Adjectives are words that describe nouns.

  • e.g. My mother made green tea in a beautiful celadon bowl. (The bold italicized words are adjectives.)
  1. Adjectives can add color, quality, size, emotions, and numbers (e.g. green, ugly, large, happy, two) to nouns.
    • There are two large, green frogs in the pond.
  2. Adjectives can describe feelings. (e.g. interested/interesting)
  3. The person or thing that feels the emotion is described with an adjective that ends with –ed.
    • He is interested in the movie.
    • The bored student fell asleep.
  4. The person or thing that causes the emotion is described with an adjective ending in –ing.
    • The movie is interesting.
    • The boring class caused the student to fall asleep.
  5. Adjectives can show possession: my/your/his/her/its/our/their
    • I gave it to my mother.
    • Our family lives in Seoul.
  6. Some adjectives are demonstrative: this/that/these/those
    • That book is mine.
    • I want to buy these cookies.
  7. Some adjectives are also called articles: a/an/the
    • I bought a book.
    • The dog in front of the store is sleeping.
  8. We often use 2 or 3 adjectives to describe a noun. It is not a good idea to use more than 3 or 4 adjectives at one time.

Some common adjective endings:

able improbable ent intelligent ory mandatory
al internal ful helpful ous courageous
ate considerate ist pacifist some handsome
an Canadian live oppressive wise lengthwise
ant fragrant less harmless y crusty


There is a general order for adjectives. The table below shows the usual order.

Determiner Opinion Physical Description Origin Material Qualifier Noun
  Size Shape Age Color  
a beautiful     old   Iranian wooden ferry boat
an expensive     traditional     bronze   mirror
four ugly   large   green   silk   blouses
her glistening   short   black       hair
our   big   old   German     shepherd
those   large square       cardboard packing boxes
that rundown little           fishing shack
several   enormous   young   Canadian   hockey players
some delicious         Japanese     food