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List of Adjectives: Types and How They Are Used

Are you looking for the perfect word to describe someone, somewhere, or something? If so, there are many great describing words to choose from in the English language. Yet, without a list of adjectives on hand, it’s hard to remember every single word you know. Luckily, you have access to this helpful list of adjectives! Use it whenever you want a fresh and exciting way to talk about a noun or pronoun. Plus, if you study new words on this adjective list, you’ll expand your vocabulary. For a printable PDF to keep on your desk, visit this informative site.

The Different Types of Describing Words

There are many different words on a list of adjectives. Some are similar in nature or have meanings that identical, while others are very different from one another. Because there are so many describing words, it’s better to learn them all in their individual groups.

There are two main categories of describing words you’ll find on a list of adjectives. The first category includes descriptive words, which describe things. There are two subcategories of descriptive words too, which you call attributive and predicate words. Both varieties of descriptive words do the same thing. That is, both modify a noun. However, both subcategories do things a bit differently. Here’s a short describing adjectives list:

  • Attractive
  • Bad
  • Busy
  • Cold
  • Dry
  • Excited
  • Good
  • Happy
  • Hard
  • Long
  • Quiet
  • Rainy
  • Shy
  • Sour
  • Tiny

The second category of describing words contains limiting words. Whereas some words describe nouns, many do not. These words instead restrict nouns and pronouns. Limiting words let a reader or listener know the exact thing you’re talking about, by defining it. There are many subcategories of limiting words. In total, there are nine different types to remember! But don’t worry, there’s a description of each type below, and there’s an adjectives list for each subcategory for you to review. Here’s a short list of adjectives that are limiting:

  • A
  • An
  • Either
  • My
  • The
  • Theirs
  • These
  • Those
  • Twelve
  • Which

The Subsets of Descriptive Words

So now you know a few words from the list of adjectives. Let’s extend our learning about the different descriptive and limiting words out there. Let’s begin with some quick descriptions of attributive and predicate words and an adjective list containing both.

Attributive and Predicate Words

Attributive and predicate words are like two sides of the same coin. You can find attributive words in a sentence directly beside a noun. Most of the time, it comes before the noun or pronoun.

  • The leaping lizard.
  • An argumentative anteater.
  • The humongous hippo.

Predicative words on the other hand come after a noun, following a verb. A predicate gets its name from being within the predicate of the sentence.

  • She has wavy hair.
  • Jeffrey is jovial.
  • Is your crossword puzzle fun?
  • Our flight was exhausting.

Below is a good-sized list of adjectives that are either attributive or predicative. Some of these however, can only go before or after a noun. Can you figure out which words only fit in one location?

  • Afraid
  • Asleep
  • Easy
  • Exciting
  • Hot
  • Pleased
  • Ready
  • Sick
  • Single
  • Southern
  • Stone
  • Summer
  • Total
  • Urban
  • Woolen

The Subsets of Limiting Words

Now you understand describing words and the two subsets of attributive and predicative words. Next, let’s look at limiting words and how they work.

Cardinal Words

Cardinal words are easy to remember. Basically, they tell you the number of a noun.

  • I have over fifty gel pens in my backpack.
  • Is it possible for Tim to have three best friends?
  • She’s seen this movie at least one hundred times already.

Here’s a short cardinal adjective list:

  • One
  • Three
  • Twenty-two
  • Eighty-seven
  • One million five hundred thirty-six thousand seven hundred and forty-two.

That’s right! Any numbers you can think of can become cardinal words!

Before you move on to the next type of limiting word, learn a thing or two about APA format. Then afterward, if you need help checking your writing, visit this helpful grammar check.

Definite and Indefinite Articles

The definite article defines a specific noun. An indefinite article points to a nonspecific noun. There’s one definite article, the, and two indefinite articles, a and an.

  • The cat on top of my hat.
  • Is there a cat on top of my hat?
  • But mommy, I want a crocodile for Christmas!

Demonstrative Words

You may already know the demonstrative pronouns, what, this, that, these, and those. If you do, then you already know all the demonstrative words. Each one makes the demonstrative adjective list because each one can modify a noun or noun phrase.

  • This music is amazing.
  • That book is a best-seller.
  • Those boys are twins.

Interrogative Words

Similarly, the interrogative list of adjectives contains the same words you find on an interrogative pronoun list. These words are what and which. Again, in this use, what and which modify a noun or noun phrase.

  • Which glass is Frank’s? He’d like more water please.
  • What movie would you like to watch? Peter Pan is a classic.

Nouns that Function as Limiting Words

One of the most interesting occurrences is when one part of speech imitates another. That’s exactly what happens when you have nouns that function as limiting words.

  • production factory.
  • Steven’s a showboat actor.
  • I’m going to the video game museum.

Ordinal Words

An ordinal word tells you the order of a noun in a series.

  • I enjoyed the first Karate Kid movie.
  • I thought the second Back to the Future movie was best.

An ordinal adjectives list contains words like forth, sixtieth, and even seven hundred and first.

Possessive Words

Possessive words explain who has ownership or possession of something.

A short adjectives list showing possession includes: my, your, our, his, her, its, and their.

  • Please return my pen.
  • Your hat is over there.
  • Their food is getting cold.

Proper Words

You capitalize a proper word because it’s derived from a proper noun.

  • I think I’ll try your American coffee blend.
  • Can she try a slice of your homemade Russian honey cake?
  • Would you like French fries with that?

Another Helpful Adjectives List

Now that you know about the different descriptive and limiting words, here are some lists to check out. For another printable PDF, click to this site.

1. An Additional Descriptive Adjectives List

  • Decent
  • Jolly
  • Impartial
  • Investigative
  • Loving
  • Juvenile
  • Quirky
  • Rational
  • Petulant
  • Original
  • Welcoming

Are there any words that you don’t know? DOn’t fret! It only takes a minute to look them up in a dictionary.

2. The List of Adjectives for Kids

Words that are great for children include:

  • Brave
  • Clever
  • Afraid
  • Wise
  • Happy
  • Cheerful
  • Polite
  • Quiet
  • Quick
  • Glowing
  • Fair

3. A Personality Adjectives List

There are many words that describe personality. A few include:

  • Clumsy
  • Mighty
  • Cowardly
  • Rude
  • Strict
  • Amusing
  • Gentle
  • Caring
  • Generous
  • Stingy
  • Spoiled
  • Hasty

The List of Positive Adjectives

The list of positive adjectives shares a few excellent describing words, including:

  • Sturdy
  • Calm
  • Hardworking
  • Silly
  • Wild
  • Still
  • Excited
  • Friendly
  • Fantastic
  • Wonderful
  • Truthful
  • Amusing
  • Beautiful
  • Adorable

Congratulations on learning a few new describing and limiting words. Now that you’re done, take a few minutes to learn about MLA format and more styles of citation for your next English paper!

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