Adjectives are parts of speech that are used to modify or describe nouns and pronouns in a sentence or phrase. Most often it is found immediately before the pronoun or noun in the sentence. Additionally, the articles of grammar: "a, an, and the" are also adjectives. In the case of the articles, they are used to denote the number or quantity of the noun in a sentence or phrase. The following are a few example sentences with the adjectives in quotation marks:
The "small" car moved fast.
The "warm" breeze felt good on my skin.
The house had a "blue" exterior.
In each of the previous examples, it is easy to identify the adjectives as the descriptor of the noun. The next set of examples shows how articles are used as adjectives:
"a weekly" pay check
"the youngest" candidate
"the fat" librarian
Other types of adjectives include: possessive adjectives, adjective clauses, adjective phrases, demonstrative adjectives, interrogative adjectives and indefinite adjectives. While there are many types of adjectives, for most writing, speaking and diagramming purposes it is acceptable to refer to them simply as adjectives. The key to isolating an adjective in a sentence or phrase is nearly always that it functions as a descriptor of a part of speech.
Adjectives that are frequently used are as follows:
cold, hot, tired, long, good, bad, sweet, smooth, rough, red, dark, short, thin, mean, lazy, quick, dry, fast, slow, tall.
The listing of possible adjectives can grow exponentially as there are nearly endless English words used to describe things. For best results as a writer, consider which descriptors (adjectives) provide the best effect for the noun or pronoun given in the statement and use them accordingly. As a student tasked with identifying adjectives in sentences or phrases, remember to look for the word that modifies or describes the subject of the sentence.