Where adjectives go in a sentence

Level: beginner

We use adjectives to describe nouns.

Most adjectives can be used in front of a noun:

They have a beautiful house.
We saw a very exciting film last night.

or after a link verb like be, look or feel:

Their house is beautiful.
That film looks interesting.

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Average: 3.8 (41 votes)

Submitted by howtosay_ on Thu, 27/07/2023 - 09:45

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Hello, dear teachers and team!

Could you please help me with the following:

Is it correct to say "She bought not fashionable dress", "I ate not tasty pizza" and for example:

A: Are you laughing because of the film?

B: No. I have watched not funny film.

Thank you very much for your precious help and I'm grateful for your answer to this comment in advance!!!

Hi howtosay_,

A couple of corrections are needed. Dress and film are singular countable nouns, and they need an article: a not fashionable dress and a not funny film. The word pizza can be countable or uncountable, so you can say a not tasty pizza if you mean one whole pizza.

However, it still sounds quite unusual to say I ate a not tasty pizza. It isn't common to put "not" + adjective before the noun. It is preferred to phrase it some other way, for example:

  • I ate a pizza that was not tasty.
  • I ate a horrible pizza.
  • She bought an unfashionable dress.
  • She didn't buy a fashionable dress.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by _sherif on Thu, 22/12/2022 - 07:28

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Thanks alot, that's was very helpful

Submitted by JameK on Tue, 01/11/2022 - 07:41

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Sir, in my question paper I saw the phrase ''time allowed''. Is that the word ''allowed'' past tense? And can I use ''semester'' as an adjective like ( the first semester examination).

Hi JameK,

Here, "allowed" is a past participle, which functions as an adjective describing "time".

Yes, "semester" here functions as an adjective, describing "examination".

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Sir. Sir could you explain me more. The adjective that I have known is preceded before noun like
"good boy, beautiful girl'' and after the verb like ''I am busy, She is clever''. Could you give me more example. Thanks a bunch.

Hello JameK,

If you're referring to 'time allowed', I think it's best to think of that as an abbreviated form of 'The time you are allowed' or 'The time that is allowed'.

As for 'semester examination', 'semester' is a noun modifier. Follow the link to see an explanation of this grammar.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by g-ssan on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 15:51

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Hello sir , could you help me with this sentence it sound interesting are we should say it interesting sound ? Because i think interesting is adjective and sound is noun ?

Hello g-ssan,

These are two different things.

'It sounds interesting' is a sentence -- 'it' is the subject, 'sounds' is the link verb and 'interesting' is an adjective. It means that 'it' is something that interests us. 'sounds' doesn't actually refer to a sound here -- it's another way of saying 'is' really.

'an interesting sound' is a noun phrase -- 'an' is a determiner' and 'interesting' is an adjective that tells us more about the noun 'sound'. It's referring to a sound that we find interesting.

I hope this clarifies it for you, but if not, please don't hesitate to ask again.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team