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Functions of Adjectives

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Basics on the topic Functions of Adjectives

Learn more about the functions of adjectives with Pip and Koko.

Transcript Functions of Adjectives

Koko has a new 'Dreams into Virtual Reality' headset, and is using it to explain her dream to Pip! Let's observe Koko's dream with Pip! "I was in the outback. Looking around, I spotted an oasis. When I got there, I met a creature holding a detonator. Suddenly, they pressed it and transformed into Belvis, who is a musician. Before he started to perform, I woke up. Did you see how amazing everything looked Pip?!" "Honestly Koko, the way you described it was a little bland and boring." Let's help Koko create a better visual by learning about the functions of adjectives. Adjectives describe or modify a noun to help communicate a clearer picture. Not only do adjectives paint a clearer picture, but they also make nouns more interesting! Let's look at some examples of the functions of adjectives. They can describe feelings or qualities, such as the lonely cookie or a hard-working beaver; give nationality or origin, such as Josh is a Martian or the dress is Victorian; tell us more about a noun's characteristics, such as a powerful sloth; tell us about size and age, such as the large old doughnut; share colour, shape, and material, such as a pink rectangular cardboard box; and describe judgment or a value, such as a silly hat or an easy test. Now that we know the functions of adjectives, let's use them to modify the nouns from Koko's dream to make them more interesting! Let's start with the first sentence, it says: I was in the blank outback. Since there are so many adjectives we can use, let's use this adjective word bank to help us! Which adjective would you choose to go in the blank? Since Koko is recounting the origin, or where her dream began, we would choose ‘Australian’ to describe the outback. The next sentence says: Looking around, I spotted a blank and blank oasis. Which adjectives would you choose to describe an oasis that is made up of plants? We can choose the colour ‘green’ and the characteristic ‘lush’. Let's try another. The sentence says: When I got there, I met a blank and blank creature with a blank blank detonator. Which adjectives would you choose to describe the creature and detonator? We can use the size ‘small’ and the quality ‘eccentric’ to describe the creature, and the shape ‘square’ and the material ‘metal’ to describe the detonator. The last sentence says: Suddenly, they pressed it and transformed into a blank Belvis, who is a blank musician. Which adjectives would you choose to go in the blanks? ‘Young’ can be used to describe Belvis' age and ‘fantastic’ can be used to express judgment about his career as a musician. Here's a challenge for you! Share your own version of Koko's dream in the comments below using your own adjectives! Remember, adjectives help describe nouns more clearly and they make them more interesting! Adjectives can be used to describe feelings or qualities, give nationality or origin, tell more about a noun's characteristics, tell us about size and age, share colour, shape, and material and describe judgment or a value. "Wow, Koko, your dream was far-out!" "Thank you, thankyou very much."

Functions of Adjectives exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Functions of Adjectives.
  • Which of the following are functions of adjectives?

    Hints

    There are 6 correct options.

    Here are some examples of the different functions. Read them and see which function it might fulfil. The adjectives are in bold.

    • lonely cookie
    • Victorian dress
    • powerful sloth
    • large, old doughnut
    • pink, rectangular cardboard box
    • easy test

    Think about the examples in hint 2. Do any one them tell an action? An action is a verb.

    Solution

    The 6 functions of an adjective are:

    • Describe feelings or qualities (lonely cookie)
    • Give nationality or origin (Victorian dress)
    • Tell more about a noun's characteristics (powerful sloth)
    • Tell size and age (large, old doughnut)
    • Share colour, shape and material (pink, rectangular cardboard box)
    • Describe judgement or value (easy test)

  • How can we describe a person?

    Hints

    There are some extra words, be sure to read it carefully and make sure the words you have highlighted are adjectives (describing words).

    Example: The teacher gave an easy test.

    Easy is a value adjective because it refers to the difficulty of the test. For the writer of this sentence, the test was easy.

    There are 7 adjectives to find and highlight.

    Solution

    The adjectives to be highlighted are shown in bold here:

    • Samantha is a British citizen
    • She is an artistic girl
    • She loves to make colourful artwork
    • She is a short person
    • She has long, brown hair
    • Her favourite t-shirt
  • Finding functions of adjectives.

    Hints

    Some of the sentences have more than one adjective. Are there any categories that require more than one adjective?

    Is being surprised a feeling, nationality or size?

    A nationality means the country that someone or something originated from. Which statement refers to a country?

    Solution
    • Koko was a surprised koala. Surprised is the adjective used to describe Koko, the koala's feelings. It best matches the function of describing feelings or qualities.
    • Football is an English sport. English is the adjective used to describe football, the sport's origin. It best matches the function of giving nationality or origin.
    • An unusual tree stood in the forest. Unusual is the adjective used to describe the characteristic of the tree. It best matches the function of telling more about the characteristics of a noun.
    • There was a small, young child sitting on the slide. Small and young are the adjectives used to describe the size and age of the child. It best matches the function of telling about size and age.
    • Pip had a blue, round plastic ball. Blue, round and plastic are the adjectives used to describe the colour, shape and material of the ball. It best matches the function of sharing colour, shape and material.
    • Koko and Pip tell fantastic stories. Fantastic is the adjective used to describe a value of Koko and Pip's stories. It best matches the function of describing a judgement or value.
  • Complete the story.

    Hints

    In the first image, the different functions of the adjective used are:

    • Nationality - Where is that flag from that Koko is looking at?
    • Colour - What color is Pip's helmet?
    • Judgement - How might someone describe the squirrel if their view is that they like it?
    • Characteristic - Look at the squirrel's cheeks. They are full; how does this make them look?
    Think about this and place the adjectives where they best make sense.

    In the second image, the different functions of the adjective used are:

    • Feeling - Which adjective is a feeling or emotion?
    • Characteristic - Juggling isn't easy. Which adjective might be used to describe someone who can do something difficult, well?
    • Shape - Which adjective describes the shape of the balls?
    Think about this and place the adjectives where they best make sense.

    Solution

    1) Koko was learning about the Spanish (origin) flag from a video. While she was looking at the video Pip got on the swing. He was wearing a pink (colour) metal helmet to protect his head. A cute (judgement) squirrel sat on the ladder. Its fat (characteristic) cheeks showed it was eating its afternoon snack.

    2) The frightened (feeling) elephant watched as the talented (characteristic) monkey juggled. The monkey had green, round (shape) balls.

  • What is an adjective?

    Hints

    Think about how we use adjectives. Do they add information and make a sentence interesting or not?

    Look at the example below. Does it become more or less clear what is happening with adjectives?

    WITHOUT ADJECTIVES: The moon shines in the sky.

    WITH ADJECTIVES: The bright, round moon shines in the sky.

    Solution

    An adjective describes or modifies a noun to help communicate a clearer picture or make nouns more interesting.

  • Identify the correct function of the adjective.

    Hints

    We are focusing on these functions of an adjective:

    • Feelings, qualities, or characteristics
    • Nationality or origin
    • Colour, shape, or material

    Remember:

    • Feelings or qualities describe how a noun is feeling or acting in a concrete moment. This can change.
    • Characteristics describe a part of the noun's way of being. This cannot change.

    Solution
    • Green: Feelings, qualities, or characteristics
    • Yellow: Nationality or origin
    • Violet: Colour, shape, or material
    1)
    • American is the origin of the flag (yellow)
    • white is the colour of the flag's stars (violet)
    • red is the colour of the flag's stripes (violet)
    2)
    • hungry is how the monkey feels (green)
    • round is the shape of his tummy (violet)
    • abundant describes how to characterise his banana supply (green)
    3)
    • black and square share the colour and shape of the box (violet).
    • lazy tells the characteristic of the crooks (green)
    • angry describe the feeling behind the groans of the unsuccessful crooks (green)
    4)
    • inquisitive describes the boy's characteristic (green)
    • Mexican tells the origin of the books the boy likes best (yellow)
    • hard-cover tells the material of the books he collects (violet)