A describing word can either be an adjective or an adverb. Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns. Adverbs describe verbs. Describing words give us more information about people and places and make our writing more interesting.
Adjectives are describing words that tell more about nouns and pronouns. A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Adjectives answer the following questions:
- What kind?
- Which one?
- How many?
Here are some examples:
|the tall man||the mean officer||a solid ice cube|
|a great vacation||a five-year-old child||an unhappy woman|
|a cute puppy||a clean window||a full glass|
|a large television||a bright star||a spotless room|
|the blue crayon||the large box||the fancy car|
|the brown tiles||the dirty clothes||the comfortable chair|
|the tasty candy||the blond-headed boy||the smart girl|
|That machine||This notebook||Those girls|
|These eggs||That giraffe||This controller|
|Those socks||These shirts||That dish|
|This food||Those baskets||These glasses|
|That airplane||This ornament||Those earrings|
|Some pillows||Few dollars||Three pencils|
|Many books||Several years||Fifteen minutes|
|Four shirts||Fourteen cents||Dozen eggs|
|Two shoes||Thousand reasons||Ten fingers|
|Five hours||Twelve days||Nine candles|
|One picture||Eighteen miles||Six inches|
When two or more objects are being compared, there are two types of adjectives used to describe their relationship. These two types of describing words are called comparative and superlative.
Comparative describing words compare only two subjects. The word than is usually used with comparative adjectives. The suffix –er is usually on the end of comparative adjectives. Sometimes the suffix –ier is used when a two-syllable adjective ends in the letter y. Otherwise we use the word more. Here are some examples:
|Josie is richer than Gladys||My daughter is more talented than yours|
|Beau is taller than Tessa||This question is more difficult than that one|
|Kate is prettier than Margaret||I am more interesting than you|
Superlative describing words compare more than two subjects. The word the usually precedes superlative adjectives. The suffix –est is usually on the end of superlative adjectives. Sometimes the suffix –ier is used when the two-syllable adjective ends in the letter y. Otherwise we used the word most. Here are some examples:
|Snowball is the prettiest cat in town||My daughter is the most beautiful child|
|My mom is the smartest woman alive||This is the most impossible task|
|This is the best movie I have ever seen||Peas are the most disgusting food|
Some describing words are related to proper nouns. They should be capitalized. Here are some examples:
|Christian music||French toast||Irish pub|
|English class||Gothic style||Canadian government|
|Spanish architecture||American food||Japanese robes|
|Greek art||Victorian decor||African dance|
|Chinese restaurant||Baptist preacher||Russian caviar|
Adverbs are describing words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. (Verbs are words that show action. Adverbs usually end in the letters –ly. Adverbs answer the following questions:
- To What Extent?
Here are some examples:
|To What Extent?|
Adverbs are describing words that can tell more about adjectives. Here are some examples:
- The child had a really bad attitude.
- We had a wonderfully amazing time on our vacation.
- You are quite right.
Adverbs can even describe other adverbs. Here is an example:
- She spoke very quietly.
Adverbs can appear virtually anywhere in a sentence. There is really no particular rule about their placement. Here are some examples:
- She really doesn’t care what she eats for dinner.
- He literally ruined his new suit in the rain.
- The boy simply didn’t understand the rules of the game.
- Sadly, she lost all of her money.
- I ate heartily at the Thai buffet.
- I so want a new automobile.
- The boss almost hired me for the job, but he changed his mind at the last minute.
- My mother mildly disapproved of my behavior.
Using Describing Words in Writing
Describing words add information to your writing. It is important to learn how to use them effectively. It’s not good to use too many describing words in your writing. Most of your writing should consist of nouns and verbs (action words). Good writing shows the readers what you’re trying to say instead of simply telling them.