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Adjectives: Where to put them?
I) Nature and Place of ADJECTIVES: in English, ALL ADJECTIVES REMAIN INVARIABLE in the plural.
A. Attributive adjectives are placed before the substantive, even if there are several of them, in the singular and the plural.
· - a big red ball=> big red balls.
B. Some adjectives are always subject complements (or predicate adjectives). They are placed after some verbs, like to BE.
These adjectives are : alive, asleep, afraid, awake, cross, ill, glad etc.
II) Adjectives ending in -ed and in -ing:
- a good-looking person= a person who looks good. (verb with an active meaning)
- a surprised young man= a man who looks/ is surprised (verb with a passive meaning. The action is performed)
The same adjectives may often be used BOTH with an active meaning: " noun+ ing", AND with a passive meaning (the action is done!): "noun+ ed". In this case, it's very important not to mix them up, and to take care of your endings!
|Passive meaning||Active meaning|
If you're not careful, you may end up saying an ambiguous sentence or the exact opposite of what you were meaning to say.
- I don't think what you're saying is interesting... in fact, I'm bored and tired of listening to you.
III) ORDERING multiple adjectives: when there are more than one adjective qualifying a noun, they are in a particular order: adjectives which describe opinions or attitudes (e.g. amazing) usually come first, before more neutral, factual ones (e.g. red). The order is:
Size (form, dimension), Age (new, young, old), Colour, Origin (nationality, religion, geographical or political origin), Material.
( Reminder= SACOM)
- Gatsby's big, brand-new, yellow car was extraordinary.
- An amazing tiny beige Turkish leather bag.
- Daisy was a beautiful, young, fair-haired and grey-eyed woman.
An adjective expressing a subjective judgment or opinion (nice, good, bad, rich, stupid...) are placed first;
- a stupid old man.
- a strange thin little boy.
Well well! Here's the test. Even if I tried to make it interesting, you may find it boring and tiring and be bored and tired when finishing! Disturbing, isn' it?
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