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How would you describe yourself? Would you say you are smart or funny? Is your room messy or neat? Whenever you describe something, you use adjectives.

This lesson will teach you what adjectives are and how to use them.

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What Are Adjectives?

Adjectives are words that are used to describe nouns. Remember that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.Whenever we are speaking or writing, we want to be as descriptive as possible. Being descriptive helps the reader or listener get a better idea about what you are trying to describe. You want your audience to get the clearest picture of what you are describing.If I say ‘I saw a dog,’ what picture do you see in your head? Depending on your experience, you may see a spotted dog, a small black dog or a gray shaggy one.

I didn’t provide you enough adjectives to give you a clear picture.Now, if I say ‘I saw a big, wet, sad, shaggy, black and white dog,’ do you get a better picture in your head? Of course you do, because I used adjectives to make it clearer.

Adjectives Describe Nouns

Do you know your five senses? They are sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. If you think about those five senses when you are describing a noun, you will be thinking of adjectives.You can use your senses to come up with better ways to describe things.

Let’s take an apple for example. How do apples look? Apples can be round and red. How do apples feel? Apples can be smooth, slippery, shiny, cold, hard, bumpy, or waxy.

They can taste sweet or sour, and they can smell fruity or earthy.All those words used to describe an apple are adjectives, and they all give you a clearer picture of the apple you want your audience to see. Some apples are smooth and red, while others are green and rough. If you don’t make that clear, your audience will not get the picture in their minds of what you want them to see.Here are some examples of words that are made more descriptive using adjectives:

  • The beautiful, crystal clear, icy blue lake.
  • The warm, soft, gooey chocolate chip cookie.

  • The cute, prickly, nosy little hedgehog.
  • The sleek and shiny red sports car

What Adjectives to Use

Remember that adjectives are meant to give your audience a clearer picture of the noun that you are describing. The adjectives you use depend on how you want to make the noun clearer.Let’s pretend you want to describe your friend Tom. Do you want to describe what Tom looks like or how he acts? If you want to describe what he looks like, you could use adjectives like tall, blonde, skinny, or freckled.

If you want to describe what he is like or how he acts, you could use adjectives like silly, smart, mean or helpful. What your audience sees with adjectives is up to you and the words you choose.

Lesson Summary

Adjectives are words used to describe nouns. We use them to give our audience a clearer and more detailed picture of the noun we are describing. We can use our five senses to help find descriptive adjectives, and we are the ones who pick how we want to better describe the noun we are talking about.

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