Grammar 4



Adjectives modify nouns. For our purposes, we're going to drop them into three different buckets:

Descriptive Possessive Participial

Furthermore, we're going to sub-divide the participial adjectives into past and present, thus creating a total of four buckets:

Descriptive Possessive Participial
  • red
  • fast
  • tall
  • smelly
  • my
  • your
  • our
  • his
  • her
  • its
Present Participial
  • worn
  • bruised
  • broken
  • boiling
  • crying
  • bleeding

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are probably what you think of when you hear the word "adjective".

Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives show possession; in other words, they show that something belongs to something else.

Participial Adjectives

Participial adjectives are formed from verbs. As noted above, there are two different kinds: present participles and past participles.

A "present participle" is a fancy name for the -ing form of a verb.

A "past participle" is a fancy name for the "have" form of a verb.

We're not going to worry too much about participial adjectives just now; I simply mention them because they become important later in the course.

Simplifying Sentences with Adjectives

Some adjectives can be ignored, while others cannot. But here are some rules that generally hold true:

In the last example, above, "my father's truck" should be "clumped together" (think of it as just one "thing") and "blue" cannot be canceled because it's not in front of a noun. Therefore, that sentence is already in its simplest form, and cannot be reduced any further.

Study the following examples:

Original Sentence Simplified Sentence

I like the red car.

I like the car.

Linda kicked the barking dog.

Linda kicked the dog

Freda rocked the crying baby.

Freda rocked the baby.

The angry dragon spread its enormous wings.

The dragon spread its wings.

I baked my mother a delicious Christmas cake.

I baked my mother a cake.

Joey is a horrible football player.

Joey is a player.


The boiling water evaporated.

The water evaporated.

All the children were very happy.

The children were happy.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.