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Humanities Libertexts

Chapter01 in Workshop Vinson June 2019

  • Page ID
    11360
  • Adjectives are words that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence. The Articles — a, an, and the — are adjectives.

    • the tall professor
    • the lugubrious lieutenant
    • a solid commitment
    • a month's pay
    • a six-year-old child
    • the unhappiest, richest man

    If a group of words containing a subject and verb acts as an adjective, it is called an Adjective Clause. My sister, who is much older than I am, is an engineer. If an adjective clause is stripped of its subject and verb, the resulting modifier becomes an Adjective Phrase: He is the man who is keeping my family in the poorhouse.

    Before getting into other usage considerations, one general note about the use — or over-use — of adjectives: Adjectives are frail; don't ask them to do more work than they should. Let your broad-shouldered verbs and nouns do the hard work of description. Be particularly cautious in your use of adjectives that don't have much to say in the first place: interesting, beautiful, lovely, exciting. It is your job as a writer to create beauty and excitement and interest, and when you simply insist on its presence without showing it to your reader — well, you're convincing no one. (From....)

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