Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are exactly what they sound like: they describe things.In fact, several adjectives can describe the same thing.

Now, we know what you're thinking: "Shmoop, that's great that I can use 37 adjectives to describe the horrible smell coming from my gym shoes, but where do I put them all?"

That's easy. A regular adjective appears right next to the word it modifies. A predicate adjective comes after a linking verb and describes the subject of the sentence.

 

Examples

"Nicole's eccentric globetrotting uncle brought her a mysterious oak box from Estonia."

Maybe we've seen too many horror movies, but we sure hope that ancient box isn't filled with an evil spirit that's going to try to possess Nicole. That would be a total bummer. While we monitor Nicole's behavior, let's inspect this sentence that possesses four regular descriptive adjectives. Eccentric and globetrotting both describe Nicole's uncle. Mysterious and oak both describe the box.

"Coach Mossman's voice was raspy."

Here, raspy is a predicate descriptive adjective that describes Coach Mossman's voice, which is the subject of the sentence. Maybe if her team would start hitting the offensive boards, she wouldn't have to put so much stress on her vocal chords or force them to run so many laps at basketball practice Monday night. Sorry, girls.

"Erin's blonde, curly, wild hair is completely immune to styling."

In this example, we have both regular descriptive adjectives and a predicate descriptive adjective. Can you tell which is which? Blonde, curly, and wild are all regular adjectives because they're stacked up right next to hair, which is what they describe. Immune is a predicate adjective. It also describes Erin's unruly coif, which is the subject of the sentence, but it follows the linking verb is.

 
Adjective Forms
Descriptive Adjectives

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