Learning to write – Adjectives


a.k.a describing words

Adjectives often destroy a sentence. You could have an exquisite sentence only to be ruined by the overuse of clumsy bewildering adjectives.

Adjectives describe nouns or pronouns and tell us something about them.

They do not modify verbs, adverbs or other adjectives.

If you want to sound sophisticated and sanctimonious, you can derive adjectives from proper nouns. Simply add the suffix (a morpheme (a unit of language that cannot be further divided) to the end of a word derivative) an/ian/ean.

Elizabeth → Elizabethan

Shakespeare → Shakespearean

Dickens → Dickensian

the ‘an/ian/ean’ means ‘of or pertaining to.’

you can also add ‘esque’ to mean ‘in the style of.’

Dante → Dantesque

Franz Kafka → Kafkaesque

Adjectives come in 3 forms: absolute, comparative and superlative.

Absolute adjectives describe something in its own right.

A great writer.

A beautiful women

That clumsy cat

comparative adjectives, compare things!

A better writer

A clumsier cat

Superlative adjectives indicate something has the highest level of quality.

The best writer

The clumsiest cat

Coordinate Adjectives

Here is one for the grammar nerds

You have coordinate adjectives when they both modify the same noun in a sentence. The adjectives should be separated by a comma or the word ‘and’.

This is a long, meandering blog post.

This bloggers tireless and dedicated attempt to learn to write is remarkable.


Many words can join together to form an adjective. If they contain a subject and a verb, they are known as an adjectival clause.

My fellow bloggers, who are much better at writing than me, are more successful.

If the clause doesn’t contain the subject and verb, then you have yourself an adjectival phrase.

This blog was not too terrible.

Sometimes, a noun can become an adjective depending on where it is positioned in a sentence. For example ‘guide’ is normally a noun but in the following sentence, it functions as an adjective.

Never try to pet someone’s guide-dog without asking permission first.

This example was taken from this blog

A general rule for the use of Adjectives is to not use them unless they do something.