Adjectives are words that modify the noun or noun; indicate some characteristic or quality of it. Although it seems easy to locate these words in the sentence, there are some nuances that you should know to identify them. If you are interested in discovering how to find adjectives, do not miss what follows.
Part 1 of 4: Differentiate between an adjective and a noun
Step 1. Remember the definition of a noun or noun
These are the words that designate the things of the world, both in reality and in thought; the name we give to the objects that exist, the ones we perceive and the ones we imagine: dog, cat, house, tree, omelette, jug, José or Carmen.
- The concrete nouns they name things that exist or are in thought, but can be visualized.
- These in turn are divided into nouns and common nouns; the first are the names with which we designate people, places, pets, works of art, etc.; They are capitalized at the beginning: José, María, Castilla, Rayuela, Rintintín, etc.
- The common nouns they are words that designate things, referring to the species to which it belongs: man, woman, dog, cat, writer, bassist, tree, cup, bottle, etc.
- There are also abstract nouns, which name qualities, feelings, abstract actions or concepts: thinness, beauty, goodness, morality, love, sympathy, fear, study, work, effort, freedom, justice, decency.
Step 2. Consider what function an adjective has
Adjectives, as already mentioned, modify the noun, account for its specific qualities and change its plain meaning: brown dog, light shade, leafless tree, clean work …
Step 3. Do not forget that the adjectives and nouns must correspond in number and gender
That is, if the noun is feminine or masculine, the adjective must also be it. Likewise, if the noun is plural or singular, the adjective must correspond. Examples: clean houses, black dogs, ugly cats …
Part 2 of 4: Recognize the various types of adjectives
Step 1. Know the types of adjectives there are
Adjectives are divided according to the type of quality that it contributes to the noun, how it modifies its plain meaning. In a strict sense there are only two types of adjectives, qualifiers and relational ones, however other words can function as adjectives depending on each grammatical situation.
- Adjectives: describe simple qualities of the noun, specify attributes. Examples: black, white, gray, clean, old, small, tiny, large, round, soft, sad, gummed, etc.
- Relational adjectives: they conform to the traditional definition "relative or belonging to …", such as historical (belonging to history); here the names like Mexican, Colombian or Buenos Aires fit; and also those who indicate being a supporter or defender of something: Marxist, socialist or PRI.
Step 2. Find out what other words can have an adjective function
Some words modify the noun, giving them a precise meaning. They are known as determinative or determinative adjectives. As a basic function, they introduce the noun in the sentence and define its scope.
- Demonstrative: they go before the name and indicate a distance relationship with the object. When there is a close distance, this / this and its plurals are used. An intermediate distance is indicated by ese / esa and its plurals. And a greater distance remains with that / that and its plurals. Examples: this car is very good; that wine Tastes good; I lived in That house near the forest.
- Articles: introduce the noun and establish whether it is a specific thing or not. The definite articles are the and the and their plurals. The indeterminates are one and one and their plurals. Examples: the law, a law; the dream, a dream.
- Possessive: they indicate who owns the thing that is named. Although they generally introduce the noun, they can sometimes come after it. They provide a nuance of separation between all objects and the one that has an owner. The words my, you, our, mine, yours, his, hers are used in accordance with gender and number. Examples: my bedroom it doesn't look like anyone else's; your car it has air; your club it deconcentrated us; her puppy peed here.
- Numerals: they are words that express numbers, they serve to specify the total of objects mentioned by the noun or to establish numerical relationships. The cardinal numerals specify the quantity and the ordinals, the order, for example in sentences: the first movie what are we gonna see; We only have four loaves. The multiples maximize the number of things and the partitives indicate a part of the whole: it has double house; he ate half cake alone.
- Undefined: indicate imprecision or doubt about the object that is being talked about. The most common words are: any, true, such. Here are some qualifying adjectives that cannot be measured as too little or too much. Examples: any subject; some day of the summer; does too cold.
- Interrogatives and exclamations: they precede the noun and indicate doubt or emotion. Example: What a villain Has it carried you up to here ?; What book You recommend me; what a boy so handsome; what lady accompanies you. Remember that interrogatives and exclamations have an accent, although not necessarily exclamation or question marks.
Step 3. Take into account that it depends on each situation
Those shown here are hypothetical cases. Above all, determinative adjectives can have variants in the sentence, since words do not always have an adjective function. Remember that the fundamental thing is that they modify the noun.
Part 3 of 4: Conduct an Analysis
Step 1. Analyze sentences
To understand it better, you can perform analysis exercises. Use the sentence That gray house of the Colombian Demetrio is falling apart.
- Begin by locating all the nouns: house, Demetrio, pieces.
- Now see if the nouns are accompanied by an adjective: that gray house, Colombian Demetrio.
- Finally determine what type of adjectives they are: adj. determinative-demonstrative: that; adj. qualifier: gray; adj. relational: Colombian.
Step 2. Consider that sometimes adjectives fulfill other grammatical functions
They may be talking about the noun, but perform other grammatical functions, such as complements to the predicate, or they may be substituting for the noun.
- Look at the example: The white sheet was stained blue.
- You have two qualifying adjectives: white and blue. The first is in its usual position, but the second functions as the direct object of the sentence, answering the question of what was stained. Blue, then, loses its adjectival qualities to become a noun that substitutes for the name of a thing: paint, color, etc.
Step 3. Take into account that there are other ways to adjective
Adjectives are not always used to give nouns qualities, sometimes they can be subordinate sentences with an adjective function or grammatical constructions that give qualities to the noun or even verbs conjugated in the participle.
- Look at the example: Juan Melquiades, the one who lived in the fallen house, had a heart filled with resentment.
- You can see that no visible adjective appears, but you have an adjective subordinate clause that qualifies the subject Juan Melquiades: the one who lived in the fallen house; a participle with an adjective function that qualifies the house: fall; and an adjective construction that gives us details of the heart: full of resentment.
Step 4. Do lots of exercises
You can cut out all the nouns and adjectives you can find on a page of the newspaper, then combine the words, play with them and see what relationships you can form. When you have fully understood it, analyze the sentences on a page of the newspaper and observe the adjectives and constructions that have an adjective modality.
Part 4 of 4: Add New Steps Here
- Consult the New grammar of the Spanish language.
- If you have doubts, approach a specialist in language or literature or a Spanish teacher, they will be able to explain the matter more clearly.
- Keep a dictionary nearby, in it you can find the classification of the word, whether it is a noun or an adjective.