Adjectives are the words that describe the qualities of a noun or pronoun in a given sentence.Consider the following:
Tell which sentence is correct
- a) Flowers are plucked freshly.
- b) Flowers are plucked fresh.
Sentence b) is correct as, adjective is correctly used with a verb when some quality of the subject rather than verb is to be expressed. Here, fresh describes the word Flowers (a noun) and not plucked (a verb).
Rules Regarding Demonstrative Adjective
- a) This mango is sour.
- b) These mangoes are sour.
- c) That boy is industrious
- d) Those boys are industrious.
- a) This girl sings.
- b) These girls sing.
- c) That girl sings.
- d) Those girls sing.
Rules regarding Distributive Adjectives
- a) I was in Shimla for five days and it rained each day.
Every is used when reference is made to total group or when the number is indefinite.
- a) Every seat was taken.
- b) I go for a movie every week.
- c) Leap year falls in every fourth year.
- a) Each boy must take his turn.
- b) Every word of it is false.
- c) Neither accusation is true.
Rules Regarding Adjectives of Quantity
- I shall buy some bananas.
Any is used in the negative or interrogative sentences to express quantity or degree.
- a) I shall not buy any bananas.
- b) Have you bought any bananas?
But some is an exception to the above rule. Some is used in interrogative sentences, which are commands or requests.
- Will you please lend me some money?
- a) There is little hope of his recovery.
- b) He has little appreciation of hard work.
A little means some though not much. So, use of a little has a positive meaning.
- a) There is a little hope of his recovery.
- b) He has a little appreciation of hard work.
The little means not much but all there is.
- a) The little information he had was quite reliable.
- b) The little knowledge of management he possessed was not sufficient to stand him in good stead.
- Few men are free from faults.
A few means some. So use of ‘a few’ has a positive meaning.
- A few men are free from faults.
The few mean not many, but all there are.
- The few remarks that he made were very good.
- a) I ate some rice.
- b) There are not enough spoons.
Rules Regarding Interrogative Adjectives
- a) Which of you haven’t brought your book?
- b) What manner of man is he?
Rules Regarding Degrees of Comparison of Adjectives
- Anjali is wiser than Rahul.
But if we wish to compare two qualities in the same person then the comparative form ending in ‘er’ is not used.
- Anjali is wise than brave.
- a) Delhi is bigger than any other city in India. If we say
- b) Delhi is bigger than any city in India. Then we are saying Delhi is bigger than Delhi, as any city in India includes Delhi also. And this is obviously wrong.
- a) Delhi is the biggest of all cities in India.
- b) Of all men he is the strongest.
Kindly note the difference in this and previous rule.
- a) He came later than I expected.
- b) This is the latest news.
Latter and last refer to position.
- a) The last player could not bat as he was injured.
- b) The latter chapters are very interesting.
Latter is used when there are two only, last when there are more than two.
- a) Of Manohar, Syam and Joshi, the latter is a driver. (Incorrect)
- b) Of Manohor, Syam and Joshi, the last is a driver. (Correct)
- a) My elder sister is doing MBA from IIM Ahemdabad
- b) My eldest brother is getting married today.
Older and oldest are used of both persons and things.
- a) This is the oldest building in the city.
- b) Anthony is the oldest boy in the class.
- a) No one discussed the topic further.
- b) Calcutta is farther from the equator than Colombo.
- a) Akshay is inferior to Aamir in intelligence.
- b) Aamir is superior to Akshay in intelligence.
- c) He is junior to me.
- d) Who was captain prior to Azhar ?
- This is the most perfect specimen I have seen.
- Ramesh is stronger of the two boys.
- Ram is not as clever as his brother is.
- He is more intelligent than you.
- a) Of two evils choose the lesser (not least).
- b) Which is the better (not best) of the two?
- a) The population of London is greater than any town in India.
- b) The population of London is greater than that of any town in India.
Sentence b is correct as the comparison is between the population of London and the population of any town in India.
- a) Seldom had the little town seen a more costlier funeral. (Wrong)
- b) Seldom had the little town seen a costlier funeral. (Right)
- c) Seldom had the little town seen a more costly funeral. (Right)
- a) Coffee is more preferable to tea. (Wrong)
- b) Coffee is preferable to tea. (Right)
- a) No fewer than fifty miners were killed in the explosion.
- b) We do not sell less than ten kg of tea.
- a) It grew hot and hot. (Incorrect)
- b) It grew hotter and hotter. (Correct)
Other Common Rules
- a) His written statement differs in several important respects from his oral (not verbal) statement
- b) The boy was sent with an verbal message to the doctor.
- a) We started smoking on the advice of a mutual friend. (Incorrect)
- b) We started smoking on the advice of a common friend (Correct)
It is apparent that there are two or more than two of us. Apart from us, there is a person (friend). Since he is a friend to all of us, this friend is being shared by all of us. So, he is a common friend. Now, look at this sentence.
- We started smoking on mutual advice.
It means I advised, you to smoke and you advised me to smoke.
Other Common Errors
- a) These Kind of questions is often asked in the examinations. (Incorrect)
- b) This kind of question is often asked in the examinations. (Correct)
- c) He is as good if not better than his brother. (Incorrect)
- d) He is as good as if not better than his brother. (Correct)
- e) The future do not hold much for you. (Incorrect)
- f) The future does not hold much for you. (Correct)