Adjective its types and categories

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Language: english
Author: Санёк
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1. Definition of the term adjectives

2. How do adjectives make speech more expressive?

3. Grammatical overview of english adjectives

4. Degrees of comparison of adjectives




The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Adjective, its types and categories». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper.

Without referring to the traditional definition of adjectives you can find in any dictionary, Let's make our way into talking about the standard role of adjectives in language. In English the adjective is multifunctional. It is used essentially to describe an object but, in general, it is meant to enrich and clarify ideas and lead the interlocutors to communicate eloquently.

Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work

1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «adjective».

2. The second task is to describe the role of adjectives in our speech.

3. The last task of my work is to characterize adjectives from grammatical point of view.

In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.

The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:

1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English adjectives.

2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.

3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.

After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:

My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part we gave the brief description of our course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as main features of English adjectives, described their role in English language, and gave grammatical characteristics of them. In the conclusion to our work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part we mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.

1. Definition of the Term Adjectives

An adjective is a word which acts to modify a noun in a sentence. While adjectives play a large role in many languages – such as English – many other languages have no adjectives at all. In English the set of adjectives is fairly well understood, though some people include other parts of speech – such as articles like the – in the class of adjectives.

There are two main roles an adjective may take in a sentence, and with a few exceptions each adjective is able to take either role just as easily. The first role is to act as a predicative adjective, in which the adjective modifies a preceding noun as a predicate, linked by a verb. An example of a predicative adjective can be found in the sentence: A zebra is striped. in which the adjective striped is linked the subject of the sentence, zebra, by use of the copula verb to be in the is form.

The second role an adjective may take is as an attributive adjective, in which it modifies a noun by being linked directly to the noun as part of the noun phrase. An example of an attributive adjective may be seen in the sentence: ‘The striped zebra pranced.’ in which the adjective striped is directly connected to the subject of the sentence, zebra. In English, most attributive adjectives precede the noun they are going to modify, while in many Romance languages the adjective comes after the noun. So while in English we might say ‘The beautiful woman.’ in French we would say ‘Le femme jolie.’ which may be literally translated as ‘The woman beautiful.’

While most adjectives in English are able to be used just as easily either in an attributive or a predicative sense, there are some which are restricted to one role or the other. For example, the adjective sole can be used grammatically only as an attributive adjective, as can be seen in the sentence: This is the sole survivor. On the other hand, trying to use the adjective sole in the predicative role would result in the ungrammatical sentence: This survivor is sole. Other English adjectives, such as alone, may be used only as a predicative adjective, while attempts to use them attributively result in ungrammatical sentences.

Adjectives may be modified by adverbs or adverbial clauses, but not by other adjectives. Many adjectives, however, can easily translate into corresponding adverbs simply by adding the ending to them. This can be seen in pairs such as quick/quickly and happy/happily.

In English and many other languages, adjectives also have a correct and incorrect order, depending on the type of adjectives used. Most native speakers learn this order instinctively, and related mistakes are one of the most obvious signs of a non-native speaker. For example, using the adjectives red, little, and two with the noun books, most native English speakers would intuitively order the adjectives to form the sentence ‘The two little red books.’ To non-native speakers, however, it might seem just as intuitive to say ‘The two red little books.’ or even ‘The red two little books.’ both of which are immediately obvious as incorrect to a native English speaker.

As mentioned earlier, not all languages use adjectives; some use other parts of speech instead to fill this role. Many Native American languages, for example, use verbs to fill the role that adjectives play in English, so that rather than ‘The woman is short.’ we are faced with something like ‘The woman is shorting.’ Languages that use nouns as adjectives are often more comprehensible to speakers of English, since our sentence formations can easily allow for metaphoric description using only nouns, with a verb perhaps to flavor it, such as ‘The sun was a blazing inferno.’ instead of ‘The sun was hot.’ English also uses abstract nouns, for example to turn ‘An important statement.’ into ‘A statement of import.’

2. How Do Adjectives Make Speech More Expressive?

A message void of adjectives is the least expressive one. Therefore adjectives are somehow the backbone of any expression we want to make accurate and clear in encoding the message. Adjectives help us respect real and straight communication rules. So, do you «adjective» your messages so well that people can understand you well?1

Without the use of adjectives, actually, we lose a lot; and we may be short in expressing our emotions, opinions, and the impressions we have about a given subject. We are going to see to what extent the use of adjectives (esp. adjectives of quality) is helpful in our interactive contact with the others?! See this example: Yesterday, I bought a car.

This sentence seems stiff and dull. It may make you respond to it indifferently because the speaker is giving a vague idea about the car he had bought. His sentence doesn't really carry a complete well-spoken idea. What the speaker needs to make his sentence expressive, attractive and provoking, is by relying on adjectives to colour it and present it in a beautiful structure. Now compare the first sentence with the following: Yesterday, I bought a red car.

The image is getting a little clearer with the adjective «red». Now we know something new about the car. It is not yellow or black, it is rather red. However, actually, it is not yet fully clear enough for us to form a complete image about the car so as to estimate or underestimate it. Therefore, one sentence can bear as many adjectives as you like, provided that they don't raise misunderstanding or confuse the listener. Yet, the speaker should normally respect the appropriate organization of adjectives in a sentence.

Is this order of adjectives in sentence compulsory? Is it based on rules? Let's tackle and illustrate this issue through investigating the impact of the use of adjectives on our «stiff» sentence. What is the most appropriate word-order we should respect to reach a complete multi-adjectival statement? Suppose the speaker wants to tell us about the size of the car; and he chooses to depict his car as «small». Where shall he place the new word in the sentence? Before or after the previous adjective, namely: «red»? Look at it this way: Yesterday, I bought a small red car.

The sentence in its new structure gives more information about the car. We, lucky as we are, have the opportunity to know that the car in question is not a big one. Thanks to this adjective we become able to make our image of the car a little bit clearer though some more details are still in need. These details cannot be provided, so to speak, unless other adjectives come to complete the image in our minds. The structural issue, on the other hand, is to justify the placement of the adjective «small» before the adjective «red». Why couldn't we say instead: [Yesterday, I bought a red small car]? This form is inaccurate. The word ordering, in a sentence, is not moody at all. The accuracy of the sentence here is controlled by the respect of this order, notably: «shape = small» then «colour = red» but not vice versa. Now suppose the speaker intends to praise his car and decides that the adjective 'beautiful' is the most suitable to give his opinion about it, what shall he do? Where shall he place it among the previously stated adjectives? Look at how the sentence should be structured: Yesterday, I bought a beautiful, small, red car.

All these details are boring but unavoidable to make the structure more formal and accurate. The 'beautiful' adjective, on the other hand, is quite interesting in the making of the image. It is not a piece of evidence but it is simply an opinion that could differ from any one else's. The rule says that the opinion is always initial when a range of adjectives are used that's why the speaker places his 'beautiful' opinion adjective first. The adjective describes it as beautiful and this opinion is essentially contributing in depicting an almost complete picture. And that's not all. Our sentence is able to bear as more adjectives as we wish but under the very specific conditions we are trying to clarify here. Now let's go on imagining this famous car as being made in Japan. How can the speaker introduce this new important information?

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