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19. Adjectives


1 Introduction

Henry and Ciaire are having dinner in a quiet
restaurant. It's a warm evening. The food is delicious. Henry is feeling romantic.

An adjective is a word like quiet, warm, delicious,
romantic. The word quiet describes the restaurant.
It tells us what the restaurant is like.

2 Word order

There are two places where we can use an adjective:
before a noun (a quiet restaurant) and after a linking verb (feeling romantic).


Ciaire's got a new car.
It was a dark night.
This is good coffee.


Claire's car is new.
It was getting dark.
This coffee tastes good.
Some linking verbs are: appear, be, become, feel,
get, look, seem, smell, stay, taste

We can use two or more adjectives together.
It's a quiet little restaurant.
Mike was wearing a dirty old coat.

We can put a word like very or quite before an adjective.
It was a very dark night.
Henry was feeling quite romantic.
Very and quite are adverbs of degree.

3 Adjectives used in one position only

We can use most adjectives in both positions - before a noun or after a linking verb.
But a few adjectives can go in one position but not in the other.

Here are some examples of adjectives which can only go before a noun.
Be careful crossing the main road.
The only problem is I've got no money.
Chess is an indoor game.
The former footballer now trains young players.

Some more examples are: chief (= main), elder (= older), eldest (= oldest),
inner, outdoor, outer, principal (= main), upper

Here are some examples of adjectives which can only go after a linking verb.
At last the baby is asleep.
Emma's two brothers are very alike.
I'm really pleased to see you.
Vicky looked ill, I thought.

Some more examples are: afraid, alone, ashamed, awake, alive, content (= happy), fine (= in good health), glad, unwell, well

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