Adjectives

Contents


Introduction___________________________________2

Part 1

1.1Adjectives. ________________________________3

1.2Degrees of Comparison ______________________3

1.3Substantivization of Adjectives. _______________6

1.4Syntactic Functions of Adjectives.______________7

Part 2

2.1Position of Adjectives________________________7

2.2Order of Adjectives. _________________________9

2.3Adjectives with prepositions. _________________11

2.4Adjectives with ‘to’-infinitive or ‘that’-clauses ___13

Conclusion__________________________________17

Appendix ___________________________________19

Bibliography ________________________________20

Introduction


We have chosen this theme because we like adjectives from our early school age. It was interesting for us to investigate adjectives and to find something new that we didn’t know before. First of all we found out the basical definitions of adjectives to describe it as part of speech. We used many theoretical books to do our course work, such as: « Modern English language» (Theoretical course grammar) V.N. Zhigadlo, I.P. Ivanova, L.L. Iofik. Moscow, 1956 y., Baker, Mark. 2005. Lexical Categories - Verbs, nouns and adjectives. Cambridge University Press, etc. Then we looked through the “Warren, Beatrice. (1984). Classifying adjectives. Gothenburg studies in English” to know their theories and thoughts about adjectives as a part of speech. Here what we found about it:

In grammar, an adjective is a part of speech that modifies a noun or a pronoun, usually by describing it or making its meaning more specific. Adjectives exist in most languages. The most widely recognized adjectives in English are words such as big, old, and tired that actually describe people, places, or things. These words can themselves be modified with adverbs, as in the phrase very big.The articles a, an, and the and possessive nouns, such as Mary's, are classified as adjectives by some grammarians; however, such classification may be specific to one particular language. Other grammarians call such noun modifiers determiners. Similarly, possessive adjectives, such as his or her, are sometimes called determinative possessive pronouns, and demonstrative adjectives, such as this or that, are called determinative demonstratives.In some languages, participles are used as adjectives. Examples of participles used as adjectives are lingering in the phrase lingering headache and broken in the phrase broken toys. Nouns that modify other nouns are sometimes called modifying nouns, nouns used adjectivally, or just part of a compound noun (like the word ice in ice cream).

Adjectives.


According to the theories of Dixon, R. M. W. (1977). “Where have all the adjectives gone?” Studies in Language, 1, 19-80 :


Adjectives are the third major class of words in English, after nouns

and verbs. Adjectives are words expressing properties of objects (e.g.

large, blue, simple, clever, economic, progressive, productive, etc) and,

hence, qualifying nouns.Adjectives in English do not change for number or case. The only grammatical category they have is the degrees of comparison. They are also characterized by functions in the sentence.


Degrees of Comparison.


There are three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and

superlative. The positive form is the plain stem of an adjective (e.g.

heavy, slow, straight, etc) . The comparative states that one thing has

more of the quality named by the adjective than some other thing (e.g.Henry is taller than John). The superlative states that the thing has the greatest degree of the quality among the things being considered (e.g. Henry is the tallest boy in the class) Most one-syllable adjectives, and most two-syllable adjectives ending in -y, -ow, -er, or consonant +-le , with loud stress on the first syllable and weak stress on the second, form their comparative and superlative by the addition of the suffixes -er and -est.


Positive Comparative Superlative
clever cleverer cleverest
narrow narrower narrowest
pretty prettier prettiest
simple simpler simplest

Adjectives derived by prefixes from those that use -er/-est also use

these suffixes, even though the addition of prefixes makes them longer that two syllables: unhappy - unhappier –unhappiest.

All adjectives other than those enumerated above form their comparative by using the intensifier more and their superlative by using the intensifier the most.


Positive Comparative Superlative
interesting more interesting the most interesting
generous more generous the most generous
personal more personal the most personal

In a very few cases, English permits a choice between the two devices:

commoner / more common, commonest / the most common. Ordinary, when one form is prescribed by the rules, the other is forbidden. A few adjectives have irregular forms for the degrees of comparison.

They are:

good - better - the best

bad - worse - the worst

far - farther - the farthest (for distance)

- further - the furthest (for time and distance)

near - nearer - the nearest (for distance)

- next (for order)

late - later - the latest (for time)

- last (for order)

old - older - the oldest (for age)

- elder - the eldest (for seniority rather the age; used only

attributively)


There are some adjectives that, on account of their meaning, do not

admit of comparison at all, e.g. perfect, unique, full, empty, square,

round, wooden, daily, upper, major, outer, whole, only and some others.

There are sentence patterns in which comparison is expressed:

a) comparison of equality (as … as)

e.g. The boy was as shy as a monkey.

After his bathe, the inspector was as fresh as a fish.

When he had left Paris, it was as cold as in winter there.


b) comparison of inequality (not so ... as, not as ... as)

e.g. His skin was not so bronzed as a Tahiti native’s.

The sun is not so hot today as I thought it would be.

You are not as nice as people think.


c) comparison of superiority (... –er than, ... –est of (in, ever)

e.g. He looked younger than his years, much younger than Sheila or me.

To my mind the most interesting thing in art is the personality of

the artist. My mother was the proudest of women, and she was vain, but in the end she had an eye for truth. It’s the biggest risk I’ve ever had to take.


d) comparison of inferiority ( less ... than)

e.g. John is less musical than his sister.

He had the consolation of noting that his friend was less sluggish

than before.


e) comparison of parallel increase or decrease (the ... the, ...-er as)

e.g. The longer I think of his proposal the less I like it.

The sooner this is done, the better.

He became more cautious as he grew older.


There are set phrases which contain the comparative or the superlative

degree of an adjective:

a) a change for the better (for the worst) – перемена к лучшему ( к

худшему)

e.g. There seem to be a change for the better in your uncle. He had a very

hearty dinner yesterday.


b) none the less – тем не менее

e.g. It did not take him long to make up his mind. None the less she showed

her scorn for his hesitation.


c) so much the better ( the worst) – тем лучше (хуже)

e.g. If he will help us, so much the better.

If he doesn’t work, so much the worst for him.


d) to be the worst for – делать что-то хуже, еще больше

e.g. He is rather the worst for drink.


e) no (none the) worse for – хуже не станет (не стало) от ...

e.g. You’ll be no worse for having her to help you.

You are none the worse for the experience.


f) if the worst comes to the worst – в худшем случае

e.g. If the worst comes to the worst, I can always go back home to my parents.


g) to go from bad to worse – становиться все хуже и хуже

e.g. Thinks went from bad to worse in the family.


h) as best - в полную меру старания, как только можно

e.g. He made a living as best he could.


i) at (the) best - в лучшем случае

e.g. She cannot get away from her home for long. At (the) best she can stay with us for two days.


Substantivization of Adjectives.


Sometimes adjectives become substantivized. In this case they have the functions of nouns in the sentence and are always preceded by the definite article. Substantivized adjectives may have two meanings:

1) They may indicate a class of persons in a general sense (e.g. the poor = poor people, the dead = dead people, etc.) Such adjectives are plural in meaning and take a plural verb.

e.g. The old receive pensions.

The young are always romantic, aren’t they?

The blind are taught trades in special schools.


If we wish to denote a single person we must add a noun.

e.g. The old man receives a pension.


If we wish to refer to a particular group of persons (not the whole

class), it is aslo necessary to add a noun.

e.g. The young are usually intolerant.

The young men are fishing.


Some adjectives denoting nationalities (e.g. English, French, Dutch) are

used in the same way.

e.g. The English are great lovers of tea.

There were a few English people among the tourists.


2) Substantivized adjectives may also indicate an abstract notion. Then

they are singular in meaning and take a singular verb.

e.g. The good in him overweighs the bad.

My mother never lost her taste for extravagant.


Syntactic Functions of Adjectives.


Adjectives may serve in the sentence as:

1) an attribute e.g. Do you see the small green boat, which has such an odd shape? The lights of the farm blazed out in the windy darkness.

Adjectives used as attributes usually immediately precede the noun.

Normally there is no pause between the adjective and the noun. Such attributes are called close attributes. However, an adjective placed in pre-position to the noun may be separated from it by a pause. Then it becomes a loose attribute. e.g. Clever and tactful, George listened to my story with deep concern.

Yet loose attributes are more often found in post-position to the noun.

e.g. My father, happy and tired, kissed me good-night.


2) a predicative

e.g. Her smile was almost professional.

He looked mature, sober and calm.


3) part of a compound verbal predicate

e.g. He stood silent, with his back turned to the window.

She lay motionless, as if she were asleep.


4) an objective predicative

e.g. I thought him very intelligent.

She wore her hair short.


5) a subjective predicative

e.g. The door was closed tight.

Her hair was dyed blonde.


It should be noted that most adjectives can be used both attributively

and predicatively, but some, among them those beginning with a-, can be used only as predicatives (e.g. afraid, asleep, along, alive, awake,

ashamed and also content, sorry, well, ill, due, etc.) A few adjectives can be used only as attributes (e.g. outer, major, minor, only, whole, former, latter and some others).


Position of Adjectives.


1 Most adjectives can be used in a noun group, after determiners and

numbers if there are any, in front of the noun.

e.g. He had a beautiful smile.

She bought a loaf of white bread.

There was no clear evidence.


2 Most adjectives can also be used after a link verb such as ‘be’,

‘become’, or ‘feel’.

e.g. I'm cold.

I felt angry.

Nobody seemed amused.


3. Some adjectives are normally used only after a link verb.


afraid asleep due ready

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