Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (2024)

Adjective topics:

  • What is an Adjective?
  • How To Use Adjectives In A Sentence
  • Comparative Adjectives
  • Superlative Adjectives
  • Compound Adjectives
  • Adjectives + Prepositions
  • Order of Adjectives
  • Common Mistakes with Adjectives
  • Learn More Adjectives In English

What is an adjective?

Adjectives are descriptive words that modify nouns or pronouns – they describe people, places, or things. Here are some examples of common adjectives in the English language:

  • Describing color: red, yellow, green, white, black
  • Describing size: big, small, huge, tiny
  • Describing shape: round, flat, square, triangular
  • Describing age: old, young, ancient, new
  • Describing nationality/origin: Brazilian, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Chinese
    Click here for 200+ countries and nationalities
  • Describing material: silver, leather, stone, cotton, plastic
    (these are nouns as well, but they can also be adjectives: a silver necklace, a cotton T-shirt)
  • Describing other qualities: good, bad, delicious, important, funny, painful, interesting, tired, comfortable, dangerous, fast, healthy
Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (1)

Learn adjectives: fresh, healthy, delicious food

How to use adjectives in a sentence

We can use an adjective before the noun it describes, for example:

  • I used to have a redcar.
  • My parents live in a hugehouse.
  • She has a roundface.
  • We bought two newbicycles.
  • Let’s get some Chinesefood.
  • That silver necklace is expensive.
  • I like interestingbooks.

We can also use them in this sentence structure:

noun/pronoun + a form of the verb “to be” + adjective

  • My previous car was red.
  • Their house is huge.
  • Her face is round.
  • Our bicycles are new.
  • This food is Chinese.
  • I like that necklace. It’s silver.
  • Those books were interesting.

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (2)

Two structures with adjectives: I like interesting books. The books were interesting.

Adjective lists & examples

You probably already know the 10 most common adjectives, because they are used very frequently by native English speakers:

  1. Good: She is a good singer with a beautiful voice.
  2. New: I bought a new car yesterday and I’m excited to drive it.
  3. First: This is my first time visiting this city.
  4. Last: The last train leaves at midnight, so don’t miss it.
  5. Long: We had a long conversation about our future plans.
  6. Great: It was a great movie, and I highly recommend watching it.
  7. Little: The little puppy followed me around the house everywhere I went.
  8. Own: She has her own business and enjoys being her own boss.
  9. Other: I prefer the other option because it offers more benefits.
  10. Old: The old house has a lot of history and charm.

There are many more to learn in the English language! Here are some good adjective lists to get you started:

Basic lists of adjectives:
More advanced lists of adjectives:

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (3)

Study adjective lists to help you learn descriptive words

Comparative Adjectives

We use comparative adjectives to compare two things – for example, better, faster, more expensive. Let’s look at how to form them in English.

With One-Syllable Words: Add -ER
  • My new car is fasterthan my old car.
  • I’m olderthan my brother.
  • Traveling by bike takes longerthan traveling by motorcycle
With words that end in consonant + vowel:
Double the last letter and add -ER
  • An elephant is biggerthan a cat.
  • Brazil is hotterthan Sweden.
  • My sister is thinnerthan me.
With words that end in consonant + y:
Remove -y and add -IER
  • Reading English is easier than listening.
  • Maria is happier than Dave.
  • People today arebusierthan in the past.
Words with 2+ syllables: Add “more”
ExpensiveMore expensive
PopularMore popular
InterestingMore interesting
  • A car is more expensivethan a computer.
  • Michael Jackson’s music is more popular than country music.
  • Watching a movie is more interesting than studying grammar.
Irregular Comparative Adjectives
  • Eating fruit is better for your health than eating hamburgers.
  • Cancer is worsethan the flu.
  • One mile isfartherthan one kilometer.

Don’t forget than!

  • An elephant is bigger a cat.
  • An elephant is bigger than a cat.

More examples of comparative adjectives

Comparative Adjectives Quiz


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Your answers are highlighted below.

Negative comparatives: “Less than” or “Not as ____ as”
  • Movies areless interesting than books.
  • Movies arenot as interesting asbooks.
  • Beer isless expensive thanwine.
  • Beer isnot as expensive aswine.
  • Running isnot as fast as biking.
  • Canada isnot as hot as Ecuador.
  • Helen isnot as friendly as her husband.
  • Playing video games isnot as good as exercising.

We can use “less” or “not as… as” with the 2+ syllable adjectives – less difficult, less exciting, less involved.

With one-syllable adjectives, we can only use “not as… as” or simply the opposite adjective.

  • Canada isless hot thanEcuador.
  • Canada isnot as hot asEcuador.
  • Canada iscolder thanEcuador.
  • Ecuador ishotter thanCanada.

Remember that in this structure, we don’t use -ER or “more” with the adjective.

  • This shirt isn’t as prettier asthat blouse.
    This shirt isn’t as pretty asthat blouse.
  • Last week’s test wasn’t as worse asthe previous one.
    Last week’s test wasn’t as bad asthe previous one.

Comparative Adjectives Exercise: NOT AS _____ AS

Choose the correct option to complete each sentence. Good luck!


Congratulations - you have completed Comparative Adjectives Exercise: NOT AS _____ AS.

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Superlative Adjectives

Usesuperlatives to compare 3 or more things. Here’s how to form them:

  • Add -EST to one-syllable words: the tallest, greatest, cleanest
  • Remove -Y and add -IEST: the friendliest, trendiest, craziest
  • Add “the most” to 2+ syllable words not ending in Y: the most expensive, the most amazing, the most difficult
  • Some superlatives are irregular: the best, the worst, the farthest, the most fun


OldOlderThe oldest
BigBiggerThe biggest
EasyEasierThe easiest
BeautifulMore beautifulThe most beautiful
GoodBetterThe best
BadWorseThe worst
FarFartherThe farthest


  • My grandmother isthe oldestperson in my family.
  • Russia isthe biggestcountry in the world.
  • This isthe easiesttest I’ve ever taken.
  • Donna isthe most beautifulwoman I’ve ever seen.
  • I like all sports, but I like soccerthe best.
  • Picking up garbage wasthe worstjob I’ve ever had.
  • Australia isthe farthestI’ve ever traveled.

Don’t forget the definite article “the”!

  • My grandmother is oldest person in my family.
  • My grandmother isthe oldestperson in my family.

Superlative adjectives are often used with the present perfect + ever:

  • This is the best sushiI’ve ever eaten.
  • What’s the most expensive caryou’ve ever driven?
  • The longest bookI’ve ever readwas 500 pages.
  • Jan is the friendliest personI’ve ever met.

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (4)

Superlatives: The FASTEST horse won the race.

Try these quizzes to review superlative adjectives, and then choose between the comparative and superlative:

Superlatives Quiz


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Quiz: Comparative or Superlative?

Choose the correct adjective to complete the sentence - comparative or superlative.


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Your answers are highlighted below.

Regular & extreme adjectives

Regular adjectives in English are “gradable” – that means you can have different degrees or levels of that quality. For example, a movie can be slightly scary, rather scary, very scary, or extremely scary.

Extreme adjectives or non-gradable adjectives are descriptive words that mean “extremely + adjective” – for example, “terrifying” means “extremely scary.” A movie can’t be “a little bit terrifying” or “very terrifying” – because the word “terrifying” itself automatically means “extremely scary.”

  • Regular Adjective: Beautiful
  • Extreme Adjective: Stunning
  • Regular Adjective: Cold
  • Extreme Adjective: Freezing
  • Regular Adjective: Hot
  • Extreme Adjective: Scorching
  • Regular Adjective: Tired
  • Extreme Adjective: Exhausted
  • Regular Adjective: Happy
  • Extreme Adjective: Ecstatic
  • Regular Adjective: Sad
  • Extreme Adjective: Devastated
  • Regular Adjective: Big
  • Extreme Adjective: Enormous
  • Regular Adjective: Small
  • Extreme Adjective: Tiny
  • Regular Adjective: Good
  • Extreme Adjective: Excellent
  • Regular Adjective: Bad
  • Extreme Adjective: Terrible

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (5)

Regular adjective: COLD. Extreme adjective: FREEZING.

There are some special grammar rules about extreme adjectives:

  • No comparatives/superlatives. We can say “good / better / the best” (regular adjective) but we typically don’t say “more excellent” or “the most excellent.” (extreme adjective)
  • No adverbs of degree (a little / slightly / very). We can say “slightly happy” and “very happy” (regular adjective) but we don’t say “slightly ecstatic” or “very ecstatic” (extreme adjective)
  • We can use the adverbs “absolutely” and “completely” for extra emphasis of extreme adjectives; we can’t use these with regular adjectives. We can say “absolutely starving” and “completely devastated” (extreme adjectives) but not “absolutely hungry” and “completely sad” (regular adjectives

Another type of extreme adjective is called an “absolute” adjective. These are words that are either “yes or no.” For example, impossible – something can’t be “a little impossible” or “very impossible” – either YES, it’s impossible, or NO, it’s not impossible.

See more examples of extreme and absolute adjectives – plus a quiz!

Compound adjectives

Compound adjectives are adjectives that have two words. Here are some compound adjective examples with sentences.

  1. Long-term: They are in a long-term relationship and have been together for over a decade.
  2. Well-known: He is a well-known actor who has starred in several blockbuster movies.
  3. Open-minded: She is open-minded and willing to consider different perspectives.
  4. Narrow-minded: He has a narrow-minded view of the world and is resistant to new ideas.
  5. Hardworking: She is a hardworking employee who always goes the extra mile.
  6. Good-natured: He is a good-natured person who is always willing to lend a helping hand.
  7. Fast-paced: The city has a fast-paced lifestyle, with people always rushing around.
  8. Light-hearted: The comedy show provided a light-hearted escape from the stresses of daily life.
  9. Easygoing: He has an easygoing personality and doesn’t get easily stressed or bothered.
  10. Thought-provoking: It was a thought-provoking novel.

You can see lots more compound adjectives here.

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (6)

Compound adjective: It was a THOUGHT-PROVOKING book.

Adjectives + prepositions

Many adjectives have specific prepositions that are used after them. These may be different than the combinations that are used in your native language. For example:

  • I’m interested in learning English.
    (not “interested of” or “interested about”)
  • He’s married to a woman he met in college.
    (not “married with”)
  • This product is different fromthat one.
    (not “different for” or “different of”)

Some adjectives can be followed by different prepositions. Sometimes these mean essentially the same thing, and other times the meaning and use is different:

  • I’m excited about my vacation. = I’m excited for my vacation.
    No difference in meaning
  • I was surprised by his reaction. = I was surprised at his reaction.
    No difference in meaning
  • He’s good atswimming.
    “Good at” is used for people’s abilities
  • This knife is good for cutting vegetables.
    “Good for” is used for objects’ function or benefit
  • She’s afraid ofspiders.
    “Afraid of” is used for things that cause fear in general
  • She’s afraid to tell the truth.
    “Afraid to” is used for actions we are considering doing, but fear is making us hesitate

It’s important to learn these adjective + preposition combinations, because using the wrong one can make your English sound unnatural.

Here are lots more adjective + preposition combinations with examples!

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (7)

Make sure to use natural adjective + preposition combinations!

Order of adjectives

Did you know that there is a particular order of adjectives we should follow in a sentence? For example:

  • Incorrect: a black little dress
  • Correct: a little black dress
  • Incorrect: a German old man
  • Correct: an old German man
  • Incorrect: a gold big beautiful ring
  • Correct: a big beautiful gold ring

If you say the adjectives in the wrong order, it doesn’t sound natural.

In general, they follow this order:

  1. Opinion (interesting, beautiful, funny)
  2. Size (small, medium, large)
  3. Shape (round, flat, square)
  4. Age (old, young, new)
  5. Color (green, blue, yellow, black)
  6. Nationality/origin (Swedish, Korean, Israeli, Canadian)
  7. Material (wooden, metal, stone, paper)
  8. Purpose (tennis shoes, sleeping bag)

It may seem hard to remember the proper order… but the more you practice and listen to native English speakers, the more the natural order will sound “right” to you.

Click here for a list of adjective examples within each category, as well as a quiz on the proper order of adjectives

Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (8)

Order of adjectives: These are beautiful new golden wedding rings.

Common mistakes with adjectives

Avoid these common errors made by English language learners!

Putting the adjective directly after the noun. This may be possible in your native language, but not in English.

  • Don’t say “I like the car red.”
  • Say “I like the red car.”

Making an adjective before a noun plural:

  • Don’t say “I have a few others things to do.”
  • Say “I have a few other things to do.”

Adjectives before nouns are always singular, even if the noun is plural.

Using “enough” before an adjective:

  • Don’t say “This box isn’t enough big.
  • Say “This box isn’t big enough.

We use enough after adjectives, and before nouns (“We have enough chairs for the meeting”)

Using “how much” before adjectives:

  • Don’t say: “I can’t believe how much expensive this restaurant is.”
  • Say “I can’t believe how expensive this restaurant is.”

We use only “how” before adjectives.

However, when we use a comparative adjective, then we can use “how much”:

  • “I can’t believe how much taller you’ve gotten!”

Saying “more better”:

  • Don’t say “This program is more better than the old one.”
  • Say “This program is better than the old one.”
  • Or “This program is much better than the old one.”

The comparative form of “good” is simply “better.” We only use “more” with certain adjectives, often longer words – more exciting, more modern, more difficult.

However, we can say “much better” to emphasize that it is a LOT better.

Here are more examples of common mistakes with adjectives.

Learn more adjectives in English:

  • 20 powerful adjectives in English
  • Confusing adjectives and adverbs
  • 10 negative adjectives in English
  • 37 words for describing people

Take your English grammar skills to the next level!

More Espresso English Lessons:

Learn English grammar: one of / some of / most of / all of / none ofCommon Errors in English: Difficult or Difficulty?Subject-Verb Agreement: 10 Tricky Cases
Adjectives in English: Meaning, Examples, Lists, Quizzes (2024)


What are 100 examples of an adjective? ›

A-D List of Adjective Words
19 more rows
Jun 14, 2022

What are the 50 examples of adjectives? ›

  • happy. (a) glad, a feeling of contentment. ...
  • sad. (a) upset, a feeling of unhappiness. ...
  • angry. (a) irritate, a feeling of annoyance. ...
  • calm. (a) calm and relaxed. ...
  • lonely. (a) alone and lonely. ...
  • sick. (a) get sick with the flu. ...
  • polite. (a) There is a polite way to criticize someone else's plans. ...
  • clever. (a)

What are the 20 examples of adjectives? ›

The 22 Most Common English Adjectives
  • Good. This coffee is good. I am good.
  • Big. This shirt is very big.
  • Small. He wants a small sandwich.
  • Hot. The tea is hot. ...
  • Cold. The food is cold. ...
  • Expensive. The supermarket is expensive.
  • Difficult. This game is difficult, I don't understand the rules.
  • Easy. These exercises are very easy.
Oct 10, 2022

What are adjectives and examples with answers? ›

An adjective is a word that modifies or describes a noun or pronoun. Adjectives can be used to describe the qualities of someone or something independently or in comparison to something else. Examples: Adjectives in a sentence I like old houses. The boy is tall and skinny.

What are the 56 adjectives? ›

They are: able, accepting, adaptable, bold, brave, calm, caring, cheerful, clever, complex, confident, dependable, dignified, empathetic, energetic, extroverted, friendly, giving, happy, helpful, idealistic, independent, ingenious, intelligent, introverted, kind, knowledgeable, logical, loving, mature, modest, nervous, ...

What are adjectives in English and their meanings? ›

Adjectives are one of the four major word classes, along with nouns, verbs and adverbs. Examples of adjectives are: big, small, blue, old, rich and nice. They give us more information about people, animals or things represented by nouns and pronouns: That's a big house. Look at the grey horse.

What are adjective 25 examples? ›

Examples of adjectives
  • They live in a beautiful house.
  • Lisa is wearing a sleeveless shirt today. This soup is not edible.
  • She wore a beautiful dress.
  • He writes meaningless letters.
  • This shop is much nicer.
  • She wore a beautiful dress.
  • Ben is an adorable baby.
  • Linda's hair is gorgeous.

What are the 7 types of adjectives with examples? ›

Types of Adjectives
S.No.Adjective Types/ KindsExamples
4Demonstrative AdjectiveThis, that, these, those, such
5Interrogative AdjectiveWhat, which, whose,
6Possessive AdjectiveMu, our, your, his, her, its, their
7Proper AdjectiveEnglish, Indian tea, French wines, Turkish tobacco
4 more rows

What are 10 examples of adjectives and examples? ›

Adjectives To Describe Touch
9 more rows
Jul 28, 2021

Can you give 5 examples of adjectives? ›

Adjectives are words that describe the qualities or states of being of nouns: enormous, doglike, silly, yellow, fun, fast. They can also describe the quantity of nouns: many, few, millions, eleven.

What are the 10 examples of the adjective of quality? ›

Here are a few examples :
  • He is a naughty boy.
  • The boss of his company is a great person.
  • America is a developed country.
  • Simran is an excellent young child in the class.
  • My mother is very sweet.
  • The parcel is heavy.
  • Ritik is a good boy.
  • The girl is looking very beautiful.

What are the 8 types of adjectives with example? ›

There are:
  • Adjectives of Quality(Descriptive Adjectives)
  • Adjectives of Quantity.
  • Adjectives of Number(Numeral Adjectives)
  • Demonstrative Adjectives.
  • Interrogative Adjectives.
  • Possessive Adjectives.
Aug 30, 2022

What are the 100 examples of adverbs? ›

List of 200+ Most Common Adverbs
40 more rows

What are 100 positive words? ›

100 Positive Adjectives
15 more rows

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