Adjectives and adjective groups

In this lesson we're going to look in a little more detail at how we describe the qualities of things and people—meaning how they look, sound, smell, feel, whether they are good or bad, and so on.

Green apple and rotten apple

Words that we use to decribe the qualities of things are usually called adjectives. For example, words such as hot, cold, dry, wet, old or moldy can all function as adjectives. (Though a reminder: they can often function as other types of words too: cold can be a noun, wet can be a verb, and so on.)

Words that describe the qualities of actions or processes are usually called adverbs, and we'll explore those in a separate lesson.

Based on all that, can you find the adjectives in the snippet below?

Around them, starships rose and fell in orderly lines, their wings gleaming in the golden light.

Both of the adjectives in the snippet describe how a thing looked. The lines looked orderly. The light looked golden.

We can add more adjectives to increase the descriptive detail we give about a single thing.

At Beecher Prep, I’m the old moldy cheese.


Together these adjectives form what we call an adjective group.

At Beecher Prep, I’m the old moldy cheese.


For the rest of this lesson, to keep things simple, we'll label standalone adjectives (such as orderly and golden in the first snippet) as adjective groups.