Our language is a challenging platform of knowledge and application to address. Each change in a sentence causes other interactive parts to come into play, and be considered. Such is the part of speech known as “sparkle words.” Actually this week’s subject is not known officially as ‘sparkle words’ but I like to think of it this way. Sentences can be constructed to be correct and convey a writer’s thoughts but ‘sparklers’ add zest, glimmer, and excitement to a piece of literature, a letter, or even an email at work.
Sparkle Words – Adjectives
We can, as authors and writers conjure a sentence with no sparkle but adding an ADJECTIVE will make the sentence come alive. Words like red, beautiful, rich, lazy, brave, straight, immense, voiceless, old-fashioned, sweet, creepy, sparse, and drab are all words which add zest to a sentence.
The function of an adjective is to modify a noun, or pronoun and is always near the word which is being described. With that said I want to point out that like salt and pepper in food, using adjectives should be done sparingly. A shake here-and-there causes the writing to be zesty, while dumping numerous adjectives is like….well it’s like dumping salt or pepper on your dinner, it will ruin the flavor. Instead use verbs, nouns and pronouns in a creative manner, and then sprinkle in the adjectives.
With that said let’s look at the 4 forms of adjectives and their application. There are 4 forms of adjectives; attributive, predictive, absolute, and nominal. Attributive examples are adjectives which go before the noun being modified, such as “The old man”, old is the adjective which is before man. A predictive adjective follows the word being modified, an example is “The man is old.” Absolute adjectives are words which are just that, absolute in meaning. They cannot be modified; I look at them as perfect. Absolute adjectives include double, single, unique, square, round, and perfect. We can’t modify double to say, ‘more double’ or ‘super double’; square can’t be modified to be ‘more square’, the absolute adjectives are ‘perfect’ or absolute. Nominal adjectives share some characteristics of nouns. Words like poor, old, and blind are great examples. Nominal adjectives also refer to nationalities in the following formats, the French, the Japanese, the Germans, and the Americans.
I would like to point out another characteristic that might help you understand adjectives and help the sparkle words stick in your understanding; the categories of adjectives. If you consider the divisions and application of these categories I believe sparklers will stay fresh in your synapses.
Earlier, in the paragraph that followed my header “Sparkle Words” I presented several adjective examples. Each is from different adjective categories and can be recognized by characteristics of the adjective type.
Appearance Adjectives include words like beautiful, clean, handsome, and old-fashioned.
Color adjectives include words like red, green and purple.
Condition adjective examples are alive, better, dead, helpful, famous, rich and shy.
Bad feelings adjectives include words like clumsy, helpless, jealous, and lazy.
Good feelings adjective examples include brave, eager, faithful, jolly, nice, and witty.
Shape adjectives can include chubby, deep, low, round, skinny, and square.
Size adjectives include words like big, gigantic, little, petite, tall, and tiny.
Some Sound Adjectives are cooing, hissing, loud, melodic, quiet, and raspy.
Time adjectives include words like ancient, early, old, rapid, slow, and young.
A list of Taste/Touch adjectives includes words such as bitter, juicy, hot, icy and wet.
Touch adjectives (another type) includes boiling, breeze, cool, creepy, dirty, dry, and hot.
Quantity adjectives are words like empty, full, heavy, many and numerous.
As you can see from my explanation of adjectives there are many categories and types of adjectives. But just keep in mind that it all boils down to the fact that adjectives modify nouns along with pronouns and add sparkle to our writing. But keep in mind that too much of a good thing will spoil your writing. Use adjectives sparingly and your writing will be spicy, sparkly and satisfying for your readers.
I would also like to provide you with this grammar video for your listening pleasure. It is old, but applicable for our adjective study today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYzGLzFuwxI Enjoy!
Until next week, create some flavorful writing with some tasty sparklers and enjoy your week!
(Note: Keep in mind that an inclusive type of adjective list is extensive, and each category example I included has only a few adjectives examples. Consult a dictionary or the Internet for a more complete list of adjectives.)
Image courtesy of myplaceforenglish.com
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