- Common Adjectives
- Demonstrative Adjectives
- The Difference Between Common and Demonstrative Adjectives
An adjective is always placed in front of the noun it describes. There are two types of adjectives in the English language: common and demonstrative. They differ by the purposes of their use.
I like red wine.
Red is a common adjective used to describe the color of the wine.
I like this wine.
This is a demonstrative adjective used to describe the location of the wine.
A common adjective is a grammatical part of speech that describes a noun (a person, thing, place, or idea).
Rule 1: Common adjectives are usually used when describing something, answering the question "What kind?"
He bought a rare edition of the book.
Rare is an adjective that describes what kind of book edition was bought.
Rule 2: Common adjectives are usually used when describing something, answering the question "Which one?"
The winning numbers will be announced on Saturday evening.
Winning is an adjective that describes which numbers will be announced.
Rule 3: Common adjectives are usually used when describing the amount (quantity) of something, answering the questions "How much?" and "How many?"
You need to pick five numbers to participate in a lottery.
Five is an adjective that describes how many numbers you need to choose to participate in a lottery.
I will need three boxes of pasta to cook dinner for everyone tonight.
Three is an adjective that describes how much pasta is needed to prepare dinner for everyone.
Demonstrative adjectives emphasize the importance of the noun they modify in a sentence. They include this, that, these, and those.
In order to choose the right demonstrative adjective, you need to determine the location (near or far from you) of the person or a thing, as well as how many there are of them (singular or plural noun).
Rule 4: You need to use this when referring to a person or a thing that is near.
Have you read this book?
This is used for a singular noun book, emphasizing a nearby object.
Rule 5: You need to use that when referring to a person or a thing that is far away.
Can you please pass me that pencil?
That is an adjective used for a singular noun pencil, emphasizing an object that is far away.
Rule 6: You need to use these when referring to more than one person or things that are near.
Thank you for all these gifts you have brought to my birthday party.
These is an adjective used for a plural noun gifts, emphasizing that they are nearby.
Rule 7: You need to use those when referring to more than one person or things that are far away.
Do you remember those days we have spent in a summer camp?
Those is an adjective used for plural noun days, emphasizing that they are already in the past (far away in a timeline).
The Difference Between Common and Demonstrative Adjectives
While common adjectives are used to give a person or thing characteristics or describe its features, demonstrative adjectives determine its location in time and space.
Determine the adjective: I have exciting news.