Adjective of Quality or Descriptive adjective can be defined as “An adjective which is used in the sentence to express the size, shape, and color of a person, thing, animal, or place”. Descriptive adjectives are used to give more information about the noun.
“Descriptive adjectives are adjectives that add color, size, and shape to the person, place and thing.
Descriptive adjectives are used in the sentences to describe nouns by adding more information (such as color, size or shape) to them. We can add specialty or particular attribute of the nouns in the sentence using adjectives of quality in order to make our writing a little spice.
Descriptive adjectives give a dull sentence an alive look or feeling. We should incorporate them into the writing in natural way and never use unnecessarily to avoid over use.
It helps writers to create interest, excitement, and beauty in the sentence with the proper use of adjective words. It helps writers to give clarity about nouns in the sentence to the readers. For example:
- The monkey sat in the back row. (It is quite unclear sentence as it doesn’t have any descriptive adjective to indicate more information about the noun ‘monkey’).
- The tired monkey sat in the back row. (It is clearer sentence than the first one because it has used a descriptive adjective word ‘tired’ to describe the noun ‘monkey’).
Descriptive adjectives are used to make sentences clearer, meaningful and complete however; must be added at right place having right intent. They can be altered when used with the phrase, adverb or clause. It is widely used among all other types of adjectives.
Its function in the sentence is to add detail or description about noun. According to its use in the sentences, it is divided into different categories like adjectives of shape, color, taste, touch, quantity, feeling, sound, personality, size, etc.
More than one descriptive adjective can be used in a particular and meaningful manner in the sentence to describe all the attributes of the noun. Following examples show you the right and wrong use of more than one descriptive adjective in the sentence:
- See the attractive red rose in the garden.
- See the red attractive rose in the garden.
(First one is more desirable and specific than the second one).
- The big white bird is sitting on the lowest branch.
- The white big bird is sitting on the lowest branch.
(First one is more appropriate than the second one)
List of Descriptive Adjective
Before having the detail list of descriptive adjectives we must know that all the adjectives are descriptive words however all the descriptive words are not adjectives. By having the categorized list of descriptive adjectives you can get detailed idea about descriptive adjectives and their proper use to describe noun in the sentence.
Using a wide range of descriptive adjectives in English language, you can express the shape, feeling, state, quality, action, quantity, color, size or other aspects of the noun. Proper understanding and use of adjectives is very necessary to be a better writer and a better speaker of the English language.
We have provided below the list of descriptive adjectives into various shorter components according to the attributes of noun and their use in the sentence:
- General adjectives: dusty, hairy, angry, melancholy, tall, abrupt, monstrous, miniscule, grotesque, etc.
- Adjectives describing appearance of noun: adorable, attractive, alluring, beautiful, bewildered, bright, confident, cheerful, cultured, clumsy, dull, dynamic, disillusioned, elegant, energetic, fair, fancy, filthy, gentle, glamorous, handsome, hurt, ill-mannered, jolly, lovely, magnificent, neat, nervous, pleasant, perfect, smiling, splendid, self-assured, thoughtful, tense, timid, upset, vivacious, wonderful, worried, etc.
- Adjectives describing personality of noun: aggressive, ambitious, amused, brave, cruel, combative, co-operative, cowardly, dangerous, diligent, determined, disagreeable, evil, erratic, frank, fearless, friendly, generous, gifted, helpful, harmonious, hesitant, jealous, knowing, kind-hearted, mysterious, naughty, pleasing, placid, punctual, quiet, rigid, successful, sincere, selfish, talented, unbiased, witty, wise, warm, happy, unhappy, cheerful, sad, excited, delighted, angry etc.
- Adjectives describing feelings of noun: Afraid, angry, anxious, bad, bored, calm, confused, comfortable, creepy, depressed, disturbed, dominating, deceitful, elated, faithful, fine, frustrated, good, gloomy, horrible, happy, hungry, ill, kind, lively, mature, nice, proud, peaceful, protective, sorrowful, silly, sore, tired, troubled, unwell, unhappy, vengeful, wicked, weary, wrong, zestful, etc.
- Adjectives describing shape of noun: Broad, crooked, circular, distorted, rectangular, spherical, triangular, round, square, flat, hollow, narrow, skinny, wide, etc.
- Adjectives describing size of noun: Big, large, colossal, gigantic, huge, miniature, mammoth, tiny, small, petite, tall, thin, great, tiny, long, thick, short, etc.
- Adjectives describing time of noun: Ancient, modern, brief, early, annual, fast, old, late, rapid, slow, swift, young, annually, monthly, quarterly, fortnightly, weekly, new, latest, up-to-date, second-hand, brand-new, etc.
- Adjectives describing quantity of noun: Abundant, considerable, few, extra, multiple, heavy, empty, myriad, many, numerous, substantial, bountiful, etc.
- Adjectives describing sound of noun: Blaring, cooing, loud, melancholic, deafening, soft, shrill, noisy, silent, thundering, whispering, squeaking, calm, loud, quiet, etc.
- Adjectives describing taste of noun: bitter, salty, hot, icy, delicious, spicy, sweet, juicy, sour, tasty, tasteless, fresh, alkaline, etc.
- Adjectives describing touch of noun: rough, smooth, scattered, sticky, slippery, sharp, soft, dry, wet, tender, uneven, hard, loose, etc.
- Adjectives describing color of noun: aqua, black, white, blue, gold, crimson, cyan, red, green, yellow, magenta, orange, pink, turquoise, etc.
- Adjectives describing qualities of noun: great, fantastic, good, worthless, mediocre, etc.
Examples and Use
Following are the examples of descriptive adjective and their use in the sentence:
- Green leafy vegetables are very healthy. (‘green’ and ‘leafy’ are descriptive adjectives describing the color and shape of noun ‘vegetables’)
- The tall and handsome boy is my brother. (‘tall’ and ‘handsome’ are descriptive adjectives referring the shape and appearance of the noun ‘boy’)
- Fresh and green vegetables have more vitamins and minerals. (‘fresh’ and ‘green’ words are descriptive adjectives denoting the quality and color of the noun ‘vegetables’).
Following are some more examples having use of adjectives that describe, identify or quantify the noun:
- The square shaped kite is flying in the air.
- The racing car runs over the calm surface.
- That animal was very dangerous and clever.
- Nina’s hair is very shining and smooth.
- Cracked heels are very painful.
- Rotten vegetables smell bad.
- She was adorned with sparkling jewels.
- The fatty woman went through the tiny passage easily.
- Exam was very difficult however; bright candidates passed it easily.
- Pretty girl was very excited to visit the hilarious Disney world.
- She cried when beautiful birds flown away.
Types of Descriptive Adjective
Descriptive adjectives are very important as they are used to describe nouns in the sentence. We must know the use of adjectives to improve our day to day English conversation and writing.
Using descriptive adjectives we can make our sentence formation very precise and expressive. Descriptive adjective is divided into three types of adjectives such as:
- Simple Descriptive Adjectives
It is a basic type of descriptive adjectives generally used to convey a trait or quality of the noun. Other aspects like taste, quantity, time, feelings, sound, color, shape, and material can also be expressed using it.
Examples of simple descriptive adjectives are like intelligent, lazy, red, blue, green, yellow, shy, big, tall, soft, small, metallic, happy, dark, calm, fresh, circular, good, happy, bad, thin, lovely, picturesque, etc.
- Compound Descriptive Adjectives
Compound adjectives are formed by combining two words together however both linked with a hyphen. We use them while writing or speaking English according to the need.
Examples of compound descriptive adjectives are like short-tempered, self-centered, well-being, heavy-handed, sure-footed, broken-heart, three-headed, whole-hearted, life-saving, baby-faced, self-made, up-to-date, brand-new, co-operative, ill-mannered, freckle-faced, middle-aged, short-sighted, bluish-green, tight-fisted, high-heeled, next-door, man-eating, etc.
- Proper Descriptive Adjectives
Proper descriptive adjectives are derived from the proper nouns and always used in capital form. It is used to describe nouns related to the regions, countries, religions, etc.
Examples of proper descriptive adjectives are like Hindu, Muslim, English, Buddhist, Christian, Greek, Roman Catholic, Turkish, American, African, Burmese, Italian, Spanish, Australian, Chinese, Mexican, Nepalese, Pacific, etc.
Rules/Tips to be Followed
Following are some rules and tips which we must know to use descriptive adjectives in the sentence:
- We can use two or more descriptive adjectives in the sentence in an appropriate order to properly describe the noun such as: The big fluffy gray cat sit on the ladders.
- The accepted order of using more than one descriptive adjective into the sentence is as follow: size/age/shape/color/nationality/material. For example: The big, young, thin, black cat sit on the ladders.
- General opinion adjectives are used before the specific opinion adjectives. Such as: the beautiful, brilliant singer has received an award.
- If we use similar adjectives into one sentence, we should separate them with a comma. Such as: he was a bright, intelligent
- Don’t use comma for adjectives having different meanings, such as: It was a bright clever
- Generally it comes just before the noun however; sometimes it follows the noun. Such as: The boy was bright.
- Some of the adjectives are formed by just adding a suffix to the noun such as danger: dangerous, love: lovely, child: childlike, acid: acidic, sheep: sheepish, nation: national, etc.
- Adjectives describing the opinion typically preceded the adjectives describing the color, shape, size, etc. Such as: “The beautiful red flower kept in the corner”; is preferable to “The red beautiful flower kept in the corner”.
Exercises for you
Descriptive adjective exercises given below will help you in analyzing your knowledge about descriptive adjective. Just go through all the details given above about the descriptive adjective and check your skill by doing following exercises for descriptive adjective.
We have used descriptive adjectives in the following sentences; you need to check your skill by identifying descriptive adjectives in each sentence:
- Seema has young and cute children.
- Punit has an older and peaceful child.
- Insects have six tiny legs.
- Simple cookies are very tasty sweets.
- Please have a new dish kept in these two boxes.
- Mohan sells fresh pianos for a small company.
- Blunt scissors cannot cut thick cloths.
- Steam engines emit black smoke.
- Spiders make long, sticky and strong net.
- I have white glowing teeth.
- Everyone in my family wears stylish sunglasses.
- I saw a big church yesterday.
- Children ate big pieces of chocolate cake.
- He watched interesting movie with me.
- I liked the tiny kitten that chased two mice.
- She had painful blisters on her right foot.
- Social science is boring subject.
- I have two round blue eyes.
- Super heroes help needy people.
- Some of the board games have easy rules.
- She brushed her white teeth daily.
- I saw the fatty man there.
- People must eat green leafy vegetables and fresh milk.
- The thin girl dances in the park.
- The spider has eight hairy legs.
- The pretty girl ate less food.
- The extremely beautiful girl danced like a princes.
- That thin man is a beggar.
- The attractive guy was weeping.
Answers: 1 – young and cute, 2 – older and peaceful, 3 – six tiny, 4 – Simple, tasty, 5 – new, two, 6 – fresh, small, 7 – Blunt, thick, 8 – Steam, black, 9 – long, sticky and strong, 10 – white glowing, 11 – stylish, 12 – big, 13 – big, chocolate, 14 – interesting, 15 – tiny, two, 16 – painful, right, 17 – boring, 18 – two round blue, 19 – Super, needy, 20 – board, easy, 21 – white, 22 – fatty, 23 – green leafy, fresh, 24 – thin, 25 – eight hairy, 26 – pretty, less, 27 – extremely beautiful, 28 – thin, 29 – attractive