List of Descriptive Adjectives: Simple, Compound, and Proper
While there are a finite amount of words from which to choose, writers and speakers of English are presented with what seems like an infinite amount of descriptive possibilities.
When you begin to factor in how descriptive adjectives can be combined, it becomes apparent that writers and speakers of English are limited only by their imagination when it comes to building a list of descriptive adjectives: simple, compound, and proper.
What are Adjectives?
Adjectives are words that describe nouns. Specifically, adjectives describe the action, state, or quality that nouns refer to.
Descriptive adjectives are the largest class of the three most prominent types of adjectives. The other two main types being quantitative and demonstrative adjectives.
To help get your own list up and running take a closer look at these examples of descriptive adjectives.
An Organized List of Descriptive Adjectives
A list of descriptive adjectives can be organized into three categories to help writers and speakers better manage this large class of words.
Simple adjectives, as their name suggests, are the most basic kind of descriptive adjectives. They function to express quality.
Aspects such as feelings, time, sound, quantity, taste, appearance, size, age, color, shape, and material are expressed through simple adjectives. The following table highlights some common examples:
Compound adjectives are created when two words are combined to create a descriptive adjective.
The two words are typically connected with a hyphen. The following table provides some common examples of compound adjectives:
The following table lists a number of descriptive adjectives that are derived from proper nouns.
Nations, regions, and religions are common qualities described by proper adjectives. Because they are derived from proper nouns, proper adjectives are always capitalized. For example:
Putting Adjectives in Order
When using multiple descriptive adjectives in a sentence, there is an order in which they should be arranged. Adjectives that describe opinion typically precede adjectives that describe color, size, shape, etc. For example, the sentence "The ugly, red chair sat in the corner," is preferable to "The red, ugly chair sat in the corner."
In addition, adjectives are usually arranged in a sentence from those that are more general in scope to those that are more specific. For example, "The big, Egyptian mask hung on the wall," is preferable to "The Egyptian, big mask hung on the wall," and "The blue, silken curtains are perfect in the bedroom," is preferable to "The silken, blue curtains are perfect in the bedroom."
Writers and speakers can refer to a list of descriptive adjectives for ideas on how to better explain the action, state, or quality that a noun in a sentence refers to. Understanding that there are three main types of descriptive adjectives can provide further insight on how these important words can be used.
With a good descriptive adjective resource and a little creativity, you can begin to add more personality to your writing. Speaking of which, enjoy this article: Examples of Personality Adjectives. It might help bring your characters to life!