BerkswichCE Primary School

Achieve, Believe and Care

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Adjectives (Infants)

What is an adjective?

An adjective is a word which tells you more about a noun or a pronoun. It tells you what something is like.


Examples in action  (Adjectives  Nouns)

I put on my blue hat.

The brave teenager rescued the dog.

Battered roof tiles began to rattle and a rusty gate swung back and forth.


Where can they be found?

Usually, an adjective comes before a noun, but sometimes it can be separated and come afterwards.

Ben looked nervous.

The path was narrow.

These still describe the noun, but comes after the verb.


What job is the word doing?

Remember to look to see if the word is being used as an adjective.

Creaking gates swung back and forth.

In this sentence, creaking is being used as an adjective to tell the reader more about the gates.

The gates were creaking back and forth.

In this sentence, creaking is being used as a verb to describe the action.



Adjectives can also compare things. That dog is big, the second is bigger and the one over there is the biggest.


big (ordinary adjective)

bigger (comparative adjective used when you are comparing two things)

bigger (superlative adjective used when referring to at least three people or things)


Sometimes adding –er and –est does not work.

Sometimes more and most are used…

The ring is beautiful.

This ring is more beautiful.

That ring is the most beautiful.


Some words do not follow any of these rules (good, better, best, bad, worse, worst, little, less, least, much, more, most, many, more, most).

Watch out!

  • Try not to think just about an adjective as a describing word. There are many other types of words that are very descriptive; for example, swishing and flickered can be used as descriptive verbs.
  • Try not to overuse adjectives. ‘She walked down the dark, gloomy, spooky, narrow street,’ is perhaps no clearer to the reader than she walked down the dark, narrow street.
  • Try not to use ones that are obvious like, ‘orange orange’ or ’brown wood.’ You would perhaps only say, ‘the small mouse,’ if you were trying to show how amazing its brave act was about to be.

You are the writer; you are in charge!

Make decisions that force the reader to feel the way you want them to feel and understand what you want them to understand.



Feel the power of adjectives!

Since adjectives tell the reader more about a noun, they create a clearer picture of what is being described. Look at how different choices can impact the reader. Which of these choices of adjectives makes your mouth water?

Biscuit anyone?


Ideas for using adjectives


  • 2A phrases

In school, we call two adjectives before a noun a 2a phrase. You can use one or two of them in a sentence and they usually have a comma between them. You will learn more about this in higher up school.

The thin, scruffy dog begged for food.

It was an overgrown, messy garden with a lifeless, leafless tree.


Choose carefully to show the reader exactly what you mean.


  • Lists

Try using a list of three or four, carefully chosen adjectives. Do not let the rest of the sentence run on. Use these very carefully and probably only once in a piece of writing. Two adjectives must not say the same thing.

It was an overgrown, messy garden with a lifeless, leafless tree.


  • What + ! sentences

These are short and have one adjective before the noun.

What a lovely day!

What a clever design!

What a terrible time!