loan”. However, a construction with most is not hyphenated: “the most respected member”.

Compounds including two geographical modifiers: “Afro-Cuban”, “African-American” (sometimes), “Anglo-Asian” But not “Central American”.

The following compound adjectives are not normally hyphenated:

Where there is no risk of ambiguity: “a Sunday morning walk”

Left-hand components of a compound adjective that end in -ly that modify right-hand components that are past participles (ending in –ed): “a hotly disputed subject”, “a greatly improved scheme”

Compound adjectives that include comparatives and superlatives with more, most, less or least: “a more recent development”, “the most respected member”, “a less opportune moment”.

Ordinarily hyphenated compounds with intensive adverbs in front of adjectives: “very much admired classicist”, “really well accepted proposal” [8].