When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which was called Rover, was barking loudly because it was lonely.
Words like big and lonely are adjectives.
- An adjective can add information about a noun by standing immediately before it:
a big dog
a new baby
These adjectives modify the nouns. They make the meaning more specific.
An adjective can add information about a noun by being linked to it by a verb:
the dog is big
the road seemed long
it became obvious
These adjectives also add information about the nouns. Linked in this way, the adjective is the verb’s complement while the noun is its subject .
The traditional definition of an adjective as a ‘describing word’ can be confusing because many other kinds of words can be descriptive. For example, swooped and flickered are very descriptive verbs.
[2016 note: unfortunately the links no longer work, but you may find the exercise useful even without the answers.]
Find the adjectives in the sentence below. (As usual, not all the underlined words are relevant.) Click on the words to check the answer.
Now find the nouns which are modified by an adjective: