FORM AND FUNCTION OF ADJECTIVES

Form of Adjectives

Rules

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

A hot potato Some hot potatoes

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

A very hot potato

Some really hot potatoes.

(BUT see also Modifiers/Adverbs)

Position of adjectives

a) Usually in front of a noun: A 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