An adjective is a word used with a noun ( or a pronoun) to add something for its meaning. The adjective may be used
(i) attributively: when it is used along with the noun as an epithet or attribute; for example,
There were dark clouds in the sky.
(ii) predicatively : when it forms part of the predicate; for example.
The clouds in the sky were dark.
Rule : The adjective is correctly used with a verb when some quality of the subject rather than of the action of the verb, is to be expressed.
Incorrect: Flowers were plucked freshly.
Correct: Flowers were plucked fresh.
Rule: Due to and prior to should be used as predicative adjectives. When prepositional functions are to be performed, use because of in place of due to, and before in place of prior to.
Incorrect : Wickets fell due to superb bowling.
Correct : Wickets fell because of superb bowling.
Kinds of Adjective
1. Adjective of Quality : Also known as Descriptive Adjective, it shows the kind of quality of a person or a thing. For example,
He loves her soft skin.
2. Adjective of Quantity : It is an adjective which shows how much of a thing is meant. For example, There is little sense in it.
3. Adjective of Number : Also known as Numeral Adjective, it shows how many persons or things are meant, or in what order a person or a thing stands. For example,
The face of a clock has sixty divisions.
Numeral Adjectives are of three kinds:
(i) Definite Numeral Adjective: It denotes an exact number. It may be a cardinal denoting how many; as, one, two, three, etc. It may be an ordinal denoting the order, as first, second, third etc.
Rule: When a number together with a unit of measurement is to be used as an adjective, it is a compound word and the unit of measurement is taken in the singular.
Incorrect : It is a twenty-kilometres walk.
Correct : It is a twenty-kilometre walk.
Rule: Definite Numeral Adjective always takes plural countable noun.
Incorrect: When I was in Punjab, I had twenty money.
Correct: When I was in Mumbai, I had twenty rupees.
Rule: If in a sentence one noun is used for all ordinals and the first ordinal has ‘the’ while, other not, the noun will be in the plural.
Incorrect: I have read the literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth century.
Correct: I have read the literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
(ii) Indefinite Numeral Adjective : It does not denote an exact number. For example. There are many petitions lying on the tables.
Rule :Many takes plural noun while “Many a/an singular noun.
Incorrect: He has observed many an uncommon phenomena.
Correct: He has observed many an uncommon phenomenon.
Rule : The few is used before plural countable noun and the little before uncountable noun. Both follow a clause.
Incorrect: I gave the beggar a little coins I had.
Correct: I gave the beggar the few coins I had.
(iii) Distributive Numeral Adjective : It refers to each one of a number. Distributive numeral adjectives are the same as distributive pronouns (see Pronoun). They only differ in function. For example,
Each time he missed the bus.
4. Demonstrative Adjective : It points out which person or thing is meant. For example,
This table is made of wood.
Rule : The plural forms these and those are often wrongly used with the singular nouns kind and sort.
Incorrect : These kind of clothes are not acceptable.
Correct : This kind of clothes are not acceptable.
5. Interrogative Adjective: When an interrogative pronoun is used with a noun to ask a question, it is called an interrogative adjective. For example,
What options are available after graduation?
6. Exclamatory adjective: It is used with a noun in-exclamatory sentence. For example,
What a show!
Later, latter, latest, last: Later and latest refer to time. Latter and last refer to position.
Incorrect: The later part of the novel is not neatly written.
Correct: The latter part of the novel is not neatly written.
Incorrect: What is the last news?
Correct: What is the latest news?
Elder, older, eldest, oldest: Elder and eldest are used of members of the same family. Besides, both of them are used only attributively (that is, before the noun). Older and Oldest are used in the general sense.
Incorrect : I have an older brother.
Correct : I have an elder brother.. (Since brother is a member of the same family)
Incorrect : Mohan is the eldest boy in the town.
In a town there may be so many families. We are talking of boys in general sense. So eldest should be replaced by oldest.
Correct : Mohan is the oldest boy in the town.
Degree of Comparison
Degrees are of three kinds.
1. Positive Degree
2. Comparative Degree
3. Superlative Degree
Rule: When a selection is made out of the two, and two is given in the sentence, the is used before the adjective denoting comparison.
Incorrect: Shikha is better of the two sisters.
Correct: Shikha is the better of the two sisters.
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Rule: Preferable takes to and is not preceded by more.
Incorrect: Coffee is more preferable than tea in Brazil.
Correct: Coffee is preferable to tea in Brazil.
Rule: When two adjectives in different degrees of comparison are used in the same sentence, each should be complete in itself.
Incorrect: My father is as rich if not richer than your mother.
Correct: My father is as rich as if not richer than your mother.
Rule: If two adjectives are connected by and, they should be in the same degree throughout.
Incorrect: Raj is more intelligent and most active.
Correct: Raj is more intelligent and more active.
Rule: The comparative in -er is not used when we compare two qualities of the same person or thing.
Incorrect : Mohan is wiser than strong.
Correct : Mohan is more wise than strong.
Rule: When two objects are compared with each other, the latter term of comparison must exclude the former.
Incorrect : Satish is cleverer than any student in his class.
Correct : Satish is cleverer than any other student in his class.
Rule: The comparative degree is generally followed by than but the following comparative adjectives are followed by the preposition to : inferior, superior, prior, anterior, posterior, senior, junior.
Incorrect: India’s fielding is inferior than South Africa’s.
Correct: India’s fielding is inferior to South Africa’s.
Rule: Adjectives expressing qualities that do not admit of different degrees cannot be compared.
Incorrect: Our field is more square.
Correct: Our field is square.
Rule: Double comparatives and superlatives are to be avoided.
Incorrect: Zarda mangoes are more sweeter than Maldah ones.
Correct: Zarda mangoes are sweeter than Maldah ones.
Directions: In the following questions, some of the sentences have errors and some have none. Find out which part of the sentence has an error. The letter corresponding to that part is your answer. If there is no mistake, the answer is ‘No error’.
1. Firstly you should a)/ think over the meaning of the words b)/ and then use them. c)/ No error d)
2. The driver tried his best a)/ to avert the accident by b)/ bringing the car to a suddenly stop. c)/ No error d)
3. The Sunrise Hotel was a)/ fully equipped to offer b)/ leisure stay c)/ to its clients. d)/ No error e)
4. The technician reminded a)/ them to have a thoroughly cleaning of the b)/ machine after each use. c)/ No error d)
5. I am much glad a)/ that you have b)/ won the prize. c)/ No error d)
6. My observation is that a)/ between Vivek and Shashi, b)/ Vivek is the most intelligent. c)/ No error d)
7. It very often a)/ happens that b)/ a man who talks most does little. c)/ No error d)
8. From all accounts a)/ I learn that b)/ he is the best and honest member of the new Cabinet. c)/ No error d)
9. He is a)/ too intelligent b)/ to make a mistake. c)/ No error d)
10. The flood situation this year a)/ is worst than b)/ that prevailed in the last year, c)/ No error d)
1. a; Replace ‘Firstly’ with ‘First’
2. c; Replace ‘suddenly’ with ‘sudden’
3. c; Replace ‘leisure’ with ‘leisurely’
4. b; Replace ‘thoroughly’ with ‘thorough’
5. a; Replace ‘much’ with ‘very’
6. c; Replace ‘the most’ with ‘more’
7. c; Replace ‘most’ by ‘much’
8. c; The correct form is ‘he is the best and most honest member….’
9. d; No error
10. b; Replace ‘worst’ with ‘worse’