Form And Function of Adjective

Rules

1. Adjectives are invariable:
They do not change their form depending on the gender or number of the noun.

hot potato Some hot potatoes

2. To emphasise or strengthen the meaning of an adjective use ‘very‘ or ‘really‘:

very hot potato Some really hot potatoes.

(BUT see also Modifiers/Adverbs)

Position of adjectives

a) Usually in front of a noun: beautiful girl.

b) After verbs like “to be”, “to seem” , “to look”, “to taste”:

Examples

  • The girl is beautiful
  • You look tired
  • This meat tastes funny.

c) After the noun: in some fixed expressions:

Examples

  • The Princess Royal
  • The President elect
  • a court martial

d) After the noun with the adjectives involved, present, concerned:

Examples

  1. I want to see the people involved/concerned (= the people who have something to do with the matter)
  2. Here is a list of the people present (= the people who were in the building or at the meeting)

Be careful! When these adjectives are used before the noun they have a different meaning:

  • An involved discussion = detailed, complex
  • A concerned father = worried, anxious
  • The present situation = current, happening now

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