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All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning,uses,types,rules, and order

 All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning, uses, types, rules, and order


In this article, we're going to explain the following English grammar about adjectives:

  • What is an adjective?

  • Adjective examples

  • Comparison: adjectives (bigger, biggest, more interesting)

  • Superlative adjectives

  • Comparative or superlative?

  • What is a syllable?

  • Comparative and superlative adjectives: form

  • The spelling of comparatives and superlatives with one-syllable adjectives

  • One-syllable adjectives which are irregular

  • Longer Adjectives

  • Comparative adjectives: using than

  • Adjectives ending in –ed or –ing

  • Order of Adjectives

  • Gradable adjectives

  • Non-gradable adjectives

What is an adjective?

Adjectives are words that describe or modify other words, making your writing and speaking much more specific.
They are usually positioned before the noun or pronoun that they modify. Some sentences contain multiple adjectives.

Adjective Examples

They live in a big, beautiful house.
Mary is a beautiful girl.

big and beautiful are adjectives.

Comparison: adjectives (bigger, biggest, more interesting)

Comparative and superlative adjectives

Comparative adjectives compare one person or thing with another and enable us to say whether a person or thing has more or less of a particular quality:

Josh is taller than his sister.

I’m more interested in music than sport.

Superlative adjectives

Superlative adjectives describe one person or thing as having more of a quality than all other people or things in a group:

The most frightening film I’ve ever seen was Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’.

What is the least expensive way of traveling in Japan?

The ‘Silver Arrow’ will be the fastest train in the world when it is built.

Comparative or superlative?

Joe is older than Mike. (comparing one person with another)

Sheila is the youngest girl in the family.(comparing one person with the whole group she belongs to)

What is a syllable?

A syllable is the sound of a vowel (A, E, I, O, U) that is created when pronouncing the letters A, E, I, O, U, or Y.

The letter "Y" is a vowel only if it creates an A, E, I, O, or U sound.

examples:  fry, try, cry, & dry

When two (or more) vowels are next to each other, the number of syllables depends on the number of vowels sounds.

examples:  free (1 syllable), eat (1 syllable), & bio (2 syllables)

If a vowel is silent, it is not counted as a syllable.

example:  fire (1 syllable)

Comparative and superlative adjectives: form

One-syllable adjectives (bigcoldhotlongniceoldtall)

To form the comparative, we use the -er suffix with adjectives of one syllable:

Joe is older than Mike.

It’s colder today than yesterday.

To form the superlative, we use the -est suffix with adjectives of one syllable. We normally use the before a superlative adjective:

They have three boys. Richard is the oldest and Simon is the youngest.

The spelling of comparatives and superlatives with one-syllable adjectives

type of adjective



most adjectives

add -ercheaperricher,  smalleryounger

add -estcheapest,            richestsmallest,       youngest

adjectives ending in -e

add -rfinernicerrarer

add -stfinestnicest,        rarest

adjectives with one vowel + one consonant:

double the final consonant and add -erbiggerhotter, thinner

double the final consonant and add -estbiggesthottestthinnest

One-syllable adjectives that are irregular

Some one-syllable adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms:

bad, worse, worst

good, better, best

The morning flight is better than the afternoon one. 

We do not use more or most  together with an -er   or -est  ending:

They emigrate because they are looking for a better life.

Not: … a more better life

The beach at Marmaris is one of the biggest in Turkey.

Not: … the most biggest …

Two-syllable adjectives

Two-syllable adjectives ending in -y change y to i and take the -er and -est endings:

busybusier,       busiest


easyeasier,        easiest

funnyfunnier,   funniest

We were busier last week than this week.
Are you happier now that you’ve changed your job?
That was the easiest exam I’ve ever taken

We don’t normally use the -er and -est endings with two-syllable adjectives ending in -ful. Instead, we use more and most/least:

This dictionary is more useful than the one we had before.

Not: This dictionary is usefuller …

You’ll have to try to be more careful in future.

The most useful tool in the kitchen is a good sharp knife.

Not: The usefulest tool in the kitchen …

This is the least harmful chemical in terms of the environment.

Longer adjectives

Adjectives of three or more syllables form the comparative with more/less and the superlative with most/least:

The second lecture was more interesting than the first.

Not: The second lecture was interestinger …

That way of calculating the figures seems less complicated to me.

London is the most popular tourist destination in England.

Not: London is the popularest …

If you are going as a group, the least expensive option is to rent an apartment or villa.

Comparative adjectives: using than

We use than when we mention the second person or thing in the comparison. If the second person mentioned takes the form of a personal pronoun, we normally use the object form of the pronoun (me, you, him, her, us, them):

Could you carry this? You’re stronger than me.

Not: You’re stronger than I.

Why did you choose Robert? Marie is more experienced than him.

Adjectives ending in –ed or –ing

John was bored because of Sara's boring story.

Order of Adjectives


relating to




unusual, lovely, beautiful



big, small, tall


physical quality

thin, rough, untidy



round, square, rectangular



young, old, youthful



blue, red, pink



Dutch, Japanese, Turkish



metal, wood, plastic



general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped



cleaning, hammering, cooking

All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning,uses,types,rules, and order
All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning,uses,types,rules, and order

Gradable adjectives:

All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning,uses,types,rules, and order
All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning, uses, types, rules, and order

Non-gradable Adjectives

All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning,uses,types,rules, and order
All you need to know about Adjectives: meaning, uses, types, rules, and order

Why should we use adjectives?

They are useful in the English language. As you read previously, adjectives come before a noun. They are not placed after or before verbs except the verb to be. Adjectives can be put into a phrase: white and beautiful. It's common to use adjectives before nouns. He is a funny guy. So, any English native speaker loves to use adjectives badly.I like pizza. But what size? thinking about something to describe pizza is called adjectives. It's a big pizza. Now, it's clear. It's a dog. No adjectives used here, but it's a strong dog. Now, I know information about the dog. It's a car. It's a strong car. I like cheese. I like white cheese. Now, I know that the color of the cheese is white. So, 'white' functions as an adjective. All these are descriptive adjectives. She is a woman. She is a beautiful woman. So, 'beautiful' functions as physical appearance adjectives.

Mr.Zaki Badr
Mr.Zaki Badr
My name is Zaki Badr. I am an online English teacher. Contact me on WhatsApp/Zalo/WeChat: +20 1027 87 1551 I have been teaching English since 2011( to kids and adults. English teaching certificates that I got : *TESOL Certificate, Arizona State University, USA, December 2018. *TEFL Certificate, London Teacher Training College OFQUAL regulated, London, June 2021.