- An adjective is a word that modifies, or changes, a noun.
A cat walked past my window.
Everyone who reads that sentence probably pictures a different cat.
A large orange striped cat walked past my window.
Now I have modified the picture in your mind so it matches mine.
Adjectives answer the questions which one, what kind, and how much/many.
Which one: That car has been in a crash.
What kind: We have black squirrels in our neighborhood.
How much: I ate too much sugar for breakfast.
How many: I saw five swans in our pond.
- The articles are the most common of all adjectives. There are three of them: the, a, and an.
Indefinite articles: a, an (You don't know which one you are talking about.)
Use a before a word that begins with a consonant sound (not a consonant letter). Use an before a word that begins with a vowel sound (not a vowel letter). An was created because it is difficult to say a before a word that begins with a vowel sound. An is easier to say. Therefore, it is the sound of the beginning of the word that matters, not the letter itself.
a carrot, a unicorn, a yellow apple (Yes, u is a vowel, but the sound is a consonant y sound)
an apple, an umbrella, an honor (Yes, h is a consonant, but the sound is a vowel o sound)
- Most adjectives we will deal with in this lesson are descriptive adjectives. They usually come before the nouns they are modifying. Other adjectives in sentences may act as subject complements (predicate adjectives) or as object complements.