Kinds of Adjectives

Kinds of Adjectives

Adjectives not only add life to your sentences, keeping them from being a boring collection of words, but they also make your meaning more precise.

Adjectives are used to modify nouns and pronouns. Let’s have a look at the various kinds of adjectives.

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are the ones that most people automatically recognize as adjectives. This is probably because adjectives are often explained as words that describe a noun or pronoun.

Examples: tall, interesting, new, amazing, red, blue, orange, accurate, bullish.

Dorothy is a smart girl.

The traffic was appalling on Monday.

Those cute puppies run everywhere.

Limiting Adjectives

Some adjectives serve to limit the nouns they modify. They tell “how many” or “how much.”


One person won the lottery on Friday! (Tells us only one.)

Picture2There are five cans of soda in the cupboard.

This container holds 1.5 kilograms.

Possessive Adjectives

Just as the name suggests, these adjectives show possession or ownership.

The possessive adjectives my, your, his, her, its, our, and there are adjectives used to modify nouns.

Possessive nouns also act as adjectives within sentences, modifying nouns.


Our new trainee accidentally went into the manager’s office and used his computer. (Our, manager’s, and his are all possessive adjectives.)

Katie’s car is sleek and fast. (Katie’s is a possessive adjective – or technically a possessive noun acting as an adjective.)

Proper Adjectives

When proper nouns are used to describe nouns, they are called proper adjectives.


A Montréal hotel hosted the festivities. (Montréal is a proper adjective as used here.)

The Canadian comedians were hilarious. (Canadian is a proper adjective because it is modifying the noun comedians.)

Compound Adjectives

A compound adjective is one in which two (or more) words are combined to create a single thought.


Picture3Miriam is a soft-spoken person. (Soft-spoken is a compound adjective.)

He is a well-known musician. (Well-known is a compound adjective.)

When compound adjectives follow the noun, hyphens are usually left out.


The actor is well known.

Those results are out of date. (Out of date is the compound adjective here.)

All Together Now

Here are a couple of examples with several kinds of adjectives.

Two representatives from ourGuelph branch delivered speeches at the impressive forum on education. (Limiting, possessive, proper, descriptive)

A German corporation introduced an innovative model that incorporated our home-grown calculations. (Proper, descriptive, possessive, compound)

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