What are qualifying adjectives?

Qualifying adjectives are variable words that describe the characteristics of nouns.

They serve to express the qualities of people, animals or things, that is, to qualify them. They always accompany the noun. For example, “I used to be a young bold” or “The room is great“.

Qualifying adjectives are modified to agree in gender and number with the noun. For example, “I need a pair of new shoes” or “I have started a new life.” However, some may be gender invariant, such as intelligent, hypocritical, useful, national.

Depending on their proximity to the noun, qualifying adjectives can be predicative or attributive. They are predicative when they associate characteristics to the noun using the verbs to be, to be or to seem as a link. For example, “The morning this radiant” or “The citizen it is Colombian”.

Instead, they are attributive when they are placed next to the noun to attribute a quality to it as its own. For example, “Tomorrow radiant” or “Citizen Colombian”.

Qualifying adjectives are subdivided into two types: relational adjectives (such as school, national, or historic) and proper qualifying adjectives (such as blue, big, fat). The latter admit different degrees. The main ones are the comparative degree (“this role is whiter than this other”), and the superlative (“this role is whitest”)

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Types of qualifying adjectives

Qualifying adjectives are subdivided into two types: qualifying adjectives proper and relational adjectives.

Qualifying adjectives proper

Qualifying adjectives proper provide information about the characteristics of the noun. Some examples are: big, small, cold, hot, fat, skinny, yellow, fancy, naughty.

These types of adjectives can be specific or explanatory.

  • Specific adjectives: they indicate characteristics that distinguish a noun among its equals, so they cannot be eliminated without the sentence losing its meaning. They almost always go after the noun. For example, “I would like to adopt all the cats, but I choose the black cat”.
  • Explanatory adjectives: they explain an inherent quality of the noun for aesthetic or expressive purposes, so they can be removed without affecting the meaning of the sentence. They almost always precede the noun. For example, him sweet nectar of fruits graces my senses”. Nectar is always sweet.

Another characteristic of proper qualifying adjectives is that they admit degrees. For example, “Coffee is very cheap” or “Mount Everest is the mountain highest of the world”.

relational adjectives

Relational adjectives inform to which scope a noun belongs, that is, with what context they are related. Some examples are: student, academic, surgical, artistic, religious, professional, musical, Mexican, political, historical, etc.

Relational adjectives are always placed after the noun they modify. For example, “The narrative contest is for University students“.

Relational adjectives can often have the prefixes anti- and pre-. This is the case of words like prehistoric either unsanitary.

Likewise, relational adjectives cannot express degrees. For example, it would be incorrect to say “The narrative contest is for more college students.”

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Grades of qualifying adjectives

The qualifying adjectives themselves can express degrees of excellence of the qualities. These degrees are positive, comparative and superlative.

Positive grade. You do not need to express degree. Example, “The dark boy.”

Comparative grade. Use the comparison to show the degree of superiority, equality or inferiority of the noun.

  • Superiority. Example, “The second season of the series is better than the first.”
  • Equality. Example, “Pedro is as talented as Juan”.
  • Inferiority. Example, “The day is less pleasant than yesterday.”

Superlative level. It expresses when a quality reaches its highest expression. It can be relative or absolute.

  • Relative. Example, “Juan Gabriel was the most famous Mexican singer of his time.”
  • Absolute. Example, “Juan Gabriel was very famous.”

Sentences with qualifying adjectives

  • I would like to talk to you about something important.
  • The white snow capped the mountain.
  • Heaven blue invited to go out.
  • Every citizen has the right to move freely within the territory national.
  • The teacher is an art specialist prehistoric.
  • Jose is tall.
  • macaws are birds multicolored.
  • We’ll have to reset the clock ancient.
  • The situation is criticism.
  • Maria is so high like Louise.

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