English JSSCE Notes

Adjectives: definition, identification and types

Content: What Is an Adjective?

  Adjectives are words that modify(change) nouns, pronouns and other adjectives.

How to Identify Adjectives

 In the sentence “he was fast,” the word “fast” is an adjective that describes the pronoun “he.”

 Here’s a special sentence that uses all the letters of the English language: “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”

In this sentence, the words “quick,” “brown” and “lazy” are adjectives (and so is the word “the,” but we’ll explain this later!). All these words are describing or somehow modifying a noun.

So, you might already know about adjectives like these, like “quick,” “beautiful” and “ugly,” which are used to describe people, places and things.But did you know that adjectives have many other uses? Words like “every,” “the” and “my” are also adjectives. When you say “my cat,” the word “my” is modifying the word “cat.” It’s describing that cat as your possession, or something that belongs to you. Likewise for the word “every” in the phrase “every cat.”As you can see, adjectives have many uses!

Types of Adjectives

Remember that adjectives can modify as well as describe other words, and you’ll find it much easier to identify different types of adjectives when you see them.

1. Articles: There are only three articles, and all of them are adjectives: a, an, and the.Because they are used to discuss non-specific things and people.

“a” and “an” are called indefinite articles.

 For example: I’d like a…..

Let’s go on an….

2. Possessive Adjectives: As the name indicates, possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession. They are:*.My*.Your*.His*.Her*.Its*.Our*.Their. Possessive adjectives also function as possessive pronouns.

3. Demonstrative Adjectives: Like the article ‘the’, demonstrative adjectives are used to indicate or demonstrate specific people, animals, or things. Examples: These, those, this and that are demonstrative adjectives.

*.These books belong to her

*.This movie is my favorite.

*.Please put those cookies on the blue plate.

4. Coordinate Adjectives: Coordinate adjectives are separated with commas or the word ‘and’, and appear one after another to modify the same noun. The adjectives in the phrase: bright, sunny day and long and dark night are coordinate adjectives. In phrases with more than two coordinate adjectives, the word ‘and’ always appears before the last one; for example: The sign had big, bold, and bright letters.

Be careful, because some adjectives that appear in a series are not coordinate. In the phrase green delivery truck, the words green and delivery are not separated by a comma because green modifies the phrase delivery truck. To eliminate confusion when determining whether a pair or group of adjectives is coordinate, just insert the word ‘and’ between them. If ‘and’ works, then the adjectives are coordinate and need to be separated with a comma.

5. Numbers Adjectives: When they’re used in sentences, numbers are almost always adjectives. You can tell that a number is an adjective when it answers the question “How many?”

*.The stage coach was pulled by a team of six.

*.He ate twenty hot dogs during the contest, and was sick afterwards.

6. Interrogative Adjectives: There are three interrogative adjectives:which, what,and whose. Like all other types of adjectives, interrogative adjectives modify nouns. As you probably know, all three of these words are used to ask questions.

*.Which option sounds best to you?

*.What time should we go?

*.Whose socks are those?

7. Indefinite Adjectives: Like the articles a, and an, indefinite adjectives are used to discuss non-specific things. You might recognize them, since they’re formed from indefinite pronouns. The most common indefinite adjectives are any, many, no, several,and few.

*.Do we have any peanut butter?

*.Grandfather has been retired for many years now

*.There are no bananas in the fruit bowl.

*.I usually read the first few pages of a book before I buy it.

*.We looked at several cars before deciding on the best one for our family.

Topic: Oral Literature

The Nature and Kinds of Oral Literature

        Epics, ballads, prose tales, ritual and lyric songs, as genres, existed orally before writing was invented. We do not have a special word to designate them before they were manifested in writing, so we are left with the paradox of”oral literature.” But if literature can be defined as “carefully constructed verbal expression,” carefully structured oral verbal expression can surely qualify as literature. This is common sense. People did not wait until there was writing before they told stories and sang songs.

       Moreover, when these genres first appeared in writing, their metric base, their poetic and compositional devices, were already fully developed and none of them could have been invented by any one person at any one time. They are too complicated for that.

      Oral literature, then, consists of thesongs and stories, and other sayings, that people have heard and listened to, sung and told, without any intervention of writing. The creator or transmitter did not write the song or the story but sang or told it; the receiver did not read the song or story but heard it. These stories and songs are, therefore, not only oral but also aural; they are not only told, they are also heard.

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