Using adjectives in English

Adjectives in English are invariable. They do not change their form depending on the gender or number of the noun.

  • This is a hot potato.
  • Those are some hot potatoes.

To emphasise or strengthen the meaning of an adjective, use the adverbs very or really in front of the adjective you want to strengthen.

  • This is a very hot potato
  • Those are some really hot potatoes.

Adjectives in English usually appear in front of the noun that they modify.

  • The beautiful girl ignored me.
  • The fast red car drove away.

Adjectives can also appear after being and sensing verbs like to be, to seem , to look & to taste.

  • Italy is beautiful.
  • I don't think she seems nice at all.
  • You look tired.
  • This meat tastes funny.

Some exceptions

Adjectives appear after the noun in some fixed expressions.

  • The Princess Royal is visiting Oxford today.
  • The President elect made a speech last night.
  • He received a court martial the following week.

The adjectives involved, present & concerned can appear either before or after the noun that they modify, but with a different meaning depending on the placement.

Adjective placed after the noun Meaning Adjective placed before the noun Meaning
I want to see the people involved. I want to see the people who have something to do with this matter. It was an involved discussion. The discussion was detailed & complex.
Here is a list of the people present at the meeting. Here is a list of the people who were at the meeting. The present situation is not sustainable. The current situation is not sustainable.
I need to see the man concerned by this accusation. I need to see the man who has been accused. A concerned father came to see me today. A worried father came to see me today.